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May Orthodox believe that Christ is in two natures and also has a united nature composed of them?

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Poll: May an Orthodox Christian believe that Christ's nature is a unity of His human nature and His divine nature? (6 member(s) have cast votes)

May an Orthodox Christian believe that Christ's nature is a unity of His human nature and His divine nature?

  1. Yes, this is viewpoint is correct. (1 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  2. Yes, the Church allows for a range of opinions about this. (2 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. No, one may only accept that Christ has two natures and may not consider Him to have a nature that is a whole unity of both. (3 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

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#1 H. Smith

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:46 AM

The issue of Christ's natures is a major dividing point between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, with one asserting two natures and the other asserting a united nature.

 

In my view, Christ can be considered to be in two natures and also have a whole nature composed of each, so neither Duophysitism nor Miaphysitism is necessarily incorrect. Actually, when Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox explain why they believe in each, their views make sense to me, and rather it is when someone rejects either Duophysitism or Miaphysitism that it becomes confusing.

 

I think Christ is in two natures, as Chalcedon says, because a nature means a character, collection of properties, or a collection of them.

For example, James 3:7 says the nature of man tamed every nature of beast. Here, it means a category of animal.

 

Godliness and human-ness are also natures and Christ has both of them. Further, He is in both categories and thus He is in two natures.

 

At the same time, I think Christ has one nature composed of both. This is because everything has a nature or character, which is the total of its properties. And in the case of Christ, His total properties are human and divine ones. So for me it also makes sense that He has a united nature that is composed of His human and divine natures. That is, like everything else. He has a character made of His properties, which can be considered a full collection of properties - the properties of Christ. Perhaps this might be called His "theanthropic nature", a term which was mentioned by Maximus the confessor, who, by the way, did not agree with the Oriental Orthodox.

 

Unlike Dioscorus and Severus, however, I do not see that this means Christ is not in two natures. On the contrary, since those natures compose His united nature, I believe He still has those two natures.

 

However, the Fifth Ecumenical Council, Constantinople II, appears to contain an anathema against those who would say Christ has a united nature:

 

 

VIII.


IF anyone uses the expression "of two natures,"  confessing that a union was made of the Godhead and of the humanity, or the expression "the one nature made flesh of God the Word," and shall not so understand those expressions as the holy Fathers have taught, to wit: that of the divine and human nature there was made an hypostatic union, whereof is one Christ; [then he is anathematized]

 

but [if he] from these expressions shall try to introduce one nature or substance of the Godhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema.

 

For in teaching that the only-begotten Word was united hypostatically [to humanity] we do not mean to say that there was made a mutual confusion of natures, but rather each [nature] remaining what it was, we understand that the Word was united to the flesh.

 

Granted, there have been canons approved by Ecumenical Councils that not all Orthodox follow today (such as the rule about rebaptising those with heretic baptisms). However, may an Orthodox think that Christ's two natures compose one nature, and that He still has two natures in full, which operate distinctly (eg. the flesh suffers while the divinity works miracles)?



#2 Richard A. Downing

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:56 AM

I think that there are far more important things to do than theorize about this.  I ask "what is the practical implication of believing one or the other?"  Will you become closer to God by believing in one?  Will you find it easier to achieve a degree of theosis?  Will you find things to bring you into loving communion with your neighbour, or things to divide you from him?

 

A better way is to accept what your bishop tells you.

 

I know several orthodox bishops, including one copt, all are holy men, all shine with the light of Christ, all teach prayerfulness and communion in the Liturgy.  Whatever words they use to describe Christ, they all appear to have the same vision.

 

Also I warn about Canons.  Canons are not laws, and they can only be seen in their historical context.  I know this is controversial, and I ask your forgiveness if it offends you.  If Canons were laws then we would depose all the bishops whose diocese overlaps with another - and that's all of them in Western Europe and the New World.  And having served with some, I can tell you this would not enrich our faith.

 

Discuss it by all means, but don't vote, don't judge it, that's the Bishop's job.



#3 Lakis Papas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:07 AM

By accepting that "Christ has one nature composed of both" you introduce a new kind of divine nature different from that of the Father and of the Spirit, since Christ is God. Thus you introduce a second God, and Christianity is no longer a monotheistic religion. This is one funtamental problem in mixing divine nature with anything else.

 

Divinity of Christ must remain unmixed.

 

I think the problem you are trying to resolve with the accepttance of a composed nature is solved by the proposition of unmixed, but unseparated Divine and Human Nature that is called "Hypostatic union".  This is an Inconceivable Mystery. 


Edited by Lakis Papas, 09 January 2014 - 11:07 AM.


#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

The issue of Christ's natures is a major dividing point between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox

 

I am not sure this is so: the supposed difference is not as it was once perceived.



#5 Lakis Papas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

At the same time, I think Christ has one nature composed of both. This is because everything has a nature or character, which is the total of its properties. 

 

This proposition is not right when it is applied to God-man. 

 

The human nature of Christ is lacking concrete existence when it is considered in itself and apart from its union with the Word (as a hypostasis). All men have a human nature that in itself provides its hypostasis. In Christ this is not so. The humanity of Christ gains its hypostasis only in union with the person of Word of God. The human nature of Christ, therefore, is both an-hypostatic (not personal in itself) and en-hypostatic (personalized by union with the eternal person of the Son) - this is a peculiarity happening only in Christ.

 

The hypostasis of the human nature is the person. So for me, my human nature is hypostasized by the created person Lakis - a personhood which is personalizing my nature. But for Christ, His human nature was created with no personality (an-hypostatic) and it was united with the eternal person of the Son thus becoming en-hypostatic - a person was not created for Christ's nature. It is not possible for us, humans,  to be created with no personality, or else our an-hypostatic nature would be a kind of impersonal fantom. For Christ, it was possible because of His transcendental conception, where Virgin Mary contributed the human nature and through the Holy Spirit the Son was conceived as God-man. 

 

The hypostatic union denotes that the union of natures, in Christ, took place in His hypostasis. There was no physical mixture taking place between them, and at the same time, as they were united in the Person of Christ, they can not be separated by any means. That is, you can not spit a Person at all.

 

So, we have a Theandric Person, a God-man. In this one Person, the natural characteristics of each nature interact with each other only through the person of the Son, but not directly. Thus we say that Christ, as a single and indivisible person suffered in the flesh and that Christ as Man ascended in heaven. It is not possible for a person to participate in something and his nature to stay uninvolved, and vice versa. Now, this axiom is valid in Christ too. The natures are interlinked through His Divine Person and at the same time remain distinct and unconfused.


Edited by Lakis Papas, 09 January 2014 - 01:27 PM.


#6 Jack R.

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:55 PM

By accepting that "Christ has one nature composed of both" you introduce a new kind of divine nature different from that of the Father and of the Spirit, since Christ is God. Thus you introduce a second God, and Christianity is no longer a monotheistic religion. This is one funtamental problem in mixing divine nature with anything else.

 

This is true if you mean that "Christ has one [Ousia] composed of two [Ousias]" which is not what the non-chalcedonians believe at all.

 

The two Ousias or Essences were united "WITHOUT CONFUSION, MINGLING, ALTERNATION,..." 

 

The MiaPhysis of the Oriental Orthodox is not MiaOusia as the above quote implies.

 

The non-chalcedonia/ Oriental Orthodox confess that Christ has all the properties of divinity and all the properties of humanity, including natural will an engergy belonging to humanity in Him. 

 

When some confess One Nature from two, they do not mean One Essence From Two.  By the English word [Nature] which means "Physis" to some and "Ousia" to others, the Oriental Orthodox mean One concrete reality of the Logos Incarnate is both completely God and completely man at the same time.  The Oriental Orthodox do not speak in terms of Ousia, generally, but they mean the same thing as the Chalcedonians.

 

One [Nature] from [two] means One concrete reality from two realities- Divinity (1) and Humanity (2) and now you have one fully Divine Human Being.

 

This, the non-chalcedonians believe, better guards against any hint of Nestorianism, which the non-chalcedonians were struggling so hard against since the Third Ecumenical Council, whereas the phrase "In Two Physis" would not, according to the Chalcedonians.


Edited by Jack R., 09 January 2014 - 04:59 PM.


#7 H. Smith

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:28 PM

I think that there are far more important things to do than theorize about this.  I ask "what is the practical implication of believing one or the other?"  Will you become closer to God by believing in one?  Will you find it easier to achieve a degree of theosis?  Will you find things to bring you into loving communion with your neighbour, or things to divide you from him?

 

A better way is to accept what your bishop tells you.

 

I know several orthodox bishops, including one copt, all are holy men, all shine with the light of Christ, all teach prayerfulness and communion in the Liturgy.  Whatever words they use to describe Christ, they all appear to have the same vision.

 

Also I warn about Canons.  Canons are not laws, and they can only be seen in their historical context.  I know this is controversial, and I ask your forgiveness if it offends you.  If Canons were laws then we would depose all the bishops whose diocese overlaps with another - and that's all of them in Western Europe and the New World.  And having served with some, I can tell you this would not enrich our faith.

 

Discuss it by all means, but don't vote, don't judge it, that's the Bishop's job.

 

Richard,

 

It's nice talking with you. I'm at about a 3 to 1 ratio of Orthodox I talk to who say we cannot accept that Christ has a "divine and human" nature. Many of the counterarguments to this go over my head. When Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox each explain why they say one nature or two, what they say makes sense to me. It makes sense that everything has a (singular) character (nature), and also that humanness and divinity are natures.

 

I feel that often what is happening is what you referred to- people following their bishops. So the Patriarch says X, the church fathers of their tradition say X, and then X is just repeated, while the opposite side says Y, and people fall in line. So there is not enough self-reflection or reassessment.On the other hand, Yes, I know that the way the Church works is that people follow their bishops, so you are not wrong in giving this advice.

 

You asked an excellent question to start with. My first idea is that I care about both the Nonchalcedonian and Chalcedonian churches and would like them to heal their difference. At the same time, I think that the issue should be a simple one, and that it is important for the Churches to be of one mind concerning the main creeds of the Ecumenical Councils.

 

But I do think I am spending too much time on this, because I worry that I did not persuade many people about this.

 

It was helpful what you said about canons not being laws. There are some canons for example that we don't follow. You mentioned about overlapping jurisdictions- perhaps that is not the best example, because many Orthodox think it would be better if we had more uniformity in our jurisdictional arrangements in America.



#8 Jack R.

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:46 PM

The NonChalcedonians do not mean a composite essence when we say Miaphysis.  For us, Physis does not equal Ousia (essence).
 

 

If the essence is not one composite essence that was formed by mixing, confusion or alteration, then there must be two essences in the One Hypostasis, or two essences in the One Miaphysis, where "Physis" is not "Essence".  We do not believe in a MiaOusia.


The One Miaphysis (the One Nature) has all the properties of humanity (including natural human will and energy, one essence) and all the properties of Divinity united together without these two sets of properties ( essences)  mixing together, mingling together or being confused with each other.

Every Coptic Orthodox Priest, for example, prays in the Divine Liturgy in the final confession before communion, that Christ took flesh from the Theotokos and made it one with His Divinity, "without mixing, without alternation, and without confusion"

 

One Set of Properties belonging to the Hypostasis of the Logos united without confusion, alteration, or mixing to another set of properties belonging to humanity  without confusion, alteration, or mixing = two distinct sets of properties united together without separation.
 

These two sets of properties exist in the One MiaPhysis (what we call One Nature) of the Incarnate Logos.

 

If this is so, there is no difference at all in the Christology of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox.



#9 Jack R.

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:54 PM

Having said the above, the non-chalcedonians do not go out of their way to emphasise the distinction so much to the point where it appears, or can be perceived, that the emphasis  or overemphasis on the distinction of the properties (which we all confess are unmixed, unmingled, and unconfused) sounds like splitting Christ into, not only two sets of properteis, but two distinct centers of acting, willing, and decision making, such that it appears AS THOUGH Christ is two persons, though we now know the Chalcedonians do not intend this.

 

Likewise, to be fair, it could be see how the emphasis on the unity of the Hypostatic Union in the One Single Person of Christ the Incarnate Logos can appaer to as though it were sounding like Eutechianism, but this charge, I feel, is complete unjustified.


 

 

 

Euteches and Apolinarius espoused "In One Nature" heretically.  Nestorius and Theodore of Mopsuesta espoused "from (or in) two natures" heretically.  Chalcedonians and Nonchalcedonians condemn both heretical understandings. Non-Chalcedonians aim to prtotect vigourously against Nestorianism, Chalcedonians aim to protect vigourously against Eutechianism.  Both groups really have the same faith and are fully Orthodox.



#10 Lakis Papas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:17 PM

Every Coptic Orthodox Priest, for example, prays in the Divine Liturgy in the final confession before communion, that Christ took flesh from the Theotokos and made it one with His Divinity, "without mixing, without alternation, and without confusion"

 

The phrase "Christ took flesh from the Theotokos and made it one with His Divinity" needs clarification from the Chalcedonian point of view. 



#11 H. Smith

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

Hi Jack,

 

I really wish I could keep this simple. You commented to Lakis:
 

 

This is true if you mean that "Christ has one [Ousia] composed of two [Ousias]" which is not what the non-chalcedonians believe at all.

 

I would be the odd man out, however I can think that everything has "a" essence, substance, or being, and that therefore Christ has one essence composed of both and thus He is consubstantial with both.

 

However, neither Chalcedonians nor nonChalcedonians assert this. They both agree that Christ has two essences and one hypostasis, but it looks like many Eastern Orthodox disagree with many Orientals over how many natures he has. However, some EOs and OOs both agree that He has a united nature and also two natures that compose it and yet are not removed.

 

You are right that:

The two Ousias or Essences were united "WITHOUT CONFUSION, MINGLING, ALTERNATION,..." 

 

The MiaPhysis of the Oriental Orthodox is not MiaOusia as the above quote implies.

 

The non-chalcedonia/ Oriental Orthodox confess that Christ has all the properties of divinity and all the properties of humanity, including natural will an engergy belonging to humanity in Him

 

You commented:

 

 

By the English word [Nature] which means "Physis" to some and "Ousia" to others, the Oriental Orthodox mean One concrete reality of the Logos Incarnate is both completely God and completely man at the same time.  The Oriental Orthodox do not speak in terms of Ousia, generally, but they mean the same thing as the Chalcedonians.

 

One [Nature] from [two] means One concrete reality from two realities- Divinity (1) and Humanity (2) and now you have one fully Divine Human Being.

 

The word essence or substance mean "ousia" and vice verse, as translated in the Nicene Creed in Latin and Greek.

The Orientals use the word physis, because their discourse was in Greek, rather than English. The discussion therefore is over the meaning of physis, which means nature.

 

Personally, I think Essence (ousia), Nature (physis), and Hypostasis are all different concepts as they are different words with different connotations. At least, this is an easy way for me to understand it.

 

For me, a nature refers much more to properties, while essence refers much more to something more concrete, like an "ether." For example, we say someone has a good nature, something has a hot nature, the weather can have a windy nature one day and a calm one the other. But is hard to say that something has a windy essence one day and a calm one another day. Essence is much more inherent, internal, and "core" than nature, which means just a collection of properties, I think.

 

The other idea, which I sometimes hear is that Orientals mean something different than Eastern Orthodox when they say nature, such that Orientals really mean hypostasis. Personally I am doubtful about that two, because again, those are two different words, and I think that they would know the difference. It is strange for me to think that Christ's hypostasis came from two hypostases- divinity and humanity, although I do think that of course He came from the Father and His human mother. And they do not say His hypostasis came from two hypostasis, I think, unless they mean His Father and mother. But actually, I am not even sure it can be said His hypostasis came from His mother, since it seems to me His hypostasis was just the Word, while it was His essences and natures that came from both.

 

Now, even if they don't mean hypostasis by "nature", but just "concrete reality," this is still tough for me. Unless we are talking about His Father and mother both being the concrete realities, it is hard for me to see in what way those two "concrete realities" came together - without incurring the kinds of objections raised against the idea of a "united nature".

 

Namely, when I say a nature is simply a character, and Christ's character came from two other collections of properties (characters- divine and human), some object that this means God is not "one", but that I created a new God. (Personally I do not really get that objection, because we already say Christ is God and has two natures and essences). But anyway, if we define Christ as a concrete reality as composed of two concrete realities, which as Cyril says are "preserved", it seems that we would run up against the same kind of objection- and even more so, because now we have proposed not just that Christ's collection of properties are "complex", but also that his concrete reality is complex. Granted, Cyril says Christ's nature is complex. But in any case, I feel like the same kinds of objections made to my idea of a united collection of properties would remain in the case you mentioned.

 

Now, do I think you are right that they mean a concrete reality different than a collection of properties? Well, first I think they don't mean "essence", like many Eastern Orthodox do, when they say "nature", because they treat the number of both differently.

 

For them, a nature must be something "united" in a person or anything. Everything to them that is a whole must have "a" nature. Does this mean that they think it is just a collection of properties, or something more fundamental and core? I have seen both- an Armenian writer, Grigor Yan who administrates the Agape Dialogue agreed that a nature is a collection of properties and that everything has one such collection or totality, while Fr. Peter Farrington contrasted essence with nature, and said nature is something much more concrete and inherent. In my view, Grigor is correct and nature just means a collection of properties because that is how we generally use it in speech. Nature does not have to be concrete and inherent, as in a "windy nature" that can vanish the next day. Instead, it is because Orientals focus on Christ's unity that they also say that His Nature is one, and by this they do not realize that something can also have two collections of properties (natures), while still having one "nature."

 

In fact, I would go as far as to say that if humanity and divinity are "concrete realities", that Christ is still in both of them, and this by definition means He can really be in two concrete realities. He has the fullness of humanity and the fullness of divinity and those has both "realities".

 

Thus I say that for me much of this is a terminological difference, and the problem becomes stronger when one rejects that the other view (not two natures, not two "concrete realities" - human and divine, not one nature, etc.) is incorrect.



#12 H. Smith

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:42 PM

By accepting that "Christ has one nature composed of both" you introduce a new kind of divine nature different from that of the Father and of the Spirit, since Christ is God. Thus you introduce a second God, and Christianity is no longer a monotheistic religion. This is one funtamental problem in mixing divine nature with anything else.

 

Divinity of Christ must remain unmixed.

 

Hi Lakis,

 

Your objection reminds me of the kind of objection some of our fellow Eastern Orthodox made to me on the Kuraev forum. Namely, that if I propose one nature made of two, this must mean mixing of the two natures, and God must be unmixed. To mix two natures would be to mix God.

 

However, Cyril explained that thinking the one nature is a composite does not mean it is mixed, as Cyril wrote to Succensus in his letter:
 

 

For it is not the case that one is truly predicated only ot things which are simple in nature, but it may also be predicated of those which have come together in composed, an example being the siutation of man, composed from soul and body... Therefore those who say that if the Word incarnate is one nature it follows... that there will be confusion and mixutre... speak needlessly.

 

That is, in the passage above, Cyril talks about Christ's "one nature" and explains why it can be a composite made of two things like a man is made of body and soul, in which case it is not considered mixed.

 

Likewise, when I say "nature" being a united, I just think that nature can be a collection of all properties. It does not mean the properties mix.

 

Immortality is a property and so is mortality. Christ has both of them, and one can think of a collection of properties that are "mortal and immortal". To think of this collection does not mean the immortality has been mixed.

 

However, I can say that talking about quite different properties being in a totality could mislead someone into thinking they are mixed and create Monophysitism, just as, for example the Orientals claim that someone who thinks there is no collection of properties must be a "Nestorian", who does not see Christ as a united person.

 

Of course, Orientals insist that by asserting the properties can be thought of as a total collection they are not creating one uniform quality ("Monophysitism"), and we insist that by claiming Christ still has two natures or groups of properties that we are not saying He is two people ("Nestorianism").



#13 Nicolaj

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:23 PM

Das Konzil von Ephesus (431)
stellt gegen Nestorius, den Bischof von Konstantinopel,
klar, dass in Christus zwei Naturen, die göttliche und die
menschliche, in einer Person vereint sind, ohne dabei die
Verschiedenheit der zwei Naturen zu beseitigen.

 

The Fathers in Ephesus concluded against the opinion of Nestorius, that in Christ two natures, the divine and the human, are united in one person, without diminishing the differences between these two natures.



#14 Lakis Papas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:31 PM

Dear H. Smith,
 
Severus, St. Cyril and others used the analogy of the soul-body regarding man, while talking about the human-god relation regarding Christ. Chalcedonians and anti-Chalcedonians used this soul-body analogy and gave different meaning to it. 
 
Αs he does in other cases, when St. Cyril writes "if the Word incarnate is one nature..." refers to Christ as a person: "if the Word incarnate is one person...", but he uses the word "nature". He also does this in his famous phrase "One incarnate nature of God the Word". 
 
According to the interpretation provided by the fathers of Mount Athos: "whenever the Church Fathers used the word 'nature' regarding the very substance of Christ they misused it, in place of the word 'hypostasis', and when they were talking about what Christ is they used again the word 'nature' using it in place of the the word 'essence' ".
 
Trying not to reproduce the linguistic problems of the past, the Chalcedonians support single hypostasis and double natures after the union (double wills,double energies) , without introducing two hypostases or persons.
 
I think it's typical position of anti-Chalcedonians to fail to count the two natures of Christ after the hypostatic union (some say it is due to anti-Nestorian obsession, but this leaves some Chalcedonians unsatisfied).

Edited by Lakis Papas, 09 January 2014 - 08:37 PM.


#15 H. Smith

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:41 PM

Das Konzil von Ephesus (431)
stellt gegen Nestorius, den Bischof von Konstantinopel,
klar, dass in Christus zwei Naturen, die göttliche und die
menschliche, in einer Person vereint sind, ohne dabei die
Verschiedenheit der zwei Naturen zu beseitigen.

 

The Fathers in Ephesus concluded against the opinion of Nestorius, that in Christ two natures, the divine and the human, are united in one person, without diminishing the differences between these two natures.

I think that this summary of Ephesus may not be right. They did reject Nestorius, but it is hard to think the Council rejected two natures in one person. Rather, they rejected Nestorius, who basically said two natures in two persons.

 

Granted, Nestorius did not say that word for word, but that would be a different thread. :)



#16 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:38 PM

There is some misunderstanding of the quoted text and its translation: Ephesus certainly rejected Nestorius's teaching, and did affirm the Orthodox doctrine of Christ having two natures, divine and human, in one Person Who is Theanthropos.



#17 Jack R.

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:16 AM

The phrase "Christ took flesh from the Theotokos and made it one with His Divinity" needs clarification from the Chalcedonian point of view. 

Peace and grace to you,

 

as explained in post 8,9, and  10 above, The Logos of the Father took Complete Humanity from the Virgin Theotokos and made it His Very Own.  The Incarnate Logos is One Single Reality, One Physis who is both completely God and completely Man- a Miaphysis, as St. Cyril taught: "Miaphysis to Theo Logo Sesarkomene" 

 

The Logos Made His Humanity HIs Very own... Christ's Humanity and His Divinity are ONE PERSON.  When we say, "He made humanity one with His Divinity, we mean that The Humanity and the Divinity belong to the Same Person... not two persons.  

 

When we say, "He made it One with His Divinity" we mean that we do not address the humanity as a different person, but as the Logos Himself.  When people spoke to Christ when He was physically on earth... they were speaking to the Logos Incarnate, One and the same person- a concrete reality who is both God and Man... a Miaphysis. 

 

Nestorianism would not have this.  Nestorianism would have the Humanity of Christ as not the same as the Logos, but the non-chalcedonians insist that He made His Humanity One with His Divinity because it is the same Person, so that there is no distinction when you are talking to the Man Jesus or the Logos of the Father... the two are ONE. 

 

That is what is meant by "He made it one with His Divinity"

 

All suspicion that this "one with His Divnity" is monophysitism is immediately erased when the same statement is said in the liturgy in the SAME sentence as "without alteration, confusion, mixture, or separation" and that "His divintiy never parted from His humanity for a single moment or a twingling of an eye"

 

There is no distinction in Person when speaking to the Humanity of Christ because the Humanity is One with the Divinity... One and the same person... One concrete reality, One MiaPhysis distinguished, as St. Cyril expressly states, "in thought alone".

 

This is different that speaking about the "two Ousia" with the Chalcedonians are very keen on focussing on in their struggle against Eutechianism and Appolinarianism, which the non-chalcedonians also condemn .



#18 Jack R.

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:32 AM

I think posts 6, 8, and 9 above are clear in explaining that we believe the same thing. If we don't use the word "nature" in English because it means different things, but speakin specifically in terms of essence and properties, you can see the problem is resolved.

 

Whenever one says, "nature" today, and thinking back to what stood for that word in the original Greek and Latin, including Ousia, Physis, Hypostasis, etc, both sides will understand different things.  Even the word Hypostasis used to refer to the underlying "substantia" or substance, equivalent to essence.  By Physis (nature) some understood "essence" or "Ousia" (also "nature), others undestood Hypostasis as "nature" at differnet times. 

 

Howeve, posts 6, 8, and 9 above clearly identify that the Logos Incarnate has all the properties of humanity and all the properties of Divinity united together in One person without confusion, alteration, mixing or separation.

 

This is what is meant by the Chalcedonians that Christ the incarnate Logos has two natures(Dyophysis), by which they mean two Ousiai (in Chalcedonian language) and it is also exactly what is meant by the non-chacedonians when they say that the Incarnate Logos has One Nature (MiaPhysis), in Cyrillian language. Dyophysis for the chalcedonians tends to mean (Two Ousiai or two essences). MiaPhysis, as used by Cyril and the modern Oriental Orthodox means simpy God with all His Divine Properties in a realy Hypostatic union with all the Human Properties in a concrete reality making the One Persons of the Divine Logos Incarnate.

 

The minute anyone today speaks of accepting or not accepting two natures and they use this term, everyone will understand it differently partly because of what the word can mean and the differnt things that "nature" referred to in the past.



#19 Kosta

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:38 AM

Dear Smith,

 

Your assumption has certainly been rejected by the 3rd. 4th and 5th Ecumenical councils. It is also rejected by the miaphysites. Orientals simply want to safeguard the unity of the Person of Christ, they do not believe in any co-mingling of the natures, do not accept any increase or decrease in the divine Trinity. Orientals explain that the hypostatic union is the way the human nature is composed of a body, and soul in a true intimate union, the physical and spiritual remains distinct but there is no division or mixture instead both operate synergistically constituting the whole anthropos.

 

The canon 7 of the 5th council is simply upholding Cyrillic theology which the Orientals believe in. The whole point of the council was to reconcile with the miaphysites  so it clearly sanctioned the expression, what the canon anathemizes is eutychianism and apolinarianism.

 

 

Also I think you have a misunderstanding of the canons. It is the canons themselves which allow the reception of heretics by chrismation only, and they even sanction the more lenient process of a denunciation of heresies and confession of faith and right to the Communion cup.  There is no such thing as rebaptism, a Synod makes a policy decision on how to receive heterodox based on whether the sect follows the proper form. The Synod can revoke or change this policy decision, and a bishop can overrule the policy altogether if need arises. It is the canons themselves that allow for leniency.



#20 Jack R.

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:38 AM

I have leaned not to speak using the word "nature" when speaking to others who may understand it differently because of the historical differences and the ambiguity of the word back then and now.  Almost, always, trying to understand each other will fail once two sides argue about One Nature Vs. Two Natures, because of the reasons sited in posts 6, 8, and 9 above.

 

One group says, One Nature, meaning One MiaPhysis... a concrete reality and person who as all the properties of divinity and humanity in One Person where thsoe properties have not been mixed or confused or altered

 

Another group says Two Natures, meaning Two Ousiai... to describe the same thing but thinking that they are disagreeing wiht those who speak about the Hypostatic Union in Cyrils language of "MiaPhysis to Theo Logo Sesrkomene" which in no way negates "two distinct essences or sets of properties"

 

When we talk about MiaPhysis we are affirming Two Ousiai, but our way of speaking and our Tradition does not have that kind of expression since the Thired Ecumenical Council, but the idea is exactly the same.






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