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Did Christ have a fallen human nature?


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#1 M. Markewich

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 03:29 PM

I get that we Orthodox do not believe that original sin includes guilt for the first sin, just the consequences. However, I was wondering, since Christ became man to save man, wouldn't He have taken on every aspect about us? Wouldn't He have had an inclination to sin, except that He fully resisted falling to it? This is hard for me to understand because on one hand it seems like some Orthodox do and some Orthodox don't think that Christ was exempt. For example,
http://www.fatherale...florovsky_e.htm

It must be stressed that in the Incarnation the Word assumes the original human nature, innocent and free from original sin, without any stain. This does not violate the fullness of nature, nor does this affect the Savior’s likeness to us sinful people. For sin does not belong to human nature, but is a parasitic and abnormal growth. This point was vigorously stressed by St. Gregory of Nyssa and particularly by St. Maximus the Confessor in connection with their teaching of the will as the seat of sin.7 In the Incarnation the Word assumes the first-formed human nature, created "in the image of God," and thereby the image of God is again re-established in man.8


On the other hand, from a thread here at Monachos:
http://www.monachos....read.php?t=1564

Among those rejecting Chalcedon, there were indeed some who put forward positions that quite properly could be described as monophysite, most notably Julian of Halicarnassus, who asserted that Christ’s body was by nature incorruptible from the moment of the union, even before the resurrection, so that “even though Christ wept over Lazarus, it was his incorruptible and divine tear that raised him from the dead.”


So the first quote seems to say Christ did not have our fallen nature but the second says that denying He had it is monophysitism. Can anyone help me?

#2 John Charmley

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 06:07 PM

Dear Matt,

My understanding is that the Church teaches that He was like unto us in everything save sin.

At the heart of St. Cyril's soteriology was the following insight, which seems to me germane to this theme:

As God he wished to make that flesh which was held in the grip of sin and death evidently superior to sin and death. He made it his very own, and not souless as some have said, but rather animated with a natural soul, and thus he restored flesh to what it was in the beginning. He did not consider it beneath him to have to follow a path congruous to this plan, and so he is said to have undergone a birth like ours, while all the while remaining what he was. He was born of a woman according to the flesh in a wondrous manner, for he is God by nature, as such invisible and incorporeal, and only in this way, a form like our own, could he be made manifest to earthly creatures. He thought it good to be made man and in his own person to reveal our nature honoured in the dignities of the divinity. The same one was at once God and man, and he was "in the likeness of a man (Phil 2:7) since even though he was God he was "in the fashion of a man". (Phil 2:8)'

(On the Unity of Christ pp.53, 55 of the SVS edition).


Since He took on our true nature, which was without sin, so He was what we should have been, and by so being, He was what we can become. What was assumed can be healed; but it is our fallen nature that requires the healing.

St. Cyril is most insistent on the Word 'becoming' flesh. At this moment the person (the Word) who had always existed as God also became man. This did not involve any mixing, changing, or confusing of natures (here the soul/body analogy which St. Cyril was fond of using, is not applied, because it it were it would indeed give the impression Nestorius thought he saw in Cyril's work). Instead the Word takes on a new manner of being - as man. This means, on St. Cyril's reading, that

the Word of God the Father became Flesh, not by a change or alteration of his own nature ... but because having made the flesh taken from the body of the Virgin his own, one and the same subject is called Son, before the Incarnation as Word still incorporeal, and after the Incarnation as the same Word now embodied. That is why we say that the same subject is simultaneously both God and Man, not dividing him conceptually into a human being with a separate identity and God the Word also with a separate identity, that we may exclude any idea of two Sons, but acknowledging that one and the same subject is Christ and Son and Lord.

[Russell, St. Cyril of Alexandria (2000) pp. 179-180]

I await correction if I err, but I do not see how it could be Orthodox to say that He had our sinful nature, as that would militate against an Orthodox soteriology.

In Christ,

John

#3 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 12:11 AM

I suppose if we were to look to St Maximus the Confessor for some understanding on this issue then we would find that the result of man's fall is the gnomic will. It is the gnomic will which is the sign or evidence of man's fallen nature and it is this which creates his inclination towards sin.

With regards to Christ St Maximus will explain to us that while Christ possessed both a human and divine will He did hot have a gnomic will. However, this makes Him no less human since the gnomic will is really foreign to humanity.

How then this would fit into the larger picture of a fallen human nature, Julian of Halicarnassus, monophysitism and others I have to admit I'm not quite sure. Perhaps others can build on what we have been able to elaborate on here.

#4 M. Markewich

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 04:14 AM

Thank you both, this is making more sense and apparently I held the wrong opinion. However, the main thing that concerns me is that this seems to make Christ's suffering as a man not as severe, as in, it seems like He really doesn't experience all the temptation we do. I thought that Christ imitated us in all things save sin? And the inclination to sin isn't sin itself, right?

The reason I think this relates to monophysitism, Mourad, is because if Christ does not suffer original sin like us, then He is also exempt from death and a corruptible body, don't you think? I've heard the view before that Christ died only because He chose to lay down His life, not because this was a part of His nature as a man. However, it seems like the quote I included says that this type of view of Christ is monophysite.

I don't mean to sound rebellious regarding the right belief, but I want to make sure I understand the reasoning.

#5 Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:29 AM

Julian of Halicarnassus was a Bishop who was ex-communicated by several Synods of the Oriental Orthodox (non-Chalcedonian) Church during the late fifth century for his belief that a) the Lord Christ could not assume post-fall humanity due to its allegedly being inherently sinful (an inherent sinfulness allegedly transmitted by procreation), and b) that the Lord Christ hence took incorruptible pre-fall flesh. His chief opponent was St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, who responded accordingly:

1) He defended the sanctity of the procreative act within the conjugal union, and the integrity of marriage itself.

2) He refuted the idea that sin became inherent to humanity subsequent to the fall. The fallen condition, argues St. Severus, does not affect our ontological nature, rather it affects the world to which we were expelled, and hence our personal experience (which is fundamentally shaped and governed by our experiences in this fallen world) of God and ourselves. St. Severus advocates a notion similar to St. Maximus' "gnomic will", by arguing that sin is the product of the corruption of our personal wills--something that is self-induced albeit influenced by outside forces.

3) He rejected the idea of there being any ontological distinction between pre-fall and post-fall humanity in the first place--both are corruptible i.e. ontologically susceptible to death (i.e. mortal), suffering, etc., and both are ontologically "good".

4) He rejected the idea that the Lord Christ underwent corruptible human experience contrary to His incorruptible humanity. The Lord Christ did not suffer anguish in spite of His Humanity, but rather precisely because of it.

5) He advocated the Cyrillian idea that the Lord Christ's Humanity only became incorruptible at the Resurrection.

In conclusion, St. Severus argued that the Lord Christ assumed "our sinful nature, though without sin". It's kind of ironic that this Father of the OO Church was himself anathematised by an EO Synod for allegedly undermining the Humanity of Christ, considering the lengths he went to to defend its integrity to the point of ex-communicating a once close friend.

I'm not 100% certain, but if I recall correctly, I believe Fr. V.C. Samuel, in his comparative studies between St. Severus' and St. John the Damascene's Christologies, observes that the only point of contention between them was that John the Damascene in fact argued that the Lord Christ took pre-fall flesh.

In XC
-Athanasius

#6 Mina Soliman

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 06:22 AM

I'm not 100% certain, but if I recall correctly, I believe Fr. V.C. Samuel, in his comparative studies between St. Severus' and St. John the Damascene's Christologies, observes that the only point of contention between them was that John the Damascene in fact argued that the Lord Christ took pre-fall flesh.


Just to make sure I'm saying the right thing here also, I'm lucky to have the book with me. I think two important differences outlined by the book:

1. St. John of Damascus did not clarify his acceptance of "composite hypostasis" and did not mention anything on the humanity of Christ being "hypostatic."

2. St. John of Damascus rejected Julian's thought that Christ's humanity was incorruptible before the Resurrection, but seemed to have supported Julian's premises to reach that conclusion.

God bless.

#7 John Charmley

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 08:52 AM

Dear Matt, Dear Athanasius, Dear Mourad,

Thank you all for enlightening and interesting posts.

St. Cyril seems to me the touchstone of Orthodoxy here. With his love of paradox he taught that Christ suffered - 'impassibly'. Had Our Lord's nature not been as our own is then He would not have assumed it and it would not have been healed. Our true nature in in God's image, and that is restored in the Incarnation; if it was not so then it would be hard to understand the purpose of the Incarnation.

I am very grateful to you, Athansius for mentioning St. Severus, who gets such a bad deal outside Oriental Orthodox circles at times, and yet whose teaching here is, as elsewhere, impeccably Orthodox.

At the centre of the Incarnation is the restoration of us in the image of God; what was not assumed could not have been healed, and we know He came to heal us.

In Christ,

John

#8 M. Markewich

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 02:26 PM

Thanks again everyone. In light of what Athanasius wrote about Julian and Severus' criticism, would it be accurate to say that both views, the one that John of Damascus had (who seems to have believed that Christ only assumed the non-fallen aspects of man) and the one that Severus had (that Christ assumed all of fallen human nature) are both permissible in Orthodoxy, as long as you don't end up preaching an incorruptible Christ? This confuses me as well! Mina said,

2. St. John of Damascus rejected Julian's thought that Christ's humanity was incorruptible before the Resurrection, but seemed to have supported Julian's premises to reach that conclusion.


So if St. John had the same premises and differed on corruptibility, then he must have believed Christ assumed some aspects of fallen nature but not all. How could Christ be exempt from some of original sin but not all of it? How could He have a human body that could be subject to corruption but not a corrupted will? It seems to me if Christ had a corrupted will, like us, He would have sanctified it by resisting the temptations of it. I really am just trying to understand.

#9 M. Markewich

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 02:30 PM

2) He refuted the idea that sin became inherent to humanity subsequent to the fall. The fallen condition, argues St. Severus, does not affect our ontological nature, rather it affects the world to which we were expelled, and hence our personal experience (which is fundamentally shaped and governed by our experiences in this fallen world) of God and ourselves. St. Severus advocates a notion similar to St. Maximus' "gnomic will", by arguing that sin is the product of the corruption of our personal wills--something that is self-induced albeit influenced by outside forces.

Hi Athanasius - are you saying then that the gnomic will is not present from birth, but is learned? If so then I think I could completely understand how Christ could completely imitate man, even in his fallen state, without taking on sinful additions that he picks up from his experience.

#10 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 12:00 PM

This is an interesting debate because it was a controversy that was exclusive to the OO side and was never really addressed in such depth by the EOs.

For the main part it seems that it has been acceptable simply to proclaim the full humanity and divinity of Christ without sin and that He really suffered and died and much else than that has been more theologoumenon rather than dogma or doctrine.

However, it would seem to me that if Julian of Halicarnassus believed that Christ truly suffered and died then it would be odd to say that he believed that Christ's humanity was incorruptible.

It appears that while such is ascribed to him the true difference between Julian and Severus is that while Severus would have advocated a corruptibility by necessity Julian would have advocated a voluntary corruptibility since a necessary corruptibility would mean that Christ Himself would be in need of salvation.

Hence for Julian and the EO it seems that Christ's kenosis is the key to understanding His suffering and death. Thus His kenotic passion is truly selfless and extended purely out of love for all of mankind.

And it appears that Julian's understanding of Christ is probably the one more dominantly held within nonChalcedonian circles.

To say that Christ's will was inclined towards sin it would seem to me would also be sin. He was the perfect God-man and as such His will was completely aligned with that of the Father's and hence He says, "I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (Jn 5:30). Also St James tells us, "God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (Js 1:13).

For Severus also there is a difference in pre and post fall humanity simply on the basis that man falls from grace. Hence his corruptibility is not so much an essential aspect of his humanity as it is as a result of his fall from grace.

A separation and hence corruption which man comes to inherit.

With this in mind we will probably find little difference between Severus and Julian since the purpose of the hypostatic union is to resolve the effects of the fall.

#11 Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 01:16 PM

Dear Mourad,

For the main part it seems that it has been acceptable simply to proclaim the full humanity and divinity of Christ without sin and that He really suffered and died and much else than that has been more theologoumenon rather than dogma or doctrine.


Whilst that may be the case in regard to the EOC, it is certainly not the case with regard to the OOC given the conciliar treatment of the issue and the fact men were ex-communicated in consideration of the issue. Julianism, insofar as the OOC is concerned, is nothing short of heresy.

It appears that while such is ascribed to him the true difference between Julian and Severus is that while Severus would have advocated a corruptibility by necessity Julian would have advocated a voluntary corruptibility since a necessary corruptibility would mean that Christ Himself would be in need of salvation.


This is simply not the case at all.

According to St. Severus, the Lord Christ, in His Humanity, was ontologically susceptible to all experiences proper to true Humanity; but this says nothing with respect to whether He was thus necessarily or voluntarily subject to those experiences. The latter question concerns the manner in which He underwent those experiences to which He was--in His Humanity--ontologically susceptible, and not whether He was in fact ontologically susceptible to them in the first place (which is the issue of contention between St. Severus and Julian). That St. Severus inherited St. Cyril's stress on the Word's ultimate authority over His Human experiences is clearly indicated in many of his writings. For example, in his Letter to Ecumenius, St. Severus states: “God the Word did not permit his flesh in all things to undergo the passions proper to it”.

Here, St. Severus admits that there were things proper to the Humanity the Lord Christ assumed which He nevertheless had the power to exercise discretionary governance upon—He had the volitional capacity to undergo that to which He was--in His Humanity--ontologically susceptible to, and He had the volitional capacity to conversely not undergo such experiences. Later on in the same letter, St. Severus explains that the Lord Christ’s ability to experience Humanity in a manner far different from the way we mere human beings experience the same nature shared by the Lord Christ, is due to the Hypostatic Union: “For in many instances [His Flesh] is seen not to have undergone the things which manifestly belong to its nature; for it was united to the Word, the Maker of nature.”

Likewise, you will find statements to the converse effect i.e. that just as the Lord Christ did not undergo certain human experiences by virtue of His not permitting it, so too did He undergo certain human experiences by virtue of His consciously permitting it to be, and not because He was of necessity subject to His own Humanity.

According to Julian, on the other hand, the Lord Christ underwent true human experience contrary to His Human Nature; it’s not that He permitted His flesh to undergo that which is proper to it as far as He willed, but rather that He permitted His flesh to undergo that which was improper to it as far as He willed (and it was improper to it, precisely because, as far as Julian was concerned, the Lord Christ's Humanity was incorruptible and hence not ontologically susceptible to suffering, death etc.). That’s the key difference, and it is quite a significant difference at that.

As I argued earlier, the main reason that Julian sought to avoid attributing a fallen Humanity to the Lord Christ was due to his false anthropological premises regarding the relationship between sin and human nature.

In XC
-Athanasius

#12 Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 01:27 PM

In fact, Mourad, I encourage you to read the entirety of the letter of St. Severus that I have referred you to in my last post. It is replete with statements contrary to the interpretation you have ascribed to him, with plenty of support from St. Cyril whom he oft-quotes in his persistent reliance upon the great Doctor. One most explicit Cyrillian statement on the issue of whether the Lord Christ underwent Human experience voluntarily or out of necessity, which St. Severus quotes as representative of his own line of thought, reads as follows:

"For, though it is said that he hungered and thirsted, and slept and grew weary after a journey, and wept and feared, these things did not happen to him just as they do to us in accordance with compulsory ordinances of nature; but he himself voluntarily permitted his flesh to walk according to the laws of nature, for he sometimes allowed it even to undergo its own passions"


In XC
-Athanasius

#13 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 01:56 PM

"For, though it is said that he hungered and thirsted, and slept and grew weary after a journey, and wept and feared, these things did not happen to him just as they do to us in accordance with compulsory ordinances of nature; but he himself voluntarily permitted his flesh to walk according to the laws of nature, for he sometimes allowed it even to undergo its own passions"


I think that sounds like Julianism...

According to Julian, on the other hand, the Lord Christ underwent true human experience contrary to His Human Nature; it’s not that He permitted His flesh to undergo that which is proper to it as far as He willed, but rather that He permitted His flesh to undergo that which was improper to it as far as He willed (and it was improper to it, precisely because, as far as Julian was concerned, the Lord Christ's Humanity was incorruptible and hence not ontologically susceptible to suffering, death etc.). That’s the key difference, and it is quite a significant difference at that.


However, the fact that He permitted it makes His humanity just as susceptible to suffering and death as though it were natural to it. It seems that the only difference is that in Severian anthropology corruption (original sin or the consequences thereof) is inherited whereas for Julian it is willed...

As I argued earlier, the main reason that Julian sought to avoid attributing a fallen Humanity to the Lord Christ was due to his false anthropological premises regarding the relationship between sin and human nature.


I'm not sure this is actually the case since no where does Severus actually correct or attack such a notion on Julian's part...

#14 Peter Farrington

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 02:44 PM

Dear Mourad

Have you read all of St Severus' works against Julius? There are several thick volumes that I have not yet read through.

I agree entirely with Athanasius on this issue.

At its heart is the matter as Athanasius correctly describes St Cyril and St Severus' understanding.

Did Christ voluntarily undergo those things which were natural to his humanity (as St Cyril and St Severus state), or did he voluntarily undergo those same things which were alien to his human nature.

If they were alien then they were not assumed, and if not assumed then not healed. It was a pretence of being human. If I make a mooing noise it does not make me a cow. But if I take on the nature of a cow and choose to moo, or not moo, then I would be voluntarily undergoing those things which are natural to my cow-ness.

This argument with Julius was not so much about the human self-consciousness of the Word, or His experience, as experience, but whether the experiences BELONGED to the humanity He united to Himself, or merely were performed by His humanity and yet ultimately alien to it.

Our Lord could voluntarily allow His humanity to grow weary, but He was not bound by such natural weariness. But the weariness was natural to His humanity and not alien to it and merely acted out. There is a massive difference here in theological meaning.

This debate did also impinge on the Chalcedonian community, and the Emperor Justinian died a Julianist, and his last ecclesial act was to command that Julianism be accepted throughout the Empire.

Peter

#15 Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 02:45 PM

I think that sounds like Julianism...


If it were Julianism, the last clause of the statement in question would have read: “passions contrary to it", as opposed to, “its own passions”. My entire second last post was aimed at explaining this fundamental distinction.

Again, St. Severus and St. Cyril both taught that the Lord Christ permitted what was proper to His Humanity, whereas Julian taught that the Lord Christ permitted what was improper to His Humanity. A Humanity that does not have as proper to it, the properties of hunger, thirst, and sleep etc., is not our humanity, and hence experiencing such properties has no soteriological implications.

It seems that the only difference is that in Severian anthropology corruption (original sin or the consequences thereof) is inherited whereas for Julian it is willed...


Or, to more accurately convey the significance of the difference in question and its consequent implications:

It seems that the difference is that according to St. Severus’s Christology (which, in regard to the nature of Christ’s Humanity and Human experience is none other than the Christology of St. Cyril as evidenced in St. Severus’s letter which I referred you to in my previous posts) corruption is inherited by virtue of the Lord Christ assuming the very fallen nature that needed to be healed and hence conquering the corruption naturally proper to it in order that we may in turn conquer the corruption naturally proper to our nature, whereas for Julian such corruption is willed contrary to that which is proper to the Humanity assumed, and hence contrary to the very nature which corruption affects in us; corruption is hence not conquered in the fallen flesh, but rather in an already incorruptible flesh, deeming the Word’s human experiences superfluous.

I'm not sure this is actually the case since no where does Severus actually correct or attack such a notion on Julian's part...


Actually, he most certainly does: in Homilies CXXIII, LXXV, and LXVIII. I advise you to consult the research of Chestnut and Draguet on the matter.

#16 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 03:49 PM

One thing important to keep in mind here is what we call the blameless passions:
according to St John of Damascus among these are hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain & shrinking from death. These are actually part of our nature and not just results of the Fall. Although fear of death is obviously a result of the Fall in a directly causal sense it is still a blameless passion since the fear itself is a manifestation of the natural desire to desire life.

Christ then assumes the blameless passions in as much as these are natural to man.

What I hear being asked is how it can be, if salvation really relates to our deliverance from sin, that Christ assumed all of our humanity, but yet not that which is sinful and fallen.

One part of the answer surely is that sin is not something added to man at the Fall. Sin rather is a distortion of man's nature. And this is what Christ has assumed.

And yet in Christ there is in this assuming of our nature some sort of mysterious & sinless grappling with our sin as is made so clear in the icon of the Descent into Hades.

In other words when we say that Christ assumed the blameless passions we do not mean this was a defensive work of Christ to prevent Himself from being sullied by our sin. Rather we mean that by assuming our nature in its fullness He actively uses this as a bridge to heal our broken sinfulness.

How He can do this without falling pertains to the nature of His Divine will. But the point is that He does sinlessly suffer the effects of our sin in order to heal it.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#17 M. Markewich

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 04:14 PM

What I hear being asked is how it can be, if salvation really relates to our deliverance from sin, that Christ assumed all of our humanity, but yet not that which is sinful and fallen.

One part of the answer surely is that sin is not something added to man at the Fall. Sin rather is a distortion of man's nature. And this is what Christ has assumed.

Hello, Father. For me, the question is not why did He not inherit our sinfulness, but why didn't He inherit all of the effects of our sinfulness? If we are born with the inclination to sin, and we are not born with guilt, then it follows that this inclination cannot be cause for guilt and is not sin either. That is why it doesn't make sense to me to say Christ assumed some of our fallen attributes (such as the ability to die) but not others (the inclination to sin). One possible explanation that I like, which I mentioned in this thread, is we are not born with the inclination to sin, but largely learn it from others.

#18 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 06:04 PM

Hello, Father. For me, the question is not why did He not inherit our sinfulness, but why didn't He inherit all of the effects of our sinfulness? If we are born with the inclination to sin, and we are not born with guilt, then it follows that this inclination cannot be cause for guilt and is not sin either. That is why it doesn't make sense to me to say Christ assumed some of our fallen attributes (such as the ability to die) but not others (the inclination to sin). One possible explanation that I like, which I mentioned in this thread, is we are not born with the inclination to sin, but largely learn it from others.


The inclination to sin is a result of the Fall & not of human nature in itself. Although I suppose this could apply in either case, Christ assumes human nature, He doesn't inherit it. His assuming of humanity is entirely through the free assumption of this by His Divine will. It is not as with us through the involuntary event on our part of being born. This is one of the central points about Christ as subject being the Person of the Divine Logos. There is not only what He interacts with: sin, guilt or whatever. There is how He interacts with this sin as the Divine Logos.

Precisely then as God He manifests His divine freedom in regards to sin and meets it through our humanity without it being able to overcome Him in any sense.

Whatever it is of humanity that He assumes then the main point is that He operates from divine freedom. Which doesn't mean "He does whatever He wants to do." It means that in regards to this question He precisely manifests His divinity as not being subject to the slavery of sin. He can encounter death without this subjecting Him to its power.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#19 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 09:36 PM

I think to put the argument as to suffer what is proper or improper to humanity is an interesting way of seeing things, however, their may be a slight alternative.

According to Severus and I suppose Orthodoxy in general corruption is a result of man's fall from grace. It is precisely this which results in the passions which man now experiences and I suppose in a sense your could say that this separation from grace became proper to humanity after the fall.

However, for Julian it seems that while Christ was not effected by the fall His kenotic experience resulted in a humanity identical to that one generated after the fall.

Therefore, in both Severus and Julian Christ is able to provide healing equally. It just seems that they both reach their individual conclusions differently.

Matt, with regards to inclination to sin, although this thread has taken a slightly different path, I think Severus, Julian and Orthodoxy in general would agree that such could not be found in Christ. Can you imagine being tempted by sin, to actually consider it, to be enticed, to have a certain love for it. Here from the very first a person has sinned as Christ also says, "If you were to look at a woman to lust for her you have already committed adultery with her in your heart" and also as the Proverb says, "As he thinks in his heart so is he". So it is that the very inclinations of the heart determine the man, not in so much that they are yet to be played out but that they compose his very being and so are sin. So Christ also says, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Lk 6:45). Isn't it then befitting that Christ would be perfectly and completely good treasure...

#20 Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 10:44 PM

Dear Mourad,

It looks like we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I think Peter's cow analogy brought about the implications of the difference in question so very clear. More importantly, however, I don't think you are taking into account the seriousness of the heretical anthropological premises which ultimately determined Julian's conclusions on the matter; as R.P. Casey states:

For Severus and for the vast majority of Orthodox theologians, the statement that Christ's body was fthartos was only a necessary corollary to the doctrine that he was in all points homoousios imin. For them fthora consisted of the natural human weaknesses, such as hunger, thirst, pain, and death, to which human nature had been subject since the fall and from which, by assuming a complete human nature, Christ redeemed us. For Julian fthora had a quite different sense. In his view Adam's fall had the result not only of weakening and corrupting the human nature in which his descendents shared, but also of transmitting to it the taint of guilt and blame of which this corruption was the outward and visible sign. In human nature the natural accompaniment of fthora is sin, and to say that Christ's body was fthartos was the equivalent of attributing to him also a genuine share in the sin of Adam. With such a view of fthora Julian's most pressing difficulty was to find a way of removing Christ from the sphere of this guilt of sin without violating the principle of homoousios imin." ('Julian of Halicarnassus', The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 19, No. 2. (Apr., 1926), p. 211)


In XC
-Athanasius




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