Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Truly God, Truly Man

The great thing about being part of a living church, one that extends two millennia into the past is that many of the hard issues have already been thought through, prayed over, discussed and debated. We are not static in our theological understanding, but we miss out on a great heritage if we think only about what God is "doing today." My ring-sister who so loves Oswald Chambers understands that we can learn from those who came before.

An issue that the early church grappled with was the nature of Jesus, and the early fathers faced a number of heresies about this issue. The extremes were Doceticism, a theology that denied the humanity of Christ, and Adoptionism, which denied the deity of Christ. Between these extremes lay a range of theologies that tried to solve the Man/God dilemma.

In 451, the Council of Chalcedon addressed the issues and decreed what we have come to receive today as orthodoxy: "We with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, consubstantial with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects except for sin; and we do this without confusing, transmuting, or dividing these two natures into separate categories, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person, our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 comments:

Cami said...

Oh, isn't Jesus just WONDERFUL! I love how you explained about those in the faith that have gone before. "The great cloud of witnesses" the book of Hebrews tells us of is important to keep in mind. Our lives are important for eternity, in view of redemption, because of Who Jesus is.

I.I. said...

Sometimes we forget we aren't the first generation of Christians . . . .