Manual Calvins Christology

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Stephen Edmondson articulates a coherent Christology from Calvin's commentaries and his Institutes. He argues that, through the medium of Scripture's history.
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Calvin's Christology

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Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. The mediator symbol is grounded in Calvin's deeply biblical perspective on the Published by Oxford University Press. For even if the Word in His immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do not imagine that He was confined therein. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, 2 vols. This belief of Calvin's is what Lutherans and others call the extra calvinisticum , a Christological belief that the finite is incapable of the infinite finitum non capax infiniti.

Bizarre “Eucharistic Christology” vs. Tertullian (vs. Calvin #45)

In Cyril's third letter to Nestorius he explained why proper hypostatic union Christology is crucial for Orthodox view of Eucharistic Adoration ,. This we receive not as ordinary flesh, heaven forbid, nor as that of a man who has been made holy and joined to the Word by union of honour, or who had a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and real flesh of the Word. For being life by nature as God, when He became one with His own flesh, He made it also to be life-giving, as also He said to us: "Amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood.

Cyril of Alexandria, Third Letter to Nestorius. In relation to what he just explained, the twelve anathemas are appended to his third letter connecting the denial of Real Presence in Eucharistic Adoration as a denial of incarnation. If anyone does not confess that the flesh of the Lord is life-giving and belongs to the Word from God the Father, but maintains that it belongs to another besides Him, united with Him in dignity or as enjoying a mere divine indwelling, and is not rather life-giving, as we said, since it became the flesh belonging to the Word who has power to bring all things to life, let him be anathema.

Cyril of Alexandria, Anathema With these in mind we can compare Council of Ephesus Christology with Calvin's unique Christology on the Lord's Supper which is that of a real spiritual presence with Christ in heaven where the saints feed on Christ's body and blood spiritually. Away, then, with those who, on the view of a missal-god of wafer, bend their knees in hypocritical adoration, and allege that they sin the less because they worship an idol under the name of God!

As if the Lord were not doubly mocked by that nefarious use of His name, when, in a manner abandoning Him, men run to an idol, and He Himself is represented as passing into bread, because enchanted by a kind of dull and magical murmur! I'd like to understand how Calvin's denial of Eucharistic Adoration relates to Cyril's affirmation of it. It was, after all, Calvin's view of the Supper that resulted in the Lutherans calling him a Nestorian.

Calvin also admitted that his view was different from the early church fathers'. So, was John Calvin a crypto-Nestorian?

Loofs, Nestoriana, pp. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6. Battles, edited by John T. McNeill, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 2 volumes, , from vol.

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II, pp. Thanks to Adithia for a stimulating question, and Mr. Bultitude for a thorough and impressive reply. It seems to me that the Calvinists resolutely deny that there were two personae or prosopa in Christ, but still end up with two hypostases in that they treat the natures as acting subjects. This seems to me to be a weakness of the Western Aristotelian tradition. I say this as a Lutheran, having seen this kind of language in our doctrinal statements also.

But thankfully we are so Cyrillian that what we end up confessing with this semi-Nestorian language is still a complete rejection of Nestorianism, as the Calvinists witness when they accuse us of the opposite error. I do not consider the Calvinists to be Nestorians. They understand Christ as One psychological Subject.

(PDF) Calvin's Christology | Mark D Thompson -

But they do end up with some Nestorian conclusions. I'd also like to note that Patristic confessions re: the continued omnipresence of the Logos during the days of Christ's humiliation do not in any way support the extra-calvinisticum , which is not an affirmation of divine omnipresence, but a denial of omnipresence to the humanity, even now that Christ has been glorified. Finally, I would take issue with Adithia's statement, "The Logos has two natures but the person is only divine. To divide the Hypostasis from the natures, and treat the humanity as something the Logos can possess without being , is to misunderstand what a hypostasis is , in much the same way as the Calvinists do when they affirm one persona or prosopon and consider that they have confessed the Hypostatic Union by so doing.

Again, I suspect that Medieval Scholasticism is to blame. Related to the above, reformed theology's rejection of icons of Christ on the basis of the unity of the natures. His implicit acceptance of the reality described in the term theotokos , and his rejection of the use of the term for different reasons than Nestorius. The appearance of the so-called extra calvinisticum in firmly orthodox Ephesian, Alexandrine, Chalcedonian church fathers. The fact that he disagrees with Cyril's eleventh anathema for entirely different reasons than Nestorius.

Calvin's Christology

In Calvin's commentary on John, he gives a classic summary of the Chalcedonian Definition, and in the process condemns Nestorius. The plain meaning therefore is, that the Logos begotten by God before all ages, and who always dwelt with the Father, was made man. On this article there are two things chiefly to be observed. The first is, that two natures were so united in one Person in Christ, that one and the same Christ is true God and true man.

The second is, that the unity of person does not hinder the two natures from remaining distinct, so that his Divinity retains all that is peculiar to itself, and his humanity holds separately whatever belongs to it. And, therefore as Satan has made a variety of foolish attempts to overturn sound doctrine by heretics, he has always brought forward one or another of these two errors; either that he was the Son of God and the Son of man in so confused a manner, that neither his Divinity remained entire, nor did he wear the true nature of man; or that he was clothed with flesh, so as to be as it were double, and to have two separate persons.

Thus Nestorius expressly acknowledged both natures, but imagined two Christs, one who was God, and another who was man. Eutyches, on the other hand, while he acknowledged that the one Christ is the Son of God and the Son of man, left him neither of the two natures, but imagined that they were mingled together.

And in the present day, Servetus and the Anabaptists invent a Christ who is confusedly compounded of two natures, as if he were a Divine man. In words, indeed, he acknowledges that Christ is God; but if you admit his raving imaginations, the Divinity is at one time changed into human nature, and at another time, the nature of man is swallowed up by the Divinity. The Evangelist says what is well adapted to refute both of these blasphemies.

When he tells us that the Logos was made flesh, we clearly infer from this the unity of his Person; for it is impossible that he who is now a man could be any other than he who was always the true God, since it is said that God was made man. On the other hand, since he distinctly gives to the man Christ the name of the Logos , it follows that Christ, when he became man, did not cease to be what he formerly was, and that no change took place in that eternal essence of God which was clothed with flesh.

In short, the Son of God began to be man in such a manner that he still continues to be that eternal Logos who had no beginning of time. Commentary on John Because there be distinct natures in Christ, the Scripture cloth sometimes recite that apart by itself which is proper to either.

But when it setteth God before us made manifest in the flesh, it doth not separate the human nature from the Godhead. Notwithstanding, because again two natures are so united in Christ, that they make one person, that is improperly translated sometimes unto the one, which doth truly and in deed belong to the other, as in this place Paul doth attribute blood to God; because the man Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for us, was also God.

This manner of speaking is caned, of the old writers, communicatio idiomatum , because the property of the one nature is applied to the other. And I said that by this means is manifestly expressed one person of Christ, lest we imagine him to be double, which Nestorius did in times past attempt. Commentary on Acts Historically, iconoclasts accuse iconophiles of Nestorianism.

This can be seen in the Council of Hieria, which condemned icons before being declared a "Robber Council" at the Second Council of Nicea. It can also be seen in today's reformed theologians. They read that iconophiles defend icons of Christ as depicting his human nature and not his divine nature, and they object, "But the natures are inseparable!

Jesus is God! To divide the natures is Nestorian. The Nestorian controversy centered largely around the use of theotokos to describe Mary.

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Calvin never used the term, but it seems agreeable to what he says here:. The blessedness brought to us by Christ cannot be the subject of our praise, without reminding us, at the same time, of the distinguished honor which God was pleased to bestow on Mary, in making her the mother of his Only Begotten Son. Book Description Cambridge University Press. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory B Seller Inventory BTE Book Description Cambridge University Press , Book Description Cambridge Univ Pr, Condition: Brand New.

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  8. Condition: NEW. For all enquiries, please contact Herb Tandree Philosophy Books directly - customer service is our primary goal. Items related to Calvin's Christology. Calvin's Christology. Stephen Edmondson. Publisher: Cambridge University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Stephen Edmondson articulates a coherent Christology from Calvin's commentaries and his Institutes.