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3 Natures in Christ - Printable Version

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Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Gregory I - 07-23-2011

The second ecumenical council of constantinople

Constantinople II

Capitula, Canon 7

7

"If anyone using the expression, in two natures, does not confess that our one Lord Jesus Christ has been revealed in the divinity and in the humanity, so as to designate by that expression a difference of the natures of which an ineffable union is unconfusedly made, [a union] in which neither the nature of the Word was changed into that of the flesh, nor that of the flesh into that of the Word, for each remained that it was by nature, the union being hypostatic; but shall take the expression with regard to the mystery of Christ in a sense so as to divide the parties, or recognising the two natures in the only Lord Jesus, God the Word made man, does not content himself with taking in a theoretical manner the difference of the natures which compose him, which difference is not destroyed by the union between them, for one is composed of the two and the two are in one, but shall make use of the number [two] to divide the natures or to make of them Persons properly so called: let him be anathema."

The difference is theoretical because the union of the two natures is real. Therefore, there is One Being, Christ who is fully God and Fully man, In two natures that have come together into an ineffable union, so that after the union we do not recognize "two" except abstractly and theoretically. If we recognize "two" really, then we divide the one Christ. All the Properties of Humanity remain without change or confusion or Diminution, and all the Properties of the Divinity remain without Diminution in the one incarnate Christ- Fully God, and Fully Man. Of the manhood according to the virgin, of the Divinity according to his eternal generation, and in each nature that has come together into an ineffable union.

Remember, Hypostatic does not mean "Person" in the sense of a rational being. It is an individuated subsistence. It is something that has a concrete reality and that exists in itself as a single "thing." The Hypostatic union therefore is the Composition of Christ in the unity of a single Personal being. Just as man has "One nature" though he is clearly composed of two, so in Christ there is One Incarnate Nature that is the Hypostatic Union of the two natures.

So St. Cyril taught. The teaching of Cyril is the seal of orthodox Christology.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - UnamSanctam - 07-24-2011

(07-23-2011, 01:01 AM)Gregory I Wrote: The second ecumenical council of constantinople

Constantinople II

Capitula, Canon 7

7

"If anyone using the expression, in two natures, does not confess that our one Lord Jesus Christ has been revealed in the divinity and in the humanity, so as to designate by that expression a difference of the natures of which an ineffable union is unconfusedly made, [a union] in which neither the nature of the Word was changed into that of the flesh, nor that of the flesh into that of the Word, for each remained that it was by nature, the union being hypostatic; but shall take the expression with regard to the mystery of Christ in a sense so as to divide the parties, or recognising the two natures in the only Lord Jesus, God the Word made man, does not content himself with taking in a theoretical manner the difference of the natures which compose him, which difference is not destroyed by the union between them, for one is composed of the two and the two are in one, but shall make use of the number [two] to divide the natures or to make of them Persons properly so called: let him be anathema."

The difference is theoretical because the union of the two natures is real. Therefore, there is One Being, Christ who is fully God and Fully man, In two natures that have come together into an ineffable union, so that after the union we do not recognize "two" except abstractly and theoretically. If we recognize "two" really, then we divide the one Christ. All the Properties of Humanity remain without change or confusion or Diminution, and all the Properties of the Divinity remain without Diminution in the one incarnate Christ- Fully God, and Fully Man. Of the manhood according to the virgin, of the Divinity according to his eternal generation, and in each nature that has come together into an ineffable union.

Remember, Hypostatic does not mean "Person" in the sense of a rational being. It is an individuated subsistence. It is something that has a concrete reality and that exists in itself as a single "thing." The Hypostatic union therefore is the Composition of Christ in the unity of a single Personal being. Just as man has "One nature" though he is clearly composed of two, so in Christ there is One Incarnate Nature that is the Hypostatic Union of the two natures.

So St. Cyril taught. The teaching of Cyril is the seal of orthodox Christology.

Again, I am not arguing in favour of Nestorianism, nor denying the hypostatic union of the Divine and Human natures in becoming the one Christ. What I first questioned and now better understand, is where the rational soul of the human nature of Christ fits in.

Yes, after reading the acts of Ephesus and Chalcedon, I gained great admiration for St. Cyril.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Gregory I - 07-24-2011

I know, I just prefer Alexandrian Christology because of its emphasis on the need for Christ to have been God so that his death could have eternal value, as God.

I basically follow St. Cyril and give Pope St. Leo the nod.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - UnamSanctam - 07-24-2011

(07-24-2011, 06:44 PM)Gregory I Wrote: I know, I just prefer Alexandrian Christology because of its emphasis on the need for Christ to have been God so that his death could have eternal value, as God.

I basically follow St. Cyril and give Pope St. Leo the nod.

Let us not forget the efforts of Pope St. Celestine I at council.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Gregory I - 07-24-2011

Fun fact, the copts have the tradition that when Joseph of Arimathea was taking Christ down from the cross, he saw his eyes open. Seeing that he exclaimed:

"Holy God!
"Holy Mighty!"
"Holy Immortal"
"Who was crucified for us, have mercy on us!"

THis story highlights that divinity of Christ was never separated from his humanity for an instant or the twinkling of an eye.

It also gives them a reason to give the Trisagion a Christological Context.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Doce Me - 07-25-2011

(07-23-2011, 01:01 AM)Gregory I Wrote: .. in Christ there is One Incarnate Nature that is the Hypostatic Union of the two natures.

Show me where the Church explicitly uses the terminology "One Nature" when describing the Hypostatic Union.  Don't explain how you conclude it must be so, show me where the Church actually uses the phrase "has one [Incarnate]Nature" or "in one [ Incarnate] Nature".  In the Hypostatic Union Christ is One Incarnate God or One Incarnate Logos, but nowhere have I read that these make one nature.  Christ has a Divine and a Human nature.  This is how He can say  "I and the Father are one"  but also "the Father is greater than I" - as God, and as Man.  It is also how He can pray to do the will of the Father - He has both a human and a Divine will, although they never conflict.  He is our Redeemer both because He is Divine and because He is Human,  specifically because He is Incarnate God. The ineffable union between the Natures is not denied by saying there are two.  Even if the difference between them is in some sense "theoretical", the Church continually says there are two Natures. 

I agree with you for the most part, and of course when you quote the Church and St. Cyril.  But I don't agree with the terminology you use here.

It's hard to even use correct words about the Hypostatic Union, since it is a central ineffable mystery of Christianity.



Re: 3 Natures in Christ - UnamSanctam - 07-26-2011

(07-25-2011, 10:39 PM)Doce Me Wrote:
(07-23-2011, 01:01 AM)Gregory I Wrote: .. in Christ there is One Incarnate Nature that is the Hypostatic Union of the two natures.

Show me where the Church explicitly uses the terminology "One Nature" when describing the Hypostatic Union.  Don't explain how you conclude it must be so, show me where the Church actually uses the phrase "has one [Incarnate]Nature" or "in one [ Incarnate] Nature".  In the Hypostatic Union Christ is One Incarnate God or One Incarnate Logos, but nowhere have I read that these make one nature.  Christ has a Divine and a Human nature.  This is how He can say  "I and the Father are one"  but also "the Father is greater than I" - as God, and as Man.  It is also how He can pray to do the will of the Father - He has both a human and a Divine will, although they never conflict.  He is our Redeemer both because He is Divine and because He is Human,  specifically because He is Incarnate God. The ineffable union between the Natures is not denied by saying there are two.  Even if the difference between them is in some sense "theoretical", the Church continually says there are two Natures. 

I agree with you for the most part, and of course when you quote the Church and St. Cyril.  But I don't agree with the terminology you use here.

It's hard to even use correct words about the Hypostatic Union, since it is a central ineffable mystery of Christianity.

Again this is all a matter of etymology. Many use different words for the same meaning. (e.g. Substance, essence, nature, ouisia, etc.)

There is nothing wrong in saying Christ has two natures. In fact, quite the contrary. What is wrong is to deny the union of those natures in one person of Christ.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Gregory I - 07-26-2011

Okay Doce, in the capitula of Constantinople II

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; but from these expressions shall try to introduce one nature or substance [made by a mixture] 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. Wherefore there is one Christ, both God and man, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his humanity."

Obviously, the Ecumenical council acknowledges the legitimacy of the use of the phrase "One incarnate nature of God the Word" provided it be understood as hoy St. Cyril described it. i.e. Nature = being. For St. Cyril, the word Physis (Nature/being) and Hypostasis (Individual Subsistence) are synonymous. Furthermore, by saying one INCARNATE Nature of God the Word, we confess that a real and physical union was made of the natures in the closest possible way, but it did not consist of fusion or co-mingling.

Another way to Put it is , "It is the nature of Christ to be incarnate. For the Word took flesh from the Virgin and made it one with himself. After the Union, which is permanent, There is not simply "man" conjoined to the "Word." But rather, there is The Word himself incarnate, ETERNALLY and for all time hereafter. The flesh is not simply an instrument he disposed of, it is something he made one with his divinity, without confusion, change or commingling."

When the Word "became" Christ, his divine nature did not change, nor was it added to. He did not change into a new nature, rather, because Christ is ONE in his person, and in his being, and every individual subsistence (hypostasis) relates to a single nature (physis) it is said there is one Nature of the Word, but Incarnate.

You have to understand, in philosophy, every subsistence comes forth from its own nature. This is what Cyril understood. For him, it would be contradictory to think "One Subsistence with TWO natures?! Clearly you are referring to two Subsistences, therefore you divide Christ!"

I subscribe to Chalcedon and Ephesus and take BOTH their terminologies as one.

THe Alexandrians Say Christ is Of the Divinity and Of the Humanity, and is one Incarnate Christ, with one Incarnate nature, which is a composite nature of TWO natures.

The Antiochians/Romans Say The one Christ exists IN two natures.

I accept both, and I use each expression to complete the other. Christ is IN two natures that are OF the humanity of his mother, and the divinity of his Father that have come INTO a full, real, physical and hypostatic union, after which union the natures are distinguished from each other in theory alone, so as to not divide the One Christ. All this terminology is from the 3rd, 4th and 5th ecumenical councils.


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Doce Me - 07-30-2011

Skipping any direct discussion of your last post, here's  the Church's definition of the Two Natures of Christ.  (at the Council of Chalcedon)
Quote:COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON 451
Ecumenical IV (against the Monophysites)
Definition of the Two Natures of Christ *

DNZ 148 Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all teach that with one accord we confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in human nature, truly God and the same with a rational soul and a body truly man, consubstantial with the Father according to divinity, and consubstantial with us according to human nature, like unto us in all things except sin, [cf. Heb. 4:15]; indeed born of the Father before the ages according to divine nature, but in the last days the same born of the virgin Mary, Mother of God according to human nature; for us and for our deliverance, one and the same Christ only begotten Son, our Lord, acknowledged in two natures,' without mingling, without change, indivisibly, undividedly, the distinction of the natures nowhere removed on account of the union but rather the peculiarity of each nature being kept, and uniting in one person and substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son only begotten God Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as from the beginning the prophets taught about Him and the Lord Jesus Himself taught us, and the creed of our fathers has handed down to us.

Therefore, since these have been arranged by us with all possible care and diligence, the holy and ecumenical synod has declared that no one is allowed to profess or in any case to write up or to compose or to devise or to teach others a different faith.

To repeat, Christ is  "in two natures" and the "distinction of the natures [is] nowhere removed on account of the union, but rather the peculiarity of  each nature being kept, and uniting in one person and substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son only begotten God Word, Lord Jesus"

Two Natures united in One Person. 

Perhaps St. Cyril was using the word "Nature" in a different way when he spoke of  "One Incarnate Nature".  But here the Church has plainly disallowed speaking of just One Nature in Christ.  There are Two.

==============
He is another very pertinent quote from St. Cyril:

Quote:The Letter of Cyril to John of Antioch.

(Found in Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. IV., col. 343 and col. 164; and in Migne, Pat. Græc., Tom. LXXVII.  [Cyrilli Opera, Tom. X.], col. 173.  This is the letter which is often styled “the Ephesine Creed.”)
...
We confess, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, perfect God, and perfect Man of a reasonable soul and flesh consisting; begotten before the ages of the Father according to his Divinity, and in the last days, for us and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin according to his humanity, of the same substance with his Father according to his Divinity, and of the same substance with us according to his humanity; for there became a union of two natures.  Wherefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord.

According to this understanding of this 252unmixed union, we confess the holy Virgin to be Mother of God; because God the Word was incarnate and became Man, and from this conception he united the temple taken from her with himself.

]For we know the theologians make some things of the Evangelical and Apostolic teaching about the Lord common as pertaining to the one person, and other things they divide as to the two natures, and attribute the worthy ones to God on account of the Divinity of Christ, and the lowly ones on account of his humanity [to his humanity].

These being your holy voices, and finding ourselves thinking the same with them (“One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,”) we glorified God the Saviour of all, congratulating one another that our churches and yours have the Faith which agrees with the God-inspired Scriptures and the traditions of our holy Fathers.

St. Cyril recognizes and appreciates the theologians who divide some things as to the two Natures.
============

Finally, here is what Pope St. Agatho says about the Hypostatic Union.
Quote:ST. AGATHO 678-681
ROMAN COUNCIL 680
The Hypostatic Union *

[From the dogmatic epistle of Agatho and the Roman
Synod "Omnium bonorum spes" to the Emperors *]

288 We acknowledge (indeed) that one and the same our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, from two and in two substances subsists, unconfusedly without change, indivisibly, inseparably [see n.148], never the difference of natures destroyed on account of the union, but rather the property of each nature preserved and concurring in one person and in one subsistence; not shared or divided in a duality of persons, nor fused into one composite nature; but we acknowledge, even after the subsistential union, one and the same only begotten Son, the Word God, our Lord Jesus Christ [see n. 148], neither each in a different way, nor the one and the other, but the very same in two natures, that is, in the Godhead and in the humanity, because neither has the Word been changed into the nature of the flesh, nor has the flesh been transformed into the nature of the Word; for each remains what by nature it was; indeed in contemplation alone do we discern a difference of the united natures in that from which unfusedly, inseparably, and incommutably it was composed; for one from both and each through one, because at the same time there arc present both the dignity of the Godhead and the humility of the flesh, each nature, even after the union, preserving without defect its own property, "and each form doing with the mutual participation of the other what it holds as its own (work); the Word doing what is of the Word, and the flesh accomplishing what is of the flesh, the one of which shines forth in miracles, the other subnuts to injuries." * Thus, it follows that as we truly confess that He has two natures or substances, that is, the Godhead and the humanity, unfusedly, indivisibly, incommutably, so also He has both two natural wills and two natural operations, since the rule of piety instructs us that perfect God and perfect man is one and the same Lord Jesus Christ [see n. 254-274], because it is shown that the apostolic and evangelical tradition and the teaching of the holy Fathers, whom the holy, apostolic, and Catholic Church and the venerable Synods accept, have taught us this.

This speaks for itself as to there being two Natures in Christ (not one).


Re: 3 Natures in Christ - Gregory I - 07-30-2011

The One unique being of Christ is indivisible. The Natures cannot be divided and separated. They can be distinguished in theory, because the Union of the Two natures in Christ resulted in a single BEING: The Incarnate Word. It is in the sense of BEING that St. Cyril uses the Term Physis. Whoever speaks of separation or division is one with Nestorius.

After the Union of the Two Natures in Christ, we do not think of them as two: For it is ONE Person who acts, it is ONE Person who wills, it is ONE Person who both walks on the sea as God, yet WALKS as man. Now, it is Proper for ONE being to have ONE nature, although that nature may be composite. So, man has ONE COmposite nature of Spirit and flesh. He retains all the Natural Properties of Spirit, and all the Natural Properties of Flesh. Yet man is not said to have two natures, but one.

So too in Christ who is of the Divinity according to the Father, and of the Humanity of His mother. He is one person IN two Natures...THAT HAVE COME TOGETHER INTO A HYPOSTATIC UNION. AN Hypostasis is a single and individual subsitence. Every single and individual Subsistence has a single subsistent form, therefore, every hypostasis has one nature. But That Nature is Composite.

THat is what Hypostatic UNION means. YOu are not thinking of Person as St. Cyril did. YOu are thinking of Person in terms of rational intellect and individuated consciousness. St. Cyril wasn't talking about the Ego. He was talking about Christ's BEING on earth. All the Non-Chalcedonian doctors teach this, and the Catholic Church has agreed with them.

I made the same mistake before. Being and nature in St. Cyril do not refer to the ego, or the Id or the Self. He purely means the manifestation of physical and hypostatic being, which is ONE.

I affirm all Chalcedon Said. I also affirm Everything Ephesus Said. I also Affirm Everything St. Cyril said, and I take them together, and indivisibly so.

Christ being IN two natures, if not properly explained, is Nestorianism. The 5th Ecumenical council declared such.