Posts tagged ‘christology’

November 8th, 2013

Christo-Monism and Why You Should Know the Term

by Max Andrews

Barth has made many contributions to Christian theology. Christo-monism came to light in contrast to liberal anthropocentrism.  It adopts ecclesial-centrism of Catholicism.  With this, Jesus Christ is the center and focus of all revelation and so of all God’s elective and redemptive work for humanity.  Therefore, all doctrinal headings are brought in naturally under Jesus Christ.

June 30th, 2013

Conceptualizing the Two Natures of Jesus

by Max Andrews

Reduplicated predication is means of understanding the relationship between the natures of Jesus Christ.  When Scripture attributes human qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his human nature.  Likewise, when Scripture attributes divine qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his divine nature.

June 8th, 2013

Understanding the Two Natures of Jesus

by Max Andrews

Reduplicated predication, in the Christological sense, is a means of understanding the relationship between the natures of Jesus Christ.  When Scripture attributes human qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his human nature.  Likewise, when Scripture attributes divine qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his divine nature.

With this notion, we may be able to solve the issue of predicates to the Person.  The predicate property of the person is with respect to one nature (i.e. ignorance with humanity and omniscience with divinity—hunger and fatigue with humanity, necessity with divinity).

But now there is a problem.  Once we apply this to Jesus, such predicates like omniscience and ignorance, and impeccability and humanity seem to be incompatible.  It poses a problem with limitations.  Is this irremediable?  I don’t believe so.

May 1st, 2013

Playing the That’s-Not-in-the-Bible Card

by Max Andrews

I recently had an online exchange with someone who was arguing against middle knowledge.  He included statements like, “Supposedly Scripture teaches man has a free will” and, “That’s no where in Scripture.”  You’ll be surprised how much doctrine we believe to be true is not explicitly stated in Scripture.  Here are a few things that are not explicitly stated in Scripture that are commonly accepted doctrines:

  • The Trinity:  I believe God exists in a trinity of persons and I believe the Bible teaches the trinity but only implicitly.  You’re not going to find “trinity” or “three persons in one being” anywhere in the Bible.
  • The Hypostatic Union:  There isn’t a clear articulation of the coherence of the hypostatic union in Scripture.  The Bible merely teaches what it was and that it happened.
  • Dispensationalism:  Find the Greek word for that, I dare you.  Hebrew will get you extra points, go.  (For the record, I wouldn’t consider myself a dispensationalist).
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April 25th, 2013

Heilsgeschichte

by Max Andrews

Heilsgeschichte (hiyels-ge-sheek-te), when translated from German it literally means “salvation history.”

Heilsgeschichte is an organizing principle developed by Oscar Cullman for the various New Testament titles for Jesus. Cullman’s Christology is centered on what Jesus has done in history.

It is a characteristic of New Testament Christology that Christ is connected with the total history of revelation and salvation, beginning with creation. There can be no Heilsgeschichte without Christology; no Christology without aHeilsgeschichte which unfolds in time. Christology is the doctrine of an event, not the doctrine of natures. (Oscar Cullman, The Christology of the New Testament, rev. ed. [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1963], 9).

January 28th, 2013

Q&A 8: The Logical Coherence of the Trinity

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Max,

Do you know of any viable philosophical-theological conceptualizations of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity which capture the fullness of the doctrine whilst not lapsing into the heresies of either Modalism, Tritheism or, of course, any form of Unitarianism? Thank you for all you do.

- B. P. Burnett.

Answer:

Brendan,

Thanks for your question! I chose this one for this week because I happen to use the Trinity as an example in my philosophy class when teaching logic, which I’m currently teaching. So, this is rather good timing!

To give a recollection for those who may not be familiar with the Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and important heresies I’ve provided a simple chart:

June 20th, 2012

Why the Hypostatic Union Must be Affirmed

by Max Andrews

Without the incarnation we would have no Savior. Sin requires death for its payment. God cannot die (according to the necessity of God and ontological rationale). So the Savior must be a human in order to be able to die.

 But the death of an ordinary man would not pay for sin on an eternal level; therefore, the Savior must also be God. We must have a God‐Man Savior (Heb. 10:1‐10). If Jesus is not the Christ and had not risen from the dead (Rom. 1:4 affirms resurrection as an affirmation of divinity) then we are without a Savior still lost in our sin and our faith is in vain (I Cor. 15:17).

He must also be a God‐Man in order to be a sympathetic High Priest (Heb. 4:14‐16). Our High Priest can feel our weaknesses because He was tested as we are. But God is never tested, so it was necessary for God to become man to be able to be qualified to be a sympathetic Priest. The God‐Man must exist also in order to be a qualified Judge (John 5:22, 27). The Son of Man is given as a title to link Him to His earthly ministry and mission. Why must it be necessary for the Judge to be human and to have lived on earth? So that He may put down all excuses people may try to make. Thus the Incarnation has ramifications in relation to our knowledge of God, to our salvation, to our daily living, to our pressing needs, and to the future.

May 8th, 2012

The Search for the Historical Jesus: The Period of No Quest

by Max Andrews

After the first search for the historical Jesus ended in 1906 the next search, or better said, the period of no quest, began and lasted until 1953.  At this point there was little optimism for finding the “historical Jesus.” Karl Barth (1886-1968) was the key figure during this time.  He claimed that the Jesus of history has little to do with theology–the Christ of faith is more important.  Barth ushered in Neo-Orthodoxy–an emphasis on sin, sovereignty, grace, and faith.  This was a de-emphasis on what actually happened.

This led to form criticism: An analysis of the forms in which the narratives of the gospels come down to us. Not literary, but their pre-literary oral forms. The idea was that different kinds of stories have distinctive kinds of forms that effect how they should be interpreted: miracle stories, healing stories, apothegms, etc.

April 27th, 2012

A Disgrace Worthwhile

by Max Andrews

For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—he had the honesty and courage to take his own miedicine.  Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair.  He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself.  He has himself gone thorugh the whole of human experience, from the trivial irrtations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death.  When he was a man, he played the man.  He was born in poverty and died in dsiagrce and thought it well worthwhile.

From Dorothy Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World (Eerdmans, 1969), 14.

February 29th, 2012

Important Heresies and Orthodoxy

by Max Andrews

Important Heresies and Orthodoxy

GROUP

TIME

HUMAN NATURE

DIVINE NATURE

CHURCH COUNCIL

Docetism

1st Century

Denied—only an appearance of humanity

Affirmed

Ebionism

2nd Century

Affirmed

Denied—Jesus was natural son of Joseph and Mary

Arianism

4th Century

Affirmed

Denied—Jesus was not eternal; similar to, but not same as God Condemned by Nicea, 325

Apollinarianism

4th Century

Divine Logos replaced human spirit

Affirmed

Condemned by Constantinople, 680

Nestorianism

5th Century

Christ was two Persons

Condemned by Ephesus, 431
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