Doctrine of Kenosis, orthodox or heresy?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. webdog

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    I thought a point from another thread deserved it's own. This was said in that thread...
    I personally researched this topic a number of years ago and recall the heretical nature of this doctrine, it's ties to eastern orthodox mysticism and the many horrendous implications that come from it. Here are 4 from http://kenosis.info/index.shtml
    1. They destroy the integrity of the atonement

    2.
    They distort the Christian view of the incarnation.

    3.
    They deny the immutability of God

    4.
    They undermine the monotheistic distinctive of the Christian faith.

    Orthodox or heresy? Do you hold to it or not...and why and why not?
     
    #1 webdog, Jan 12, 2011
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  2. Zenas

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    Christ never set aside His deity and to say that He did is heresy. Our difficulty with this arises out of the impossibility of our human minds comprehending the hypostatic union—God and man in the same person at the same time.
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    Orthodox teaching has always kept the two natures of Christ indivisible. But the value of kenosis is that it emphasizes the incarnation, the authentically human Jesus. Every idea you can think of can be distorted or twisted out of shape, but this one has value, properly understood.

    I remember, years ago, when as an organist I accompanied Stainer's Crucifixion, being impressed with how much Anglican kenotic theology infused the hymns in that work and the tone of its music.
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    Zenas, I know you are aware of a great deal of early church history, is this related to the monophysite issue in the early church?
     
  5. annsni

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    I'm going to have to go see who said that Christ set aside His deity. That's just unbiblical!
     
  6. preacher4truth

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    I wouldn't be too hard on the fellow (I know who said what the OP quotes) and I think he simply mispoke. He has a one up anyhow, and firmly knows what the Gospel of Christ is at least, and doesn't think what Paul and Peter preached in Acts 2 &c (and which was reaffirmed in 1 Cor 15) was only some "church creed," but THE Gospel declared. One shouldn't take him to task on this until one at least has the Gospel down. :)

    Take it easy on a brother here. His theology is solid. Whatever he brings to defend will show that.

    - Blessings
     
    #6 preacher4truth, Jan 12, 2011
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  7. Tom Bryant

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    I don't know what the other poster meant, but I believe that it was NOT that Christ "laid aside" His deity as if He took off a robe and was wearing it no longer. But that he laid aside the independent use of the various aspects of His deity and only did that which His Father told him to do. He lived on earth as we have to live on earth in obedience to God.
     
  8. Zenas

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    Monophysitism, along with Nestorianism, was one of the heresies addressed at the Council of Chalcedon. Monophysitism said that Jesus, although in the form of a man, was entirely divine. Nestorianism more or less went to the other extreme, saying Jesus is two distinct persons, one human and the other divine. At Chalcedon it was decreed that Jesus is one being, both entirely human and entirely divine, i.e., the hopostatic union. This is a concept outside human comprehension, and I suppose that is why there were so many heresies concerning the nature of Christ. It was the effort of men to understand a mystery of God that is fundamentally beyond human comprehension.

    I have not seen any mention of kenosis in the early writings, although I have certainly not read everything. Thinkingstuff has read more church history than I have. Perhaps he will weigh in on the topic.
     
  9. webdog

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    The text in question, however, doesn't even allude to that. The konosis advocates use that text as a proof text...but it has nothing to do with it.
     
  10. Jarthur001

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    I say the church has never hammered this one down fully. Its a very tough passage. What we see in church history is a swing one way than another in reaction to bad doctrine of the day.

    The passage..

    Phl 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    in the form of God, equality with God is more than his pre-existent state but rather saying he is indeed God.

    ALVA J. McCLAIN

    This is what we see in the early church when addressing the Arian assault. They point to this passage to show Christ Deity.

    Then we see Apollinarians, Nestorians, Eutychians, Monophysites, Monothelites, Adoptionists, and Niobites in the church and this passage used against them.

    The Reformers did the best job with this, but still did not seal the door.

    So.....What did Christ empty?

    I believe it is simply this.

    Christ emptied Himself to become a servant, the Servant of Jehovah.

    He was still fully God, but within the God head, he placed himself as a servant of the Father.

    The Father sent the Son to be a man...The Son does all that the Father says. No other change in Christ Deity needs to be applied here.

    In fact, this is just what the passage says..:)
     
    #10 Jarthur001, Jan 13, 2011
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  11. webdog

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    Wow...in full agreement! :eek: You hit the nail on the head :thumbs: THAT is the "emptying" or the kenosis being referred to...not emptying of Christ's deity.
     
  12. Jarthur001

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    Even a clock that does not work is right two times a day. :)
     
  13. webdog

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    ...then you should replace your batteries :)
     
  14. Gabriel Elijah

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    Now I could be completely wrong (so maybe its unrelated)—but when I saw someone bring up the Kenosis with u web—they were answering ur question about Christ not knowing the time of his return. Saying that Christ’s words took place during his earthly ministry (ie the time he had emptied himself to be a full servant & submitted the use of his divine powers to the will of the Father—thus did not know when he would return b/c it was not the Father’s will for him to know at that time). I’m not sure if the person who said the quote you posted just mistyped or made a mistake when they meant to say voluntarily submitted his will to the will of the Father---but endorsing the kenosis does not normally equate to thinking that Christ emptied himself of his full divinity (although some would say that he emptied himself of some of his divine attributes). I guess to help me understand what the original quoter meant—what was the context that brought the subject up?
     
  15. webdog

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    You got the context right, it was in response to Christ not knowing the time of His return. That in itself is not kenosis, or even emptying Himself of some of His divine attributes. In His divinity I believe there is more that we can't know, understand and comprehend regarding how God chooses to interact with mankind. That "proof text" was a poor one to use, and I wanted to bring this doctrine to it's own thread.
     
  16. Gabriel Elijah

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    Yeah—that is an interesting subject—I’ve studied a ton on Phil 2:5-10 (probably the most I’ve ever studied any one passage—with the exception of my Gen 6:1-4 obsession-lol)—but in all that study I’ll say this-- I agree with you on one thing-what is exactly meant by Christ emptying himself--is certainly a complicated & tricky subject (that if gotten wrong can brink on the line of heresy)—so I understand what u mean—when u say its beyond man to fully understand. If God grants u the wisdom to completely comprehend this one-- let me know;)
     
  17. preachinjesus

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    The quote in the OP doesn't reflect the actual doctrine of kenosis.

    The traditional kenosis view holds that Christ, while fully maintaining His divinity, set aside aspects of that divinity to assume fleshly form.

    For instance Christ had to set aside omnipresence since as an incarnated being He could not have causal access to all places at all moments.

    Also there are examples of His setting aside omniscience, e.g. knowing the will of the Father concerning the Second Coming, during His earthly ministry.

    BTW, I don't fully buy the kenotic theory. As I translate and explain the Greek there I use the example of a glass of water being poured into an empty glass. That is, imho, the word picture used by Paul.

    In the history of interpretation on this passage the Church is evenly split.
     
    #17 preachinjesus, Jan 13, 2011
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  18. Dr. Bob

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    This is NOT the doctrine of the kenosis; it is a perversion and oed interpretation of the doctrine of kenosis. Anyone can look up the "real deal" and see it has nothing to do with "laying aside of deity".

    So the thread may continue to attack and deconstruct this false teaching.

    But it is a STRAW MAN LIE to call this the "doctrine" of the kenosis. Grandstanding only brings ridicule. ANY theologian should know better than to mistake this so-called perversion from the truth of God's Word.
     
  19. glfredrick

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    I am "the other poster" and I agree with what you wrote, Tom.

    While on earth, He became dependent on following His Father and He demonstrated power through prayer instead of unilateral action.
     
  20. glfredrick

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    You are not wrong...

    And in a rush to post (like always) I did not clearly differentiate my point, which was to refute Webdog's position about the return of Christ.

    Here is Webdog's post that drove my comments:


    Here is Webdog's response to my in ital post:

    When I said "set aside His deity" I obviously had the Philippians passage in mind, I cited it. I did not say "removed."
     

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