Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jesus Christ--a divinized man

This is more or less in response to Turretin Fan's post, which can be found here.

When I say Jesus' human nature is divinized, what do I mean? I do not mean that the divine nature is mixed with the human nature, what I mean is that the union of the two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ makes his human nature divinized such that it participates in divinity to a degree no one else can. Examples of this were in some of my other posts: Peter walked on water because of faith in Jesus, while Jesus walked on water because he was Jesus. So I don't think it is enough to say that Jesus is one person with two natures, one must give an account of how his humanity relates to his divinity apart from just stating they are both there in one person. Orthodox christology states not that two natures come together and we have Jesus Christ, but that the divine Son assumed human nature by "taking the form of a servant", he "became flesh" etc. Humanity was added to the divine person such that the man Jesus Christ is the divine Son--it is thus wrong to say one shakes a normal hand if one shakes Christ's hand, as it is God's hand one shakes. Jesus Christ is a divine person.

Turretin Fan said that Jesus' unique authority does not suggest his humanity is any different than ours. But that depends on what we mean by "different". How does Jesus' human nature participate meaningfully in any miracles? To be consistent, Turretin Fan would have to say that because our human nature cannot perform miracles, it was only Jesus' divinity which performed miracles. But how is that done without falling into some species of Nestorianism?

Turretin fan said "Jesus' unique authority, even when that is expressed according to his humanity, does not suggest a difference in Christ's human nature as compared to our human nature". It is not that Christ's human nature itself is different in kind but, as I said above, the hypostatic union means that Jesus' humanity's participation in divine power is unique and has no parallel because he is God in the flesh, and no one else is or ever was or ever will be. Is it really possible for a non-divinized humanity to exercise all authority? I don't think so, but I don't think a Reformed Christology can say that Jesus' humanity participates in any meaningful way in upholding all things, it is more or less just there as if it is a coat with a divine person within it. Anything god-like is usually explained as being "spiritual" or as something the divine nature does. But if the divine nature "does" something apart from Jesus' human nature that immediately implies a divine person and a human person--which I am sure the Reformed would like to avoid.

So, I would like to ask Turretin (or any one else) in what sense does the person Jesus Christ hold together all things, and in what way does his humanity participate in this without dividing the person?

Note: Added the following clause "give an account of how his humanity relates to his divinity apart from just stating they are both there in one person"


Steve Martin said...

Hos Word constantly speaks to creation and continually upholds it.

How does His humanity participate in this?

I haven't the foggiest idea.

When He walked the earth, He was fulfilling all that needed to be fulfilled so that His sacrifice would be efficacious.

Steve Martin said...

'His' Word ...

sorry about that...

Edward Reiss said...


I don't know how his humanity participates, either. But I believe it does. It seems to me, though, that this constant insistence that Jesus' body is "just like ours" takes no account of his divinity. Indeed, it even looks like his body is a sort of afterthought, it is just hanging out at the right hand of the Father while his divine nature does everything. So, it seems to me we need to maintain that his humanity participates in Jesus' omnipotence or that functionally there are two different persons in the one Christ.

Steve Martin said...

I guess you are right, Ed.

For me, it's always been one of those things I have left up to God.

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