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Lloyd John Ogilvie, former U. Senate chaplain and longtime pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, will The former, on the other hand, speaks of the Incarnation as a fulfilment of the Love of God , of his desire to be present and living amidst humanity, to "walk in the garden" with us. Moltmann favours "fortuitous" incarnation primarily because he feels that to speak of an incarnation of "necessity" is to do an injustice to the life of Christ. Moltmann's work, alongside other systematic theologians, opens up avenues of liberation Christology.


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In short, this doctrine states that two natures, one human and one divine, are united in the one person of Christ. The Council further taught that each of these natures, the human and the divine, was distinct and complete.

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This view is sometimes called Dyophysite meaning two natures by those who rejected it. Hypostatic union from the Greek for substance is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of two natures, humanity and divinity, in Jesus Christ.

A brief definition of the doctrine of two natures can be given as: "Jesus Christ, who is identical with the Son, is one person and one hypostasis in two natures: a human and a divine. The First Council of Ephesus recognised this doctrine and affirmed its importance, stating that the humanity and divinity of Christ are made one according to nature and hypostasis in the Logos.

The First Council of Nicaea declared that the Father and the Son are of the same substance and are co-eternal. This belief was expressed in the Nicene Creed. Apollinaris of Laodicea was the first to use the term hypostasis in trying to understand the Incarnation. The Nestorian Theodore of Mopsuestia went in the other direction, arguing that in Christ there were two natures dyophysite human and divine and two hypostases in the sense of "essence" or "person" that co-existed. The Chalcedonian Creed agreed with Theodore that there were two natures in the Incarnation. However, the Council of Chalcedon also insisted that hypostasis be used as it was in the Trinitarian definition: to indicate the person and not the nature as with Apollinarius.

Thus, the Council declared that in Christ there are two natures; each retaining its own properties, and together united in one subsistence and in one single person. As the precise nature of this union is held to defy finite human comprehension, the hypostatic union is also referred to by the alternative term "mystical union. The Oriental Orthodox Churches , having rejected the Chalcedonian Creed, were known as Monophysites because they would only accept a definition that characterized the incarnate Son as having one nature.

The Chalcedonian "in two natures" formula was seen as derived from and akin to a Nestorian Christology. However, the Oriental Orthodox have in modern ecumenical dialogue specified that they have never believed in the doctrines of Eutyches, that they have always affirmed that Christ's humanity is consubstantial with our own, and they thus prefer the term "Miaphysite" to refer to themselves a reference to Cyrillian Christology, which used the phrase "mia physis tou theou logou sesarkomene".

In recent times, leaders from the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches have signed joint statements in an attempt to work towards reunification. Although Christian orthodoxy holds that Jesus was fully human, the Epistle to the Hebrews , for example, states that Christ was 'holy and without evil' The question concerning the sinlessness of Jesus Christ focuses on this seeming paradox.

Does being fully human require that one participate in the "fall" of Adam , or could Jesus exist in an "unfallen" status as Adam and Eve did before the "fall," according to Genesis 2—3? Evangelical writer Donald Macleod suggests that the sinless nature of Jesus Christ involves two elements. The assertion is that Jesus did not commit sin, nor could he be proven guilty of sin; he had no vices. In fact, he is quoted as asking, "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?

The temptation of Christ shown in the gospels affirms that he was tempted. Indeed, the temptations were genuine and of a greater intensity than normally experienced by human beings. Jesus was tempted through hunger and thirst, pain and the love of his friends. Thus, the human weaknesses could engender temptation. The temptations Christ faced focused upon his person and identity as the incarnate Son of God.

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MacLeod writes, "Christ could be tempted through his sonship. I must forget all else and all others and all further service until that is clear.

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The communion of attributes Communicatio idiomatum of Christ's divine and human natures is understood according to Chalcedonian theology to mean that they exist together with neither overriding the other. That is, both are preserved and coexist in one person. Christ had all the properties of God and humanity. God did not stop being God and become man. Christ was not half-God and half-human. The two natures did not mix into a new third kind of nature. Although independent, they acted in complete accord; when one nature acted, so did the other. The natures did not commingle, merge, infuse each other, or replace each other.

One was not converted into the other. They remained distinct yet acted with one accord. Some now disregard or even argue against this "doctrine" to which most denominations of Christianity ascribe. This section looks at the Christological issues surrounding belief or disbelief in the virgin birth. A non-virgin birth would seem to require some form of adoptionism. This is because a human conception and birth would seem to yield a fully human Jesus, with some other mechanism required to make Jesus divine as well. A non-virgin birth would seem to support the full humanity of Jesus. William Barclay: states, "The supreme problem of the virgin birth is that it does quite undeniably differentiate Jesus from all men; it does leave us with an incomplete incarnation.

Barth speaks of the virgin birth as the divine sign "which accompanies and indicates the mystery of the incarnation of the Son. Donald MacLeod [57] gives several Christological implications of a virgin birth:.

The discussion of whether the three distinct persons in the Godhead of the Trinity were of greater, equal, or lesser by comparison was also, like many other areas of early Christology, a subject of debate. In Athenagoras of Athens c. On the other end of the spectrum were tritheism as well as some radically subordinationist views, the latter of which emphasized the primacy of the Father of Creation to the deity of Christ and Jesus's authority over the Holy Spirit.

During the Council of Nicea, the modalist bishops of Rome and Alexandria aligned politically with Athanasius; whereas the bishops of Constantinople Nicomedia , Antioch, and Jerusalem sided with the subordinationists as middle ground between Arius and Athanasius. Theologians like Jurgen Moltmann and Walter Kasper have characterized Christologies as anthropological or cosmological. These are also termed 'Christology from below' and 'Christology from above' respectively.

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An anthropological Christology starts with the human person of Jesus and works from his life and ministry toward what it means for him to be divine; whereas, a cosmological Christology works in the opposite direction. Starting from the eternal Logos, a cosmological Christology works toward his humanity. Theologians typically begin on one side or the other and their choice inevitably colors their resultant Christology. As a starting point these options represent "diverse yet complementary" approaches; each poses its own difficulties.

Both Christologies 'from above' and 'from below' must come to terms with the two natures of Christ: human and divine. Just as light can be perceived as a wave or as a particle, so Jesus must be thought in terms of both his divinity and humanity.