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“Without confusion, without change, without division, without separation” Heresies about Christ: Part Two 7 November 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "“Without confusion, without change, without division, without separation” Heresies about Christ: Part Two 7 November 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Without confusion, without change, without division, without separation” Heresies about Christ: Part Two 7 November 2010

2 Some Christological whimsy from our brethren in the Church of Rome

3

4 Back to Richard Hooker “There are but four things which concur to make complete the whole state of our Lord Jesus Christ: his Deity, his manhood, the conjunction of both, and the distinction of the one from the other being joined in one.” – Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity

5 Four ways of going wrong  “his Deity”  “his manhood”  “the conjunction of both”  “the distinction of the one from the other”

6 Four ways of going wrong  “his Deity” Arianism – Council of Nicaea, 325  “his manhood”  “the conjunction of both”  “the distinction of the one from the other”

7 Four ways of going wrong  “his Deity” Arianism – Council of Nicaea, 325  “his manhood” Apollinarianism – Council of Constantinople, 381  “the conjunction of both”  “the distinction of the one from the other”

8 Four ways of going wrong  “his Deity” Arianism – Council of Nicaea, 325  “his manhood” Apollinarianism – Council of Constantinople, 381  “the conjunction of both” Nestorianism – Council of Ephesus, 431  “the distinction of the one from the other”

9 Four ways of going wrong  “his Deity” Arianism – Council of Nicaea, 325  “his manhood” Apollinarianism – Council of Constantinople, 381  “the conjunction of both” Nestorianism – Council of Ephesus, 431  “the distinction of the one from the other” Eutychianism – Council of Chalcedon, 451

10 Arianism  Arius of Alexandria (c )  “There was a time when he was not.”  The Son is a created being.  The Son and the Father do not have the same essence (ousia).

11 What was Arianism all about?  One view: It was an intrusion of Greek philosophy into Christian thinking.  Arius makes a sharp separation between God and creatures.  As part of this, he emphasizes that God is completely beyond our understanding – apophatic theology.  Another view: Arius was trying to preserve Christianity from making itself culturally irrelevant.

12 What was Arianism all about?  A third view: Arius was defending strict monotheism.  Rowan Williams: “Those who have insisted that the Arian controversy is essentially about hermeneutics are right.... It is not primarily a disagreement about the god of the philosophers versus the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (this is a tension as sharply felt in Catholic as in heterodox writers).”

13 The futility of proof-texting  Proverbs 8:22 – “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.”  Psalm 45:7-8 – “You love righteousness and hate iniquity. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.”  Romans 8:29 – “For those whom he fore- knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.”

14 Enter Athanasius  Athanasius of Alexandria (c )  Athanasius argued that by going wrong about the person of Christ, Arius also went wrong about the work of Christ.  He also argued that Arius made Christian practice incoherent.

15 Time for a Council  Constantine summoned all the bishops of the Church to Nicaea for a council in 325.  250 bishops (of about 1800) attended.  In the end, only two bishops sided with Arius.  The Council authorized a Creed that would explicitly repudiate the ideas of Arius. But what should it say?  Homoiousios or homoousios?

16 Four ways of going wrong  “his Deity” Arianism – Council of Nicaea, 325  “his manhood” Apollinarianism – Council of Constantinople, 381  “the conjunction of both”  “the distinction of the one from the other”

17 Apollinarianism  Apollinarius (c. 310-c. 390) was a leading anti-Arian, friend of Saint Athanasius, and Bishop of Laodicea.  He denied that there was a human mind or soul in Christ.  You can see how this is an anti-Arian move.

18 Does this sound Apollinarian?  “The Word assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, through belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become a sufficient exchange for all....  It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren....  For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required....  For the solidarity of mankind is such that, by virtue of the Word's indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all.”

19 What’s wrong with Apollinarianism?  Gregory of Nazianzus: “That which was not assumed is not healed, but that which is united to God is saved.”  The Council of Constantinople (381) condemned Apollinarianism, ratified the anti-Arian doctrine of the Council of Nicaea, and affirmed the divinity of the Holy Spirit against the Pneumatomachoi.

20 Next week  We’ll finish Christological heresies, and then move on to...  Heresies about the Church: “No, your bishop does not have cooties.”


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