OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)

Do you believe that OO and EO together are truly the same church?

  • Yes

    Votes: 77 52.0%
  • After reunification

    Votes: 49 33.1%
  • No

    Votes: 22 14.9%

  • Total voters
    148

NicholasMyra

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peterfarrington said:
Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?
I think he's a Divine Person who became human, and is thus a man. In one sense it is alright to call him a "human person" because any person who is a human is a human person. On the other hand, because that Person (Hypostasis) is the same pre-existent Logos, he is not a human Hypostasis which somehow began at his incarnation.

Goodnight for now, Father. Thank you for the discussion.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
In one sense it is alright to call him a "human person" because any person who is a human is a human person.
This is exactly the problem. The question is: to be fully human, do you have to be a (created) human person. The answer is no. In the Incarnation, the Uncreated person of the Word assumed a created nature, making it truly His, yet he never ceased, in His personal reality, to be Uncreated.

No one is saying He became the category or genus, humanity. What is being said is that He became of-one-essence with us, just as He is of-one-essence with the Father.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
peterfarrington said:
You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?
I am criticizing what appears to be a very low view of humanity. Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God. Yes, Christ walked on water because he was God, but he was also man. He did these things as a man, too. He healed, and his disciples could also heal. He drove out demons, his disciples also had something of this power. Christ is the judge; and the saints will judge angels, the Apostles the tribes of Israel. Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?
Where did you get this idea that in order for Christ to be fully human, He had to be limited by His humanity, in such a way as if one and the same Christ were not also God?

I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water. Therefore, your hypothesis that Jesus always chose to be limited by His humanity, as if He was a mere man, is false. Now what is important to remember is that Jesus did in fact walk on the water in His humanity. The point is not that the Divinity does one thing proper to it, the humanity another proper to it; to the contrary, the one subject, the Word, Who performs all these actions, is at one and the same time Divine and Human.

Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?
He did everything He did wholly, never partially, as man, because He is human, but also at the same as God, because He is Divine.

Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God.
First off, the saints don't have a hypostatic union with God. They are created persons. Jesus Christ, the Theanthropic hypostasis, is an Uncreated Person. The union of God and man in Jesus Christ is hypostatic, not merely energetic. It is different from the union of God with the saints. You do seem to be flirting with Nestorius here.


I suggest you read or reread On the Incarnation. You will find it clarifies a lot of this.
 

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peterfarrington said:
Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?
I wonder if one of the issues going on is that of nature verses person?   For example, cats all share the same nature as cats, humans have in come the same human nature, but each human person is different in person, so is each cat.  I see Christ as having a human nature and divine nature, but as one person.  The natures and the person are never separated.  His Human nature was, like ours, made in the Image of God but it was also in union with which that Image was created, the Divine nature.  God created each of our individual persons, but unlike us, the person of Christ already existed as the Logos prior to the incarnation, but with the incarnation He now has a human nature also.  I see His natural human nature submitting to the divine nature, but also the divine nature submitting to the limitations in many ways to His human nature.  For example, He grew in wisdom, He hungered, He Thirsted, etc., but also His human nature, body and soul, submitted to His divine nature.  So, He fasted, his human nature being in complete obedience to his divine nature, and sustained by the power of the divine, while his divine nature experienced the fast, being tempted in His person in all things.   In every action, it seems to me, it was both natures working together in the person of Christ.  
 

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I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.
Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  :p  

Maybe this well help in  how I am seeing the situation and how most likely I am in error.   I am coming from the idea from essence/energy view.   If correct, which I am most sure I am not, this view would mean that God is Love as scripture says, but He would also be things such as Faith, Mercy, Compassion, etc.  These things we partake of, and it transforms us that we become these things as long as we remain in Him.  After all it was Christ who said that we would do even greater things.
 

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Mivac said:
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.
Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  :p 
St. Peter could not have chosen to do so without God's assent. Jesus could choose at will to walk on water, because He is God.
 

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JLatimer said:
Mivac said:
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.
Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  :p  
St. Peter could not have chosen to do so without God's assent. Jesus could choose at will to walk on water, because He is God.
St. Peter sank because he suddenly lacked faith.  I believe those who truly become faith can and will walk on water, move about from location to location, etc.   I am thinking of the monk who came to his master saying he had mastered his passions what more is there?  His master responded by lifting his hand saying, you can become fire, and fire enveloped his hand.  How about how, St. Mary of Egypt was seen in prayer actually levitating in the air?  I am sure there are many more examples, of Saints, who had become and were able to do things, beyond what we see as natural, because of their union with God.

So, the question on my mind is how does this relate to Christ Human nature?  I think, His human nature was fully energized by his divine nature in hypostatic union.  That is, He being born of the seed of David, at His incarnation, from the moment of conception, His human nature was fully Love, Faith, etc., but also which he grew in stature and wisdom, which is why the workings of His human nature could go against the laws of nature as man see's them.  We can become like He is in His human nature because we are brought into union with His human nature.  I think, it is amazing, that we can be, as it were, plugged into Christ Jesus, a part of Christ, and become like Christ in His human nature, us being mere created beings, becoming little Christ.  I think part of the danger of mixing the human and divine nature is that we would become truly divine in nature/essence, hence the necessity of the distinction.
 

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JLatimer said:
This is exactly the problem. The question is: to be fully human, do you have to be a (created) human person. The answer is no. In the Incarnation, the Uncreated person of the Word assumed a created nature, making it truly His, yet he never ceased, in His personal reality, to be Uncreated.
I agree, JLatimer. But in terms of mental contemplation it is alright to call Jesus a human "person" in the sense that he is a Person who became human, but that Person itself is and was Divine. I am not speaking about ontological personhood or some such thing.

Jesus is God who became Man. Therefore he is both 100% man and 100% God.

If Jesus is not really a man then the Scriptures lie.

JLatimer said:
You do seem to be flirting with Nestorius here.
Quite the opposite. If anything I'm being a form of monophysite.  ;) Perhaps you turn to calling me Nestorian because you cannot comprehend a God who remains truly un-circumscribed while being truly circumscribed at the same time.

Neither can I, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
 

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JLatimer said:
Where did you get this idea that in order for Christ to be fully human, He had to be limited by His humanity, in such a way as if one and the same Christ were not also God?
He's not being limited by his humanity. He uses his humanity in concert with his Divinity. And he uses his humanity the same way he wants us to use ours, in a manner that enables us to use ours to do the mighty works of God by grace.

JLatimer said:
First off, the saints don't have a hypostatic union with God. They are created persons. Jesus Christ, the Theanthropic hypostasis, is an Uncreated Person. The union of God and man in Jesus Christ is hypostatic, not merely energetic. It is different from the union of God with the saints.
It is not different. It is both/and.

He is both God and the perfect human saint.

I suggest to you this podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_incarnation_do_we_really_believe_it
 

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I'd really like Fr. Peter and JLatimer and anyone else who has time to listen to the Fr. Hopko podcast. I think you'll both find it edifying:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_incarnation_do_we_really_believe_it

(and yes, JLatimer, I have read On the Incarnation)
 

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I've been trying to think of a Father who speaks of the Word becoming A man, rather than becoming flesh, or becoming man, and I am struggling.

i. The Definitio of Chalcedon doesn't say he became A man.

ii. Constantinople II says..being made flesh...made man...union made with flesh...one of the Holy Trinity has been made man...

iii. Constantinople II condemns those who say that the Theotokos is the mother of A man.

iv. St Cyril says..One Lord Jesus Christ was made flesh and made man...was both made flesh and made man...He assumed flesh and blood...knowing One Only Christ, the word of God the Father with His own Flesh...He was made Flesh, not as He is said to dwell in the Saints...He made Indwelling of such a kind as the soul of man too may be said to have in regard to its own body...the Word of God united (as we already before said) to Flesh Personally...He became also Man...He became One with His own Flesh, He rendered it Life-giving...both the human and besides the Divine expressions have been said by One...He united human nature to Himself Personally and underwent fleshly birth from the very womb, not as though by any necessity or for the sake of His own Nature needing the Birth in time.

v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 

If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema.

vi. The Scriptures don't seem to say that he became A man, but that he became flesh.

I have stuck to just EO accepted sources, but I can't find it said that the Word became A man, and this seems significant. Certainly he became properly human but I can't even find the EO councils saying that he became A man.

Do you have sources or references that do use this terminology?

It is important to me that especially in Christology we follow the Fathers, and just as St Severus was a strict disciple of St Cyril, so I try to be a careful disciple of St Severus, but I have not referenced his writings here and have stuck to universal and EO ones. None of them seem to say that Christ became A man.

What do you think is the difference between saying that the Word became flesh, and your position that he became A man, which seems to me to extend his human experience into saying that he was and is a human person. Why can I not find Fathers who agree that he became a human person?

Also, why do you think it an absurdity to say that the Word could cease to be incarnate if he chose? His taking flesh does not affect his own divine nature at all. He remains who he is when he becomes incarnate and would remain who he is if he laid down his humanity. Why do you consider this absurd?

Thanks

Father Peter
 

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The Spirit is His own Spirit. When a saint prays he has no power of his own. He receives a grace that is external to himself.

When Christ says 'Be healed', the sick man will be healed.

When a saint or any Christian says, 'Be healed', whether or not the sick man will be healed depends entirely on the will and action of God.
 

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peterfarrington said:
The Spirit is His own Spirit. When a saint prays he has no power of his own. He receives a grace that is external to himself.

When Christ says 'Be healed', the sick man will be healed.

When a saint or any Christian says, 'Be healed', whether or not the sick man will be healed depends entirely on the will and action of God.
I see, thank you. That clarifies it then. :)
 

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peterfarrington said:
v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 
Can you post the quote here?
 

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NicholasMyra said:
peterfarrington said:
v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 
Can you post the quote here?
"If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema."
 

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Severian said:
NicholasMyra said:
peterfarrington said:
v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power.  
Can you post the quote here?
"If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema."
Well I don't disagree with that at all. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Christ is God.

But I am sure that there is nothing wrong with believing that Christ's humanity was energized by the Holy Spirit of God, as well as the fact that it is hypostatically united to the Logos!

Both/and. Christ is both God and the perfect saint.
 

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peterfarrington said:
Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?
The Fathers all testify that the Word became man. Therefore the incarnate God can be referred to as a man (who is also God), and one is not compelled to believe that the Scriptures lie or are speaking in riddles. The word "a" is a big deal when fighting Nestorians, but not here.

If I were saying that God united himself to, assumed, shared a title with, or inhabited a man, sure. But I'm not. I'm saying that God became a real human being.

The Scriptures testify:

Authority to MEN.
The MAN Christ Jesus.
The Son of MAN.
The Second MAN is from heaven.
Come, see a MAN who told me all the things that I have done.

Ecce Homo.
 

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peterfarrington said:
But where do you find the Fathers saying what you are saying?

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?
Father,

I am not sure why you keep bringing up this syntactic hang up.

It seems to assigning something to Nicklas' argument he hasn't made.

There seems to more than implication here. Why not expand your problem? I think Nicklas has already addressed your concerns.

He certainly is not saying Jesus was just merely or simply a man. But to say calling Him a man is inaccurate is wrong.

Jesus of Nazareth was a man. That is accurate. Not as precise as people would like to get, nevertheless accurate.

While there is a relationship between accuracy and precision, I think hanging onto this point without amplification is not moving forward one the better and profitable discussions on this board in a long time, for me.

Father, the discussion you and Nick are having and in which others are also participating has been very helpful to me. I would hate to see it start stalling over the many reasons nearly every discussion on the internet does.

EDIT: Posted while Nick was . . . not trying to pile on.





 

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But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.

None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

In Christology words matter. So where are the Fathers who support what you are saying?
 

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peterfarrington said:
None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.
"Therefore Abraham also, knowing the Father through the Word, who made heaven and earth, confessed Him to be God; and having learned, by an announcement, that the Son of God would be a man among men, by whose advent his seed should be as the stars of heaven, he desired to see that day, so that he might himself also embrace Christ; and, seeing it through the spirit of prophecy, he rejoiced."

-St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book XI Chapter VII
 

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peterfarrington said:
But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.
Not in the sense you mean when you say human person. The Person of Christ did not originate in the Theotokos's womb. The Divine Person of the Logos BECAME man.

So you could meet Christ in the flesh, point to him and say, "there stands a man, the Divine Person of God."
 

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"This foolish man [Julian], who confesses the passions with his lips only, hiding his impiety, wrote thus: 'Incorruptibility was always attached to the body of our Lord, which was passible of His own will for the sake of others.'

And in brotherly love I wrote and asked him: 'What do you mean by 'incorruptible,' and 'suffered of His own will for the sake of others,' and 'was attached to the body of our Lord,' if without any falsehood you confess it to be by nature passible? For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures.

But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility, and say that the body which suffered in the flesh on our behalf was not one that was [naturally] capable of suffering with voluntary passions and dying in the flesh, you reduce the saving passions on our behalf to a phantasy; for a thing which does not suffer also does not die, and it is a thing incapable of suffering.' And upon receiving such remarks as these from me he openly refused to call the holy body of Emmanuel passible in respect of voluntary passions; and therefore he did not hesitate to write thus, without shame and openly: 'We do not call Him of our nature in respect of passions, but in respect of essence. Therefore, even if He is impassible, and even if He is incorruptible, yet He is of our nature ' in respect of nature'.

[Compiler's note:] And the rest of the erring fatuity of Julian, which is contained at great length in the epistle, I forbear to record now, matters which are to be found in the many books which this holy Severus composed against Julian."

-OO Saint Severus of Antioch, Epistle to the King (Emperor?) Syriac Chronicle of Zachariah, Book IX Chapter 16
 

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To understand the Julian/Severus controversy was a difficult thing for me, but there is a thread somewhere where EA helped me out with this, albeit with a bit of arguing in the middle.

When we talk about the time of St. Athanasius, he talks about how the flesh is incorrupt due to the union with His divinity.  When we talk about the time of St. Severus, he talks about how the flesh is corruptible due to the flesh being truly flesh.  Would St. Athanasius agree?

On the Incarnation said:
The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus it happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord's body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished. Death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid. Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, " might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death."
This is what St. Severus was saying.  If Julian is confessing that Christ assumed an IMMORTAL body, then how can death occur?  How is that body liable to death?  He just feigned death then if it wasn't liable to it.  So here, St. Severus agrees with St. Athanasius, but Julian's starting point doesn't agree with St. Athanasius on this one.  In fact, St. Severus wouldn't disagree with the special unity the divinity had with humanity, transforming Christ's human nature in an incorrupt fashion, as he demonstrated confirming and admiring St. Cyril's analogy of the fired coal.
 

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But Mina, Severus clearly identifies Orthodox incorruptibility as meaning having no sin and thus not falling under death. No mention of it being a result of a substantial property of divinity at all. Don't you find that strange?

"For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures."

It seems that Severus's idea of incorruptibility is closer to St. Paul's than St. Athanasius'.
 

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But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
 

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minasoliman said:
But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?
 

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Hi Nicholas

I don't think you have fully understood the nature of Julianism.

He insisted conflated the issue of moral and natural incorruptibility and therefore insisted that the humanity which the Word took to Himself was both morally incorruptible (it was sinless), and was also naturally incorruptible (it was immortal). Against him, following St Athanasius, St Cyril and the Cappadoian Fathers, St Severus insists that the humanity of Christ is naturally mortal, while He is morally incorruptible.

St Severus, following the Fathers, teaches that the humanity of Christ is consubstantial with us, but he follows the Fathers in saying that the humanity does not absolutely limit the incarnate Word and that He chooses to allow his humanity to experience those things natural to it, while also raising it above its natural limitations as He chooses.

I believe this is what JLatimer and I have been in agreement on, contrary to your view. Would you say that was fair?

The Julianist view is defective because it means that the Word is not incarnate in our mortal condition, and that all those things which He suffers and experiences are not natural to His immortal and naturally incorruptible humanity. So, according to Julian, he may choose to feel pain, but this is not a pain which belongs to naturally to his humanity.

While for St Severus, following the Fathers, he experiences pain when He chooses, and is not bound by His humanity, but when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity. St Severus is entirely in agreement with St Athanasius. Believe me. I have been a student and disciple of St Severus for 17 years. More than any other he is my patron and I know that he is entirely a disciple of St Cyril, and with him, a disciple of St Athanasius.

I can bark like a dog, but if barking is not natural to my condition then I am acting out being a dog. This is the problem with Julianism.

I think we are all agreed that the humanity of Christ is a true humanity, which is able to experience all those natural and blameless passions which characterise our humanity. But we seem to differ in that JLatimer and I seem to be agreed, based on the teachings of the Fathers, that the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov? Do you not think that if you are able to criticise the teachings of St Cyril, St Athanasius and other Fathers and suggest that they are different or even contrary to St Paul, then you might not understand the issues entirely?

I say that with the best will in the world.
 

NicholasMyra

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peterfarrington said:
when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity...

...the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.
Before Christ's Death and Resurrection, did he ever "lift himself above" (override) his natural and blameless passions? If so, when?

peterfarrington said:
Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
That's what terrifies me.

peterfarrington said:
you might not understand the issues entirely?
I sure hope so.
 

peterfarrington

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It has already been referenced in the writings of the Fathers.

St Cyril says this, and St Severus says it, and St Gregory says it.

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
 

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peterfarrington said:
As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Father, I don't know if I can believe that.

Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Twenty Nine said:
HabteSelassie wrote:
the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.
But on the other hand, does not "from" leave open the suggestion that the human nature existed apart/before the Incarnation and that there is a mixing of the natures?
Actually it can, and folks from this forum are the ones who helped me sort that out.  Initially, I had an almost Origenian conception of pre-existing humanity based on my own ignorant misinterpretation of the formula, but when you connect the "from" with the doctrine that the humanity of Jesus Christ specifically was not pre-existing before the Incarnation, then the confusion it properly mitigated.  

NicholasMyra said:
Are you saying that Christ's divinity "fed" his humanity, making up for what is "lacking" in humanity when it comes to the natural passions?
Sort of.. Jesus Christ's humanity was 100% naturally human with all the typical human needs, food, shelter, clothing, physical contact, medicine, defecation, etc etc.. Jesus Christ the Word, Eternally Self-Existing, was not subject to these naturally human traits until the Incarnation when by Kenosis He became a human being by Hypostatic Union.  That means in a scientific sense that the Hypostatic body of Jesus Christ, which was fully human including being naturally subject to hunger, to pain, and ultimately to death, and so while the Divine Word existed in Union, He experienced this inherent mortality "in His Flesh"

That is to say, the fully human flesh of Jesus Christ endured these fully human weaknesses, but His lifeforce, His existence, was perpetually maintained and sustained by His Divinity, just as we mortals are perpetually existing in God's Grace and Power of His Divinity to be the Life-Giver and Sustain all of Creation.  The Incarnation then is the perfect example of Synergy, where the fully mortal humanity cooperates with the fullness of Divinity.

Jesus Christ was really hungry, really thirsty, really pained, really angered, really tempted, and ultimately really died, by His humanity.  However, He endured these because of His  OWN Divinity, whereas we all endure these not of ourselves, but of His Divinity, as a gift.  His Divinity was not a gift to His Humanity, rather it was simply a natural and essential part of the Union.  He is as much Human as Divine, and so as a human body Jesus Christ is subject to human weakness, and by His Divinity He eternally overcomes these weakness, unlike ourselves, who inevitably fail and die because we are not self-existing like God, rather we rely upon Him for our entire existence, mind, body, and soul.

Seems the human Jesus is working the mighty works of God without mention of "by one nature versus another" or "by his divinity". Man in union with God can stop tidal waves, walk on water, command the cosmos, heal the sick.
True, but that is man cooperating in synergy with God, where as in the Incarnation, Jesus Christ IS God, and so acts by His own natural faculties, will, and power of God.  The Saints never acted on their own for miracles, these always came from God, Jesus Christ on the other hand, brought about His miracles by His own Divinity which was united in the Hypostatic manifestation of His Person.  As I said before, the natures are not separate, they work together, by nature the body of Jesus Christ is subject naturally to weakness, however by nature His Divinity sustains Himself, just as He sustains all things.  We humans can never do such, without God we would simply stop existing altogether, and technically, so to would the humanity of Jesus Christ, however by virtue of the Union His humanity was fully Himself, and therefore became part of His self-existence.  Remember, that all things exist through their Hypostasis, even God the Father, exists through and by His own unique Divine Hypostasis.  When the Word became Incarnate, the human-divine Hypostasis of Jesus Christ's body became the way in which the Divine Word manifests Himself in Creation.

peterfarrington said:
. The Definition of Chalcedon doesn't say he became A man.
True, but the Nicene-Constantinople Creed specifically does say,"who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man" (at least in the Tewahedo translation)
I think Nicolas is talking logistics and mechanics and we're talking spirituality and theology.  If I am interpreting him correctly, he isn't all wrong, just clumsy in his explanation.  He has been asking all the right questions.  Jesus Christ is fully human, and subject all of humanity by nature, and so is rightfully a "human person" and yet He is also mutually God, however this does not negate His being human (that is the Absorption/Adoption heresies) in the very physical sense.  Ontologically, being God, He almost trumps His Humanity, however in thought and rhetoric, we can say His human body is normal like our own.  As I explained above, what separates His Incarnation from our own human existence, is that our human bodies are not self-existing, and neither was the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, strictly speaking.  However, ontologically, since we know He is God, we also know that He sustains Himself.  His own flesh is subject to the weakness of natural laws, but unlike human beings, He at the same time He sustains the weakness of His own human body the way He sustains all the billions of our own bodies.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

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NicholasMyra said:
minasoliman said:
But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?
Probably not, I don't know.  But the essence of the teaching is the same.  If St. Athanasius were to read the arguments St. Severus is putting forth, considering that St. Athanasius said "Disputes merely about words must not be suffered to divide those who think alike," he probably would agree Christ's humanity is holy and without sin, and that if this is called "incorruptible," then that shouldn't really be an issue.
 

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*bump*

peterfarrington said:
As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Father, I don't know if I can believe that.

Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

peterfarrington said:
As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?
 

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I mean what several of us have already quoted from the Fathers.

Christ did not feel hunger for forty days because as God he raised his own humanity above such a passion for a season. Then at the end of forty days he allowed His own humanity to experience the passion of hunger which was proper to it.

I understand you do not accept this, but it is what the Fathers teach us. And I believe that JLatimer as a ROCOR member and I as a Coptic Orthodox member are in agreement that this is what the Fathers teach.

Where do we go from here? How do you weigh the authority of the Fathers in your consideration of these things?

For me, I pretty much accept whatever St Cyril and St Severus teach, and then reflect on their teachings from a position of acceptance.

Father Peter
 

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peterfarrington said:
I mean what several of us have already quoted from the Fathers.
Christ did not feel hunger for forty days because as God he raised his own humanity above such a passion for a season. Then at the end of forty days he allowed His own humanity to experience the passion of hunger which was proper to it.
And I am trying to understand just what you mean by such a statement. Does the rephrasing I've said above match up with what you believe?


Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

and

Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?

peterfarrington said:
For me, I pretty much accept whatever St Cyril and St Severus teach, and then reflect on their teachings from a position of acceptance.
Is that what they would want?
 

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Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?
I think this question shows you're thinking deeper than you should concerning this.  There's a sense of mystery of the union of the flesh and divinity of Christ.  What is only required of you is that you should know that the human nature Christ took is a real and mortal body with all the natural properties in it, including hunger.  The divinity of Christ is "interwoven" in the humanity (Athanasius) or lightens and transforms the humanity into the glory of the divinity (Cyril), so that what is natural to it can be superseded and transcended, so that any natural property in it the Logos allows, He wills to allow it.  He wills to allow many other things, such as His sadness when meeting at Lazarus' grave, His ignorance of the end of times, His pain and suffering, and laying His own life at the Cross.  It is neither because His humanity is at a "default state of hungerlessness" nor did He "halt His divine intervention," for even in pain, ignorance, sadness, and hunger, the divinity still is there, interwoven in the human nature, transforming and glorifying it.  It is a matter of His will, not of a Julianist version of humanity nor of a lack of divine nature, as in a semi-Nestorian sense.
 
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