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The Chalcedonian Creed: Fact, Fiction, or Something Between?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Dec 20, 2018.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    The Counsel of Chalcedon is important to our understanding of the nature of Christ as he is “truly God and truly man”.

    Obviously the Chalcedonian Creed was not formed with little philosophical musings (just by the nature of the thing), and the fairly immediate reaction was division. Severus, for example, disagreed on “in two natures”, favoring “out of two natures” because “in two natures” implies two natures after the union (which he viewed as a division in Christ). But that said, even speaking of “two natures” the Counsel affirmed one hypostasis.

    So there can be confusion as to how these “two natures” operate. If the creed is correct and there is “one hypostasis” then when we consider Christ calming the storm and Christ growing hungry we are not seeing Christ acting in two separate natures or experiencing things in two separate natures. What we are seeing is one hypostasis – truly God and truly man.


    The Creed:


    We, then, following the holy fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures; inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
     
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Before I reply, since you have begun the thread, I'd like to see your Scriptural evidence for why you think the creed is incorrect, please
    I would also (but not instead) like to know how you are defining hypostasis..
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I don't believe the creed is incorrect. I believe that what some have held as the creed is incorrect. For example, some would wrestle with the statement that Mary is the Mother of God (in favor of the mother of Jesus, emphasizing his human nature).
    As far as I know hypostasis only has two meanings. One is medical and one is philosophical. It's not the medical one.

    I'm using the definition "an underlying reality or substance, as opposed to attributes or that which lacks substance."
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Here is my view of this creed.

    The Chalcedonian Creed is valuable in that it provides limits and guards against heresy. If you examine it in detail it is a beautifully rendered creed. It threads a line, excluding heresies contemporary to the Counsel while maintaining a biblical understanding.

    Jesus is no less God than God, and he is no more man than man. Fully God and fully man.

    The creed guards against the heresy of speaking of Christ as possessing two natures . It affirms one hypostasis where Jesus is to be acknowledged in two natures (fully God and fully man).

    The creed guards against the heresy of viewing these two natures as if they were two persons (Jesus calming the seas with one nature, being born of Mary in another). Mary is the “Mother of God”, not the mother of Jesus’ humanity. While the distinction of these natures are not taken away by the union, they also cannot be separated. Jesus is God-Man. Not God and man.

    But as good as I believe the creed to be, I do not believe it is our authority when dealing with the nature of Christ. I believe the only authority remains Scripture.
     
  5. The Archangel

    The Archangel Well-Known Member

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    I echo this statement.

    The Archangel
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I echo my response to the echoed statement. :Laugh

     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Fine On the Do our Systems of thought teah that Jesus is the one true God thread you several times referred to Chalcedon as a Roman Catholic Creed and wrote:
    Certainly the Creed was controversial, when first produced, but I posted an extract from the 1689 Confession showing that the 17th Century Particular Baptists agreed with the main thrust of Chalcedon, and so did the Presbyterians and Congregationalists of that time (WCF and Savoy). In the light of that, would you like to modify your statement that 'most Protestant churches viewed [it] as hersey'? Or if you stand by it, perhaps you would like to provide justification for it?.
     
  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    God existed as God the Son before becoming jesus, so had JUST the very nature of God, when he became fully Human, assumed and took on also the nature of a sinless man!
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    One person, who has now residing within Himself both the natures of God and Human, separate and distinct, and yet always one in agreement...
     
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  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Do you believe Mary to be the "Mother of God"? Do you believe Jesus' natures inseparable (Jesus could not suffer in his human nature and still the storm in his divine nature)?
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Mary was the Mother of Jesus, as she was the very source of His humanity, and His Virgin Birth allowed Him to bypass being affected by the fall with her sin nature...
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    So you deny the creed. This orthodox position you speak of, that most (like me) hold specifically states inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably
     
  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I uphold the Creed, as it speaks towards Jesus having 2 natures, always acting in unison/agreement, but not dissolved nor made partially each other, dissolved together!
    Jesus' Two Natures: God and Man | CARM.org
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I suspect this neo-orthodox Chalcedonian view is a product of postmodernism as it decontextualize historical positions to to claim them for their own.

    In the Chalcedonian view Jesus did not act in one nature at times and in another at other times. Mary was, literally, the Mother of God. The natures were distinct but not separate and distinct (so as to be in one agreement).

    This is why I believe it does not work to argue creeds. People have different understandings, philosophies, and emphasis.

    We can certainly learn from them (and I do affirm this creed as describing my understanding). But we must go to Scripture when it comes to truth.
     
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  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    What scriptures affirm to us Jesus was just the nature of God, period?
     
  16. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    False accusation. He can reject a portion of the creed without rejecting it in its entirety.

    I reject the reading found in the KJV of 1631 published by Robert Barker which read, in Exodus 20:14, "Thou shalt commit adultery."

    But to claim, on that basis, that I reject the bible is a vicious falsehood.

    Because one rejects certain aspects of a creed does not imply the person rejects the creed in its entirety.

    I made that perfectly clear in the second post of the thread The Authority of Scripture: Creedal vs. Sole Authority, which you seem to ignored.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    But if I reject that these "natures" were separated then I deny the Creed? That was the claim.

    And I disagree because of the history of the creed itself - it was designed to guard against heresy. It works together.

    That's why I don't believe a Calvinist can really be anything but a 5 point Calvinist. Anything less simply isn't Calvinism.
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Ok. Let's do this.

    You have stated that Jesus had two distinct and separate natures. Jesus suffered in his human nature and calmed the seas in his divine nature.

    This not only denies the Creed's claim that these natures are inseparable but assumes a different meaning for "natures" which is a denial of the creed itself.

    Do you (and @TCassidy ) see what I am saying?

    The creed defines these natures in Christ. If Jesus uses these natures separately (eats in one nature, heals the sick in another) then this is an entirely different situation than is addressed in the creed.
     
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  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I gave to you the definition of Carm as saying what I saw the two natures as being, never did say saw Him operating as like God nature and then man nature bouncing back and forth like a ping pong ball!
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    You never stated that Jesus suffering was in his human nature? His growing in the human nature? His miracles in his divine nature?


     
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