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 The Principles of Theology - Article 2

by W.H.Griffith Thomas

ARTICLE 2

<< Part 1. The Divine Nature of Christ

Part 2. The Incarnation Of Christ

The Article continues to employ terms inherited from the controversies of the first five centuries, and it will be well to consider the results before becoming acquainted with the details of the process by which they were arrived at.

1. The Human Nature. “Took Man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance.” This teaches the reality of the human nature of Christ which is so clear in the New Testament. The method of His entrance upon human life shows that He did not assume an adult personality, or else there would have been two persons, the Divine and the Human. Human nature was necessary for the redemption of mankind, and this beyond all else is the reason why our Lord assumed it.

2. The two Natures. “So that two whole and perfect Natures; that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood.” The phraseology is very important, and both the Divine and the Human Natures are described as “whole and perfect”, that is, possessing all the properties perfect in each. According to the orthodox Christology settled at the Council of Chalcedon, it was Human Nature, not a Human Person that the Son of God took into union with Himself. By Human Nature is to be understood all those qualities which the race has in common. By a Human Person is meant a separate individual possessing the distinctive power known as personality. Adam did not transmit his personality, which is incommunicable, but his nature, so that personality can be distinguished from nature. Human nature is organised on a new personality in each individual. There is no concrete humanity, but there are concrete persons.

3. The One Person. “Were joined together in one Person, never to be divided.” This is a further statement of the result of the Incarnation as it affected the Man Christ Jesus as depicted in the Gospels. The union of the two natures in one Person is sometimes called the Hypostatic Union; that is, two natures in one, ὑπόστασις. In the New Testament there is a clear unity of consciousness throughout, and it is often quite impossible to distinguish between the human and Divine elements. It is, of course, a great mystery how two natures can be joined together in one Person, never to be divided, and the distinction between nature and Person must not be unduly pressed. Our knowledge of personality, as of psychology in general, is only small, and it is impossible to fathom the mystery of the union of two natures in one personality. We must emphasise the Divine Nature, the Human Nature, and the Divine Personality, without expecting to solve the problem of their correlation. The consideration of our Lord’s life on earth tends to make some people lose sight of the Divine in the human, and the result is often a merely humanitarian Christ. On the other hand, a consideration of the glorified Lord tends to make some lose sight of the human in the Divine, and the outcome is often a craving for some Mediator between the Divine Lord and ourselves. Our safety will always be found in emphasising and balancing both aspects, the Divine and the human. However difficult it may be to conceive of it, our Lord’s Human Nature was somehow or other taken up into the Personality of the Word, and the three differences between His Humanity and ours: (a) no human Father; (b) no human Person; (c) no sin; do not touch the integrity and perfection of His Human Nature.[1]

4. The One Christ. “Whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man.” Here, again, the Article endeavours to state what is clearly seen in the New Testament, a unity of consciousness in the one life of Jesus Christ, and yet while one Christ, He is very God and very Man. Theology sometimes speaks of this as communicatio idiomatum, that is, the conjunction of natures is so close that we can attribute to the one Person what is really only appropriate to one of the two natures. Thus, we read of “the blood of God” (Acts 20:28); “The Son of Man which is in heaven” (John 3:13); “Crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8).[2] This statement is simply an effort to express what is found in Scripture; the reality of Christ’s Humanity, the reality of His Divinity, and withal the unity of His Personality.

“We can discern in the separate moments of the doctrine a religious justification or necessity, while the synthesis in which they are united is difficult and even bewildering. The constituent elements of the doctrine were the truths which remained after the exclusion of the apparently impossible positions.”[3]
These four statements may be said to sum up the Christology of Chalcedon, which substantially completed the orthodox Christology of the ancient Church, and this is now the common heritage of Greek, Latin, and Evangelical Christendom, except that Protestantism naturally reserves the right of searching afresh into the profound mystery of the Christ of the New Testament. It should never be forgotten that Christ is of necessity infinitely more than any human formula. This is true even of human personality, and much more is it true of the Divine. Statements such as those of the Creeds and this Article are intended to guide and guard our thought, enabling us to form clear conceptions and indicating limits within which our thoughts may move in safety. The decision of Chalcedon cannot be said to preclude discussion, but only to indicate the lines on which it is thought a true statement of Christology will be made. Chalcedon has been rightly described as a lighthouse to show the channel between the reefs of Nestorian Dyophysitism and Eutychian Monophysitism. We may sum up the leading ideas of Chalcedon as follows:

1. The true Incarnation of the Divine Logos.
2. The distinction between Nature and Person.
3. The result of the Incarnation as the God Man, Jesus Christ.
4. The duality of the Natures.
5. The unity of the Person.
6. The work of Christ as based upon His Person.
7. The relative impersonality of the human nature of Christ.

On this subject four heresies are particularly notable and call for study by all who wish to know the process by which the early Church came to its conclusion concerning the Deity and Incarnation of our Lord.
(a) Arianism, 325, which denied the true Godhead of Christ.
(b) Apollinarianism, 360, which denied the perfect Manhood of Christ.
(c) Nestorianism, 431, which denied the unity of the Person of Christ.
(d) Eutychianism, 451, which denied the distinction of the natures of Christ.

Against these four errors the Church, as represented at Chalcedon, emphasised four watchwords. In opposition to Arianism, Christ was declared to be “truly” God (ἀληθῶς); in opposition to Apollinarianism, Christ was declared to be “perfectly” Man (τελείως); in opposition to Nestorianism, Christ’s Person was declared to be “indivisibly” one (ἀδιαιρέτως); in opposition to Eutychianism, the two Natures of Christ were declared to be “unconfusedly” distinct (ἀσυγχύτως).

History Of Christology

Although the Article states the Chalcedonian Christology, it may be well to keep in mind the three periods of Christology indicated by Dorner. (1) Up to Chalcedon the Church insisted on Christ as being very God and very Man. (2) From Chalcedon to 1900 the Church approached, but did not solve, the union of Natures. Before the Reformation the tendency was to lay too great stress on the Divinity and to exclude the true view of His Humanity. Since the Reformation the tendency has been to lay too great stress on the Humanity and to exclude the true view of His Divinity. (3) Since 1900 thinkers have been attempting to realise the unity of Christ’s personal consciousness as seen in the New Testament, and to harmonise this with the clear distinction of Natures, Human and Divine. It will be seen that the Church has been mainly concerned with the adjustment of the dual aspects of the Nature of Christ. This in various forms occupied attention from the third to the seventh century, and is still a subject of controversy. Apart from Rationalism, pure and simple, which makes Jesus Christ nothing but Man, controversy has not been so much directed to the fact of an Incarnation as to how it is to be conceived and explained. Even Chalcedon which, as we have seen, taught the doctrine of the two Natures in the one Person, did not settle the question, as the subsequent Monothelite controversy shows. Moreover, modern thought is widely dissatisfied with the Chalcedon formula because it is considered unreal and impossible on psychological grounds. The Chalcedon doctrine has been particularly criticised during recent years as unsatisfactory.[4] It is said to be untrue to the Gospel picture of Christ, because it is too abstract and because it severs the unity of that picture of Him, destroying the single consciousness of the Gospels and giving us “two abstractions instead of one reality, two impotent halves in place of one living whole”.[5] Then, too, its doctrine of “impersonal humanity” is said to be unthinkable because unreal and untrue to experience.[6] The result is said to be a dilemma, “the Scylla of a duplex personality and the Charybdis of an impersonal manhood”.[7] On this view genuine faith in Christ is not to be identified with adherence to this Christological formula,[8] and the call comes to reconsider the position and to interpret the data, because it is essential to have a Christology.

There have been five general ways of explaining the method of the Incarnation.

1. The doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum. This means, as we have seen, the interpenetration of the human nature by the Divine, each nature communicating to the other its properties because of the oneness of the Personality. This doctrine is associated with John of Damascus, in whose hands it means the permeation of the human and Divine. But, of course, it has the obvious reservations that the human cannot permeate the Divine and the humanity cannot contain the Divinity, so that the communicatio is one-sided, and as the Logos imparts to the human intellect perfect knowledge, and to the human will Divine Omnipotence, the very attributes essential to humanity are really denied to Christ. In reality, this doctrine is a deification of humanity, the Manhood being regarded as the organ through which the Logos manifests Himself. But any real condescension of the Logos is excluded and the humanity is virtually absorbed. This doctrine was fully developed in after times by the Lutheran Church in connection with the Ubiquitarian hypothesis of the Lord’s Supper, which, however, our Church has definitely rejected. The doctrine has been very severely criticised, and Gibbon speaks contemptuously of it as “the deepest and darkest corner of the whole theological abyss”. In the same way modern writers reject it as impossible as a way of explaining the relationship of the Divine and Human in Christ.[9] It is, however, only fair to say that it was never intended to mean any change in the Divine Nature such as would reduce it to the limits of mere humanity, nor does it mean any exaltation of the Human such as would make it entirely different. All that was meant was that the two Natures were so united that the experience which came from their union was one thing, and not two independent lines of activity. Its aim was to preserve the great and necessary truth that the redemption wrought by Christ was in some way dependent on His Person as the Son of God.

2. Gradual Incarnation. This is a view which starts with the two Natures, and by gradual growth from embryonic and infantile unconsciousness arrives at a conscious personality which culminates after the Resurrection. This view is associated with the great name of Dorner, but it cannot be said to solve the problem, for the union of two Natures without as yet a personality is still a question. What is a Nature which has no knowledge, love, and will? In ordinary men it is possible to distinguish between the nature, which is the whole constitution, and the person, which is the self-consciousness alone. But in Christ the matter is different because He had a human soul and will as well as a body.

3. The Kenosis. This means the self-emptying of the Logos. It is based on Phil. 2:5-8, and is said to involve in some way the laying aside of Divine attributes. The theory takes various forms,[10] but in spite of the great names, the profound abilities, and, indeed, the genuine aim of those who advocate it, it may be questioned whether any such Kenosis is possible. Laying aside the use of attributes is one thing, but laying aside the attributes themselves is quite another. Jesus Christ had a Divine Nature and a Divine experience, but it was the latter not the former that He gave up, and instead took a human experience. It was therefore impossible for Him to achieve Manhood by renouncing His Deity, since after He became Man He still had Divine attributes. It was the non-use that constituted the Kenosis. These attributes did not appear, and by a constant act of will He voluntarily laid aside equality with God in order to assume human nature. The true interpretation of the passage on which so much is based is that our Lord did not, because He could not, surrender His essential form of being (μορϕή).[11] This doctrine of the Kenosis is really an attempt to explain the Humanity at the expense of the Deity, and notwithstanding all that has been urged in its favour it really fails, and thought today is tending more and more away from it. It has well been pointed out that a century engaged in “the Quest of the Historic Jesus” would have been unnecessary if the Kenotic theory is true. It is admittedly only true:
“provided we are to give weight to the religious considerations which demand the pre-existence of the Son of God, and also to give weight to the evidence of the evangelists who reported to us all that is known of Jesus Christ.”[12]

But this is to admit that there is no real Kenosis, since such a theory does not “give weight to the evidence of the evangelists”.

4. One recent attempt to solve the problem is a blend of the second and third views stated above. It starts from the Christ of History, and from Him as Redeemer, not merely as Teacher.[13] His manhood was real, individual, and full, and yet He was a personal manifestation of God in human form.[14] His Incarnation and pre-existence are facts, and there was a self-emptying, though this emphasises principle rather than method.[15] Keeping close to the facts, we may say:
“We are faced by a Divine self-reduction which entailed obedience, temptation, and death. So that religion has a vast stake in the kenosis as a fact, whatever the difficulties as to its method may be. No human life of God is possible without a prior self-adjustment of deity.”[16]

This is interpreted to mean a self-abnegation of Deity by which Jesus Christ came to live a life “wholly restrained within the bounds of humanity”.[17] In this view no attempt is made to state the theory of the relations between the Divine and Human in Christ, and there is no reference to the “Word”, or “Son”, apart from the Incarnation, since we know nothing of it. It is represented that only by contracting His Divine fullness within earthly limits could the redeeming Lord draw nigh to man, and so it is said that in Jesus Christ:
“There is realised on earth the human life of God, and it is a life whose chiefest glory consists in a voluntary descent from depth to depth of our experience. It is the personal presence of God in One who is neither omniscient nor ubiquitous nor almighty – as God per se must be – but is perfect Love and Holiness and Freedom in terms of perfect humanity.”[18]

According to this criticism the defect of Chalcedon is that it leaves no room for growth in the Person of Christ, that growth referred to the Manhood only. But it is said that the Divine element was also gradually developed, that as the work of Christ was a process, so the Person must also grow. Not that He became Divine in the sense of deification, but that there was a development of what was originally Divine and Human.[19] So that side by side with this view of a Kenosis there is the corresponding doctrine of a Plerosis, or the self-fulfilment of God in Christ.[20]

It will be seen that this view endeavours to harmonise the thought of a Kenosis with a gradual development of the Personality, according to Dorner’s view. But it is open to serious objection, and, indeed, its author allows that the problem “contains, and is created by, two imperfectly known factors”.[21] It is difficult to know what is meant by “a human life of God”; a life “unequivocally human”.[22] The theory seems to demand an unthinkable metamorphosis of God into a man. It does not seem to satisfy the conditions of the Gospels, which represent Jesus Christ as at once human and Divine, and it is because this theory fails to satisfy all the conditions required that it has to be set aside as virtually amounting to little, if any, more than the ordinary Kenotic theories.[23]

5. The subliminal consciousness Theory. One more modern view needs attention because it has been presented by Dr. Sanday. He is unable to accept the Chalcedon doctrine of the two Natures, and in order to have a Christ who in His earthly manifestation was strictly human, he suggests that the Deity underlay the Humanity, as the subconscious element in man underlies his consciousness, that as the place of all Divine action upon the soul is the subliminal consciousness, so the proper seat of Deity in the Incarnate Christ is found there also. But this, as several writers have pointed out, does not meet the difficulty, still less solve the problem, for it really makes Christ to possess one Nature, so that in endeavouring to do justice to the Humanity of Christ Dr. Sanday’s view fails to do justice to His Deity, and instead of deriving his interpretation from the New Testament picture of the Divine-Human Christ, this theory really reduces our Lord to a purely human Christ, in whom God dwelt in fuller measure than He dwells in all men. The theory has been subjected to very acute and severe criticism, and although it is deserving of the greatest possible consideration, coming from the source it does, it hardly seems likely to be more satisfactory than other theories in solving the problem of the Incarnation.[24]

It would seem as though, after all, we shall have to be content with the general line of the Chalcedon formula. Not that it explains the mystery, but that it lays down the limits outside which we cannot go without sacrificing the essential truth of the New Testament and Christianity. What is required is a theory that will do justice both to the Deity and the Humanity, as they are both depicted in the Gospels, and it is the virtue and value of the Chalcedon view that it satisfies this requirement while all modern Christologies seem to fail at one point or another.[25] The objections to the Chalcedon view are obvious and have often been ably stated, and yet in spite of all recent criticisms no better explanation seems to be possible.[26]

Although in connection with Chalcedon the term “impersonal humanity” is used and charged against that decision, yet the proper idea is not that the human nature exists impersonally, but that it is taken up into the Personality of the Logos.[27] The reality of the facts does not stand or fall with our ability to explain all the difficulties. It is worth while to remember that heresy sometimes has sufficient vitality in it to be of spiritual blessing to men,[28] so that we can distinguish between the individual and his system, and even show that while a Humanitarian may be a Christian, Humanitarianism is not Christianity. But it is also true, looking at the entire Christian history, that heresies have one after another proved themselves incapable of bearing the full weight of human need, especially of redemption and all that it involves. There is no need to fetter research so long as all the facts are kept in view. To put it on the lowest ground, the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity and the Person of Christ are “the least unsatisfactory of the attempts that have been made to state the truth”.[29] Meanwhile, we say that “the Father is God, Christ is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and yet that they are not three, but one God”. This has been the only safe and satisfying foundation of that salvation from sin which is the deepest need of the soul.[30]

The Virgin Birth

This subject has been one of great controversy during recent years, and it is not surprising, since it has a very definite bearing on the Christological problem. It is impossible to do more than indicate the proper line of approach, leaving the thorough discussion to special works on the subject.[31]

1. The first thing to do is to take the life of Christ and study His sinlessness and uniqueness. How are these to be accounted for apart from some Divine intervention that made them possible?

2. Then we should proceed to the Apostolic interpretation of Christ. To the Apostles Jesus Christ stood in a unique relation to God, and of this, the simplest expression is found in the idea of His pre-existence (1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15 ff.; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:6).[32]

3. At this point the narratives in the Gospels may be studied. They are very early manifestations, but give no evidence of being inventions, or of having come from earlier sources, or of being of composite character.

4. One of the surest proofs of primitive belief on this subject is the opposition to it and denials from the time of Cerinthus. These disputes have to be explained.

5. Then comes the enquiry as to how Jesus Christ can be accounted for? If He is unique in history, must He not also be so in origin? Every effect must have its adequate cause, and it is only by the Virgin Birth that we can account for the unique earthly life of Jesus Christ. The miracle of the Incarnation is thus fitly expressed in the miraculous entrance, and harmonises with the miraculous departure in the Resurrection.

6. It is believed that a new start was then made, by means of which the eternal Son of God entered into humanity: as the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, did not come by ordinary generation. The first Adam had failed, and a new race was necessary, of which Jesus Christ was the new Head. This necessitated a fresh creation, and the Virgin Birth meant this (Luke 1:35).

7. The decision will depend almost wholly upon our view of the miraculous in general. The Virgin Birth is not impossible unless all miracles are impossible, but if on a priori grounds we believe that no miracle has ever occurred, then the Virgin Birth necessarily falls to the ground. Yet if we believe that Jesus rose from the dead we shall avoid greater difficulties by accepting the miraculous birth. Thus opinion will depend upon the conception we form of His Person.

8. It is perfectly true that the Virgin Birth had no place in the preaching and teaching of the Apostolic days, and this is only natural and to be expected because the Virgin Birth is no necessary proof of Deity, but only of a Divine Personage. While the rejection of the Virgin Birth would certainly undermine faith, yet its acceptance is quite compatible with the rejection of the Deity of Christ. The truth of His Sonship, as implied in the Virgin Birth, is merged into the profounder truth of His greater Sonship which is proved by the Resurrection (Rom. 1:4). St. Peter’s confession at Cæsarea Philippi was not due to the Virgin Birth, because “flesh and blood” could easily have revealed this fact to him.

9. Denials of the Virgin Birth proceed from the assertion that a sinless character is possible without a Virgin Birth, or without even ordinary paternity. But the real question is not a sinless character, but a sinless personality. Character is always an attainment, while personality is an endowment.

10. In reality the difficulty is one that Christianity has always had to face, and the force of the objections can easily be perceived. Yet the Gospel has never been destroyed by this weight, and although historical scholarship may still be able to say something in regard to the documents and the historical side, yet in the future, as in the past, the problem will naturally be solved in the light of the complete impression formed of the life of Jesus Christ. We do well to emphasise the almost insuperable difficulties of the mythical theory by asking how the idea of the Virgin Birth arose, if it was not based on fact, and how the narratives could have obtained such appearance of trustworthiness unless they were historical. But the fundamental question is, that Christ being such as He was, and coming into this world for the purpose of redemption, it cannot be regarded as either unnatural or incredible that His life should have begun in this way. The ultimate decision will assuredly lie in the realm of effects. If we believe that the world is only imperfect and not sinful we shall be content with an ethical and human Christ. But if there is such a thing as human sin we shall be compelled to fall back upon a miraculous Christ, who was “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary”.

 

>>Part 3. The Death of Christ

Footnotes

[1] Bruce, The Humiliation of Christ, p. 169.

[2] Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, Bk. 5, Ch. 53, Section 4.

[3] Paterson, ut supra, p. 227.

[4] Dykes, Expository Times, Vol. 17, pp. 7, 55, 103, 151; Garvie, Expository Times, Vol. 23, pp. 353, 414, 448, 505, 548; Mackintosh, The Person of Christ, pp. 209-215, and 383 ff.

[5] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 295.

[6] Mackintosh quotes Dr. Strong, Manual of Theology, Second Edition, p. 130, in regard to what is usually called “an impersonal humanity”, that “it suggests a kind of abstract idea of man lying untenanted, and adopted by a Divine Person, and it is obvious that it opens the door to scholasticism of an unduly technical sort” (ut supra, p. 386).

[7] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 296.

[8] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 298 f.

[9] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 241 f.

[10] See Bruce, ut supra, Ch. 4.

[11] Gifford, The Incarnation, clearly shows that ὑπάρχων in Phil. 2:6 must mean permanent subsistence during His incarnate life, as well as pre-existence, according to Lightfoot’s interpretation.

[12] Paterson, ut supra, p. 232.

[13] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 306 ff.; 321 ff.

[14] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 407 ff.

[15] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 466.

[16] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 470.

[17] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 479.

[18] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 486.

[19] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 498 f.

[20] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 504 f.; Forsyth, The Person and Place of Jesus Christ.

[21] Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 499.

[22] Mackintosh, ut supra, pp. 469, 470.

[23] For an acute criticism of Mackintosh see the Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 11, p. 141 ff., by Dr. B. B. Warfield.

[24] For criticisms see Mackintosh, ut supra, p. 487 ff.; Garvie, Expository Times, Vol. 24, pp. 305, 373; Warfield, Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 9, pp. 166, 686; Mullins, The Christian Religion, p. 199 f.

[25] “It ought by now to be clearly understood that no resting-place can be found in a half-way house between Socianianism and orthodoxy. We cannot have a Christ purely Divine in essence and purely human in manifestation. And what on this ground can be made of the exalted Christ? Does He remain after His ascension to heaven the purely human being He was on earth? Or does He, on ascending where He was before, recover the pure deity from which He was reduced that He might enter humanity? In the one case we have no Divine Christ, in the other no human Jesus, today: and the Christian heart can consent to give up neither” (Warfield, Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 11, p. 155).

[26] An illustration of this is shown in the simple fact that in September 1912 (Expository Times) Dr. Garvie strongly objected to the use of the term “Person” for the distinctive doctrine of the Trinity. In January 1913 he had come to favour the use of it.

[27] “The doctrine of the Two Natures does not suppose that there ever existed or ever could exist an impersonal human nature, and never dreamed of attributing any kind of reality to any human nature apart from ‘the unifying Ego’. … No one ever imagined a ‘human nature’ which was or could be ‘unconscious and impersonal’. The conjunction of a human nature with a divine nature in one conscious and personal subject no doubt presents an insoluble problem to thought. But this is just the mystery of incarnation, without which there is no incarnation; for when we say incarnation we say Two Natures – or can there really be an incarnation without a somewhat which becomes incarnate and a somewhat in which it becomes incarnate”? (Warfield, ut supra, p. 151).
“The stone of stumbling here is ever again ‘the impersonality of Jesus’ human nature’. The grievance is always repeated: the Christological dogma no doubt teaches that the Logos assumed a complete human nature, but this is really not the fact. If the humanity of Christ was perfect, it should have possessed also personality. It is the intention that no other alternative should be left but this – either an incomplete human nature, or a complete human nature, but then also a human person. And if you take the latter, then you come to the absurdity, that two persons are joined together. But the fault of this reasoning lurks in this – that the nature of personality as such is sought in self-consciousness and self-determination, as the principle that forms the person; or rather that personality is conceived as a product of the process of self-consciousness and self-determination. This view cannot be right. An hypostasis or person is a substance which exists as a whole and for itself. An hypostasis is nothing else but the Aristotelian πρώτη οὐσία, the prima substantia, the in and for itself existing individual substance. A nature – divine or human – cannot be actual in its abstract generality, but only in a determinate hypostasis. But the nature can readily belong to a plurality of hypostases. And just so a plurality of natures can belong to one hypostasis. In the case of the church dogma this must be kept in view. There can be a complete human nature, without its existing in a human person, provided that it exists in another higher person, that is, here, in the Logos. No doubt if the human nature had been without any personality, the objection would be just. But when we speak of the enhypostasia of the human nature of Christ, we mean by it only that this nature does not exist in a human person. And we recognise at the same time its enhypostasisation in the Logos. It was thus then the Person of the Son which thought and acted in the human nature and had the disposition of all its gifts and powers. I do not suppose, of course, that by this the union of the two natures in the unity of the person is made conceivable for our finite understanding. No, it remains a mystery. But no absurdity. And by what I have said the charge of absurdity only is met. The human nature was perfect, just because it existed in the Person of the Son” (Honig, quoted in the Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 10, p. 377.

[28] Paterson, ut supra, p. 233.

[29] Paterson, ut supra, p. 235.

[30] For a complete statement and criticism of modern Christologies, together with a view similar to the above conclusion, see La Touche, The Person of Christ in Modern Thought.

[31] Orr, The Virgin-Birth of Christ; Knowling, “The Birth of Christ”; Hastings’ Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels; Box, “The Virgin Birth”; Mackintosh, The Person of Christ, p. 527 ff.; Simpson, Fact and Faith, p. 24 ff.; Griffith Thomas, Christianity is Christ, Ch. 12.

[32] Denney, Studies in Theology, p. 250 f.

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