Important Heresies and Orthodoxy

by Max Andrews

Important Heresies and Orthodoxy

GROUP

TIME

HUMAN NATURE

DIVINE NATURE

CHURCH COUNCIL

Docetism

1st Century

Denied—only an appearance of humanity

Affirmed

Ebionism

2nd Century

Affirmed

Denied—Jesus was natural son of Joseph and Mary

Arianism

4th Century

Affirmed

Denied—Jesus was not eternal; similar to, but not same as God Condemned by Nicea, 325

Apollinarianism

4th Century

Divine Logos replaced human spirit

Affirmed

Condemned by Constantinople, 680

Nestorianism

5th Century

Christ was two Persons

Condemned by Ephesus, 431

Eutychianism

5th Century

Not fully human

Not fully divine

Condemned by Chalcedon, 451

Christ was a single mixed nature

Orthodoxy

Perfect humanity

Perfect Deity

Defined by Chalcedon, 451

Christ is one Person

A Visual Explanation of the Trinity

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4 Comments to “Important Heresies and Orthodoxy”

  1. You omitted one (the one which i accept) and is held b y the Oriental Orthodox Church to this day: Perfect Human Deity. Aka, you state the traditional belief as Christ having a human nature and a divine nature. While that is the traditional belief (so you are correct that is what is held to be the truth by most christians), i am strongly convinced that the Orientals Orthodox are correct, in that Christ did not have two natures. Rather His human nature is the same as His divine nature. aka: the human nature is not distinct from the divine nature. How can this be? in the same way that Max has a body and a spirit, the same way Christ has a body and a spirit. Aka: spirit plus body equals humans. Divine spirit plus human body equals divine human (not human+divine; rather christ’s human=christ’s divine)

    • Probably depends on what you mean by nature. Also, a more complete understanding of human composition is offered by the apostle Paul. We are tripartite beings composed of spirit, soul, and body. The soul is generally understood here to include the mind, will and emotions. So, there’s room here for Christ’s human spirit to be according to the divine nature, his soul sinless, and his body likewise untainted by sin. In Scripture human nature is closely associated with one’s body, so this slice-and-dice approach is probably simplistic.

  2. I like the trinity (pyramid) picture.

    So in set theory you could say: God := {father, son, holy}
    If so what would you say the cardinality of God was? |God| = ? would it be 3, meaning God is finite in his aspects? (leaving open the case that his aspects then have their own sub-aspects)

    Or maybe God = father ∩ son ∩ holy, so no elements are left defined and you could argue that |God| = ∞

  3. Hey friend, i might have not realized you omitted it (unless you edited it after wards). if i mistook you including it, i apologize. if you included it after i mentioned it, thanks lol

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