Christological Implications of Nestorianism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benjamin, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Some of what I understand is that evidently Catholics do not like the implications and call it heresy due to Nestorious’ argument that the Virgin Mary should not be called “Mother of God” (Theotokos) and he would only call her “Mother of Christ” (Christotokos.) He held that Mary was only the mother of Christ in the humanity. (BTW, in case you didn’t already know Anthropotokos means: giver of birth to a man.) His opponents accused him of dividing Christ into two persons, but Nestorious replied that he did indeed believe Christ was one person. He was later condemned at the Council of Ephesus 431 which resulted in a Nestorian schism. However, Ephesus could not settle the issue and soon another split came over the issue of Christ having two natures- called the Chalcedonium schism.

    “During the protestant reformation, when some groups denied “Real Presence” and the communication of attributes between the two natures, they were again accused of reviving the heresy of Nestorius.” (Wikipedia)

    (Real Presence: as in Jesus Christ is really present in the Eucharist)

    I recently took a quiz in which the results came back as my beliefs were 100% Chalcedon compliant and also 58% Nestorianism, and also telling me I was not a heretic. :D FTW, I do not give much credit to quizzes of this nature but was looking into this and was wondering what those here would say about “Nestorianism” as it is newly discovered terminology to me and I am not a church history buff.

    (note: I may post the link to the quiz in another tread later, but would warn that it tends to label people with it’s many results, which are very subjective, and I’m not sure this board can handle the fallout, LOL)
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Personally, I trust the Nestorians of that day in history far more than I do the Mary-worshipping Catholics! And since much of what we know about the Nestorians comes from their enemies the Catholics, well, let's take the history with a grain of salt. I suspect that in Heaven we'll meet quite a few Nestorians from the 5th-8th centuries.

    By the way, here is a link to a scholarly book about how Nestorians went to China as missionaries: http://www.aina.org/books/bftc/bftc.htm

    They may have even made it to Japan. There is varied evidence such as an ancient tomb with a cross on it in a village in northern Honshu. The natives, though, have a legend that Judas died in Christ's place, and then Christ fled to Japan, married a Japanese woman and had a bunch of kids. :laugh: :laugh:
     
  3. skypair

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    Of course, the underlying "theme," the "subtext," of the debate is how much glory to give to Mary rather than to God. Does it take a "god" to birth a "God?"

    It's a bogus issue. Christ Himself never gave any special glory to Mary. She was young, innocent, and God was picking specific descendants of David for His appearance into the world, period. If Mary had had a dozen sisters, they all would have been eligible.

    skypair
     
    #3 skypair, Jul 4, 2008
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  4. EdSutton

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    Benjamin, without taking the time to look all this up, I would offer that this 'quiz' (one of several), to which you are referring, is bogus and I have already shown this at least three times previously in threads on the BB. You are fully correct in not giving much credence to it.

    Please save yourself the effort in posting the link. (And me, the effort of refuting it.) :D

    Click on the thread three times, and the questions come up in three varying orders.

    Also one can find 1200 of these such 'quizzes' (several of which contain material completely inappropriate to the BB) at "QuizFarm", where this originates.

    In other words, while your OP is completly legit, the quiz is not.

    Ed
     
    #4 EdSutton, Jul 4, 2008
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  5. Zenas

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    I believe most Baptists, like Skypair, would tend toward Nestorianism although most would not be as blunt about it as he is. Let's face it, Baptists get the heebie jeebies when you start talking about Theotokos and Mother of God. It conjures up ideas of Mary worship and having a goddess in the Christian pantheon, so it seems more plausible to say that Mary is only the mother of Christ's humanity, i.e., Nestorianism. In reality, however, it's no big deal. If Mary is the mother of Jesus and Jesus is fully God, then Mary is the mother of God. It doesn't mean she preexisted God or that she is equal to God in any way. Indeed she is a human creature just like the rest of us--a very blessed and special human to be sure, but still a creature. I can't agree with Skypair, who implies Mary's status could have been the result of random selection from the female descendants of David. The second chapter of Luke leaves no doubt in my mind that Mary was carefully selected for this great honor that all generations would call her blessed.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    Wow. A Baptist who actually believes Mary to be the "mother of God." Very strange. Do you have Scripture that agrees with you, or only human logic? Applying human logic to the hypostatic union of Christ is about like tossing a baseball in the air and saying you threw it into outer space.
     
  7. Zenas

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    1. I was applying human logic, which is a lot more to the point than some example about outer space.

    2. I had not thought about scriptural support for this but we do have Luke 1:43. Incidentally, my reference to the second chapter of Luke in Post #5 should have been to the first chapter of Luke.

    3. I don't recall ever reading anything in scripture about the hypostatic union, although the root word may appear in passages unrelated to this concept. As nearly as I can tell, this concept came about by application of human logic to scriptural truths.
     
    #7 Zenas, Jul 4, 2008
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  8. Benjamin

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    Thanks for the link, it's better than anything esle I found. I agree about trusting the history of the Nestorians.

    Figures! :laugh:
     
  9. Benjamin

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    Actually, the subtext would be more centered on two persons vs one person and it gets into many other soteriological implications concerning Christ’ nature and so what did Nestorius preach about it. Such as did Nestorianism threaten the atonement by saying only the “human person” died on the cross or is that someone’s conclusion based on a false premise of him claiming two persons? I was just noting rather quickly in my research into this that there was apparently a bias present and that evidently this was coming from the Catholic persuasions because of the issue of Mary and I referred to Theotokos vs Christotokos as an example of what I saw as the main reason for a bias toward calling it a heresy. The two natures of Jesus Christ were being held so rigidly apart by Nestorius that he was accused of making Christ into two persons, but by who, because other sources seem pretty clear that he would agree on two natures and one person. Considering the accusative sources and the attempted branding of countless heresies on him back in the day, which did not seem to apply then, and are still being applied to those efforts today; I’m questioning whether or not he actually was a heretic if measured by “our” standards today.
    As I have continued to study the historical accounts it seems Nestorius made a significant contribution to understanding the complete humanity of Christ while not denying the union of also being completely God in this one person, the Son. He apparently did this in the face of strong opposition and I do tend to trust where he was headed more than I would his opposition and therefore do not (at least at this point) particularly resent being labeled as Nestorianist (as long as it doesn’t imply believing in two persons in the Son.)
     
  10. Benjamin

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    Oh, Okay... sigh :laugh: ...Nah, I agree, I really don't want to open several cans of worms off the questions which are designed for "who know what." I rejected several of the questions because of the phraseology anyway and couldn't give a straight (legitimate) answer to them.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    Ever hear of hyperbole? :smilewinkgrin:
    Luke 1:43 is quite a stretch for calling Mary the "Mother of God"! The Greek word kyrios there can be used for a wide range of meanings, including "sir," "boss," "lord," "Lord," etc. Furthermore, since Jewish theology of the day did not consider the Messiah to be deity, the chance that this was calling Mary the "Mother of God" is extremely remote.
    The Greek word hypostasis, from which hypostatic came, is used 5 times in the NT, including a reference to Christ in Heb. 1:3. And the evidence in Scripture for a hypostatic union is far, far greater than that Mary was the "Mother of God."
     
  12. Zenas

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    Exactly. Every English translation I have ever seen says, "mother of my Lord." There is not much sentiment for rendering this as "mother of my boss" or even "mother of my lord." You're right, Elizabeth was not referring to the Messiah. She was referring to her Lord, i.e., God.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Nope, sorry, "Lord" does not have to mean "God," and you can't prove it does here. Example: Thomas called Jesus, "My Lord and my God" in John 20:28.
     
  14. Zenas

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    All right, who do you think Elizabeth was talking about when she referred to "the mother of my Lord"?
     
  15. John of Japan

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    She meant her Messiah, as per Ps. 110:1.
     

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