Category Archives: Christology-Patristic

Cyril Vs. Nestorius; Alexandria Vs. Antioch

Nestorius accused Cyril of Alexandria of turning the nature of the Godhead into flesh: “To speak briefly, they refer the Godhead of the Only-begotten to the same origin as the flesh joined [with it], and kill it with the flesh, … Continue reading

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“Blending the Lord’s Appearance As A Man Into a Confused Combination”

Nestorius, presumably referring to the views of men like Cyril of Alexandria, argued that the “heretics” commit a similar error to that of Arius and Apollinaris, “blending together the Lord’s appearance as a man into a kind of confused combination.” … Continue reading

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Gregory of Nazianzus Contra Apollinaris

My summation of Gregory of Nazianzus’ attack on Apollinarianism: “[W]e do not sever the man from the Godhead, but we lay down as a dogma the unity and identity [of person]…,” the eternal God assuming manhood for our salvation.:”(“To Cledonius … Continue reading

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Redeeming Human Nature

Somewhere recently I read that for the Fathers the object of Christ’s redemptive work was not individuals per se, but the whole of humanity. Not that individuals per se do not get redeemed (they do), but that the focus of … Continue reading

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Ousia: “Particular, Concrete Existence”

Probably old hat to some, but reading this today in the translator’s note to Gregory of Nyssa’s “An Answer to Ablabius” really helped me with Trinitarian metaphysics. In the Cappadocians, the divine ousia (essence) is not strictly speaking a “universal” … Continue reading

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Believe In Order to Understand (III)

Taking up the Arian question “How was God begotten?”, Gregory of Nazianzus replies simply, “The begetting of God must be honored by silence.” For “the manner of his generation we will not admit that even angels can conceive, much less … Continue reading

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Human Nature as Christ’s “Instrument”

Alexandrian Christology frequently spoke of the human nature which the Word assumed as an “instrument” (organon) of the divinity. For instance, this description appears in Athanasius’ On the Incarnation in, among others, sections 8, 9, 43, 44, and 45. In … Continue reading

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The Self-Absurdity of the Areopagites

This is pretty interesting. Athanasius thinks that the Greek argument that having divinity conjoined with humanity is a fundamental absurdity (the argument made against Paul by the philosophers of the Areopagus in Acts 17) is itself an absurdity on the … Continue reading

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The Early War on Hellenism

The age of the ecumenical creeds appears to be a sustained war against Hellenism. Most if not all of the heresies that appear during this time are identified by the various Fathers who combat them as errors caused by Hellenistic … Continue reading

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Biblical Bases of Christological Orthodoxy

[To be expanded later, as time allows] The Gospel of John’s prologue seems easily to cohere with Christological concepts hammered out much later in the Ecumenical Councils. Consider that in the prologue the Word both is God and is with … Continue reading

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