Saturday, September 19, 2015

95 Theses, #38: The Nature(s) of Christ

To see the introduction and disclaimers for my 95 Theses, first go to: 95-Theses-Introduction

Prerequisite: Thesis #35

 (Icon: Christ Pantocrator, Greek, 13th century)

38.) The Nature(s) of Christ - Christ is considered by Christian theology to be “fully man and fully God,” having both natures in their entirety in one person. The divine nature, being outside of time and space, is still able to enter the restrictions of time and space as a full instantiation of divine moral character, but certain “circumstantial” aspects of divine reality (such as his being outside of space and time), being as they are attributes relating to his creation of the universe and not his essential nature, do not need to be transposed into the human instantiation. God’s full essence, then, his eternal “love,” was present in Christ, united indivisibly (but not blended) with a full human nature. In his human nature, he shared in our volitional capabilities, our developmental aspects, and all the other attributes of human mind and body. The one area in which his human nature was somewhat different than ours is that his human nature was the result of Mary’s Yes, of a human nature from her that had freely given a definitive consent to union with God’s nature, thus recapturing the intended direction and essence of human nature, Jesus was “without sin.” He did not suffer from the proclivity towards sin that the rest of us do, because from the very beginning he was the firstborn of the new humanity, untouched by the Fall because of humanity’s (through Mary) new Yes to God. He still had to live in a world broken by sin, and so experienced sin’s effects, but his own nature was untouched by sin. And, unlike the first humans, he freely chose at each step of his journey to orient himself consistently toward God rather than himself, and so in himself he carried the Yes of human nature to its fullest degree. Thus, within his own person the divine nature and the restored human nature were brought into full union.

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