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2 questions: Trinity, Incarnation #21373
Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:52 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:52 AM

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From the paper of Martin Luther King, Jr. in another thread:

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When he comes to the person of Jesus, Luther quite readily accepts the orthodox views of the councils. With Nicaea he sees Jesus as "Very God of Very God." With Chalcedon he sees Jesus as fully human and fully divine. However, Luther went beyond the councils by setting forth the views that the human nature of Jesus absorbs the divine nature and the divine nature of Jesus absorbs the human nature. This view of Luther's is called communicatic ideomatum, "The communication of attributes." Through the interchange of attributes, the divine nature of Jesus could experience birth, suffering and death, while the human nature of Jesus could experience eternity, omnipotence and ubiquity. It is probably that Luther posited this view in order to give logical validation to his view of consubstantiation.

Like Luther, Calvin accepts the orthodox views of the Church councils as to the person of Christ. In The Institutes, he states,

Choosing from the womb of the Virgin a temple for his residence, he who was the Son of God, became also the Son of man, not by a confusion of substance, but by a unity of person. For we assert such a connection and union of the Divinity with the humanity, that each nature retains its properties entire, and yet both together constitute one Christ."[Footnote: Insti., II. xiv. 2.]

This immediately reveals that Calvin does not accept Luther's view of the communicatio ideomatum. He is quite convinced that "each nature retains its properties entire."


Which is correct? Could someone give me a better explanation of all this? My theology classes at Boyce weren't that detailed. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Second, what's all this about there being a picture of the Trinity in the human family? I remember the OrthodoxCatholic guy talking about that. Everyone seemed to oppose his ideas that the father, mother, children relationship was a metaphor for the Trinity. There is a site that I have always trusted that has an article about that in which the author espouses a similar view. The website is The Center for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and one specific article is on page 13 of this .pdf journal: The Journal For Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Spring 2001 -Trinitarian Perspectives on Gender Roles This especially concerns me because one person on "the Council" is Bruce Ware, an elder at my church, and another contributor in that issue, Rob Lister, is a member at my church. I'm suspicious that with all the new seminary students flocking to my church every semester because most of our elders are seminary professors, including Bruce Ware, they might not give much thought to these things, but rather, nod their heads in easy agreement. Not only that, but I saw many other articles on the CBMW site that propose the same stuff. Bruce Ware has gained a reputation in dealing with Open Theism well, but I don't know about this other stuff.

Please answer these questions and give me any more insight as I have a hard time dividing these issues. It seems like I could go either way (or both ways due to my ignorance) with Luther and Calvin, except on the issue of consubstantiation, in which I agree with Calvin in contradiction to Luther and Zwingli, and I am very hesitant with the issue of gender roles being derivative of the roles of the Persons of the Trinity and even more hesitant with regard to OrthodoxCatholic's idea that the father, mother, children relationship is a metaphor of the Trinity. I'm confused!

Ben

Re: Questions about Trinity #21374
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:10 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:10 AM
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Ben,

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think in that quote the "Luther" being referred to was Martin Luther King, and not the ex-Roman Catholic, Martin Luther?

But more to the point, the "confusion of the two natures", contrary to who wrote the article/critique of Martin Luther King, King clearly did NOT accept the teaching of Chalcedon which specifically says that there is no "confusion" of the two natures of Christ; i.e., the divine and the human. You can read the Creed for yourself, which I am confident you will be able to fully comprehend.


The Chalcedon Creed


Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.



As far as an earthly family being representative of the Trinity...... I think that is total fantasy and the product of men's vivid imagination. Okay, so that was a little "in your face". But I do not find any justification for such a novel idea in the Bible.

In His Grace,


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Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: Pilgrim] #21375
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:39 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:39 AM
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Pilgrim,

Actually, that was a paper by MLK, Jr. about Luther and Calvin. What King is getting at is Luther's position on the two natures of Christ, which is somewhat confused because of Luther's insistence on the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. In opposition to this, Calvin strongly maintained that Christ's human nature has limitations like ours, and so the body of Christ is locally present in heaven only.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: Pilgrim] #21376
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:46 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:46 AM

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All the material in the quote box is taken from Martin Luther King Jr.'s paper that Marie posted in the Open forum. Dr, King's paper was a comparison of the theologies of the two reformers, Luther and Calvin. I just don't understand Calvin and Luther's opposing sides on the incarnation and kind of wanted to have it all in perspective.

As for the idea of the family being a metaphor of the Trinity, would you reject it in any form, both that of OrthodoxCatholic (and all Roman Catholics as far as I know), and that of the CBMW? Don't worry about being harsh, both views seem baseless to me. I can see where one might draw similarities and then use peripheral truths to bolster the argument, man being made in God's image, for example, but that doesn't prove to be enough since Scripture doesn't say close to anything regarding that idea even implicitly.

Re: Questions about Trinity #21377
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:50 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:50 AM
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Quote
I just don't understand Calvin and Luther's opposing sides on the incarnation and kind of wanted to have it all in perspective.


I think the problem is rooted in their respective understandings of the presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. Luther affirmed that Christ's body is present with the bread and the wine, saying that since He is God He can do anything. Calvin rejected this view, and seeking to affirm the true humanity of Chirst, he said that Christ's body is subject to spatial limitations just like ours, and is therefore locally present only in heaven, to which Christ ascended.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: CovenantInBlood] #21378
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:58 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:58 AM

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That's really weird because Luther's view sounds acceptable for exactly the reason he had for it, and Calvin's view (my view) is difficult because if Christ still has spatial limitations but is in heaven, which I understand to be a spiritual realm, it's almost like another plane of existence entirely for Christ, being physical and spiritual and omnipresent. Then again, what about us? We're both physical and spiritual, so "where" are we in the spiritual realm, seeing as how it doesn't work at all in terms of space? AH!! Somebody help me pick up the pieces of my brain! In the end, even then I hold Calvin's view, I'm still not sure about the Lord's Supper. My signature is especially relevant.

Re: Questions about Trinity #21379
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:59 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:59 AM
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Ben,

I read the entire article that was allegedly written by Martin Luther King and I have to say that I have no doubt that he misunderstood much that both Luther and Calvin wrote/believed. Thus, his assessment of what Luther taught concerning the incarnation I find to be flawed. If nothing else, Chalcedon contradicts his views. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

As for the novel idea that the family is a "picture" of the Trinity, I maintain that there is no biblical warrant for that view and I reject it entirely.

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Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: CovenantInBlood] #21380
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:03 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:03 AM
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CovenantInBlood,

I understand the difference between Luther's view re: Christ's presence in the Supper compared to Calvin's and I reject both! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> I believe that neither went far enough from Rome in their respective positions. For me, Bullinger expressed most correctly what Scripture teaches on this issue, which is actually off-topic. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

What is salient, however, is that Martin Luther King was fraught with errors. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: Pilgrim] #21381
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:04 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:04 AM

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Thanks, Pilgrim, I always thought Dr. Ware's idea about that was suspect. As novel as it sounds, it's just not even close to being taught by Scripture.

Re: Questions about Trinity #21382
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:13 AM
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Pilgrim, I think it's relevant to the topic! Maybe I wouldn't know, since I'm not a moderator, but feel free to discuss Bullinger, now that we've got that bit about Calvin and Luther out of the way.

Re: Questions about Trinity #21383
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:26 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:26 AM
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Ben,

VERY briefly,


Calvin considered the Lord's Supper to be an instrument of God's grace, through which believers commune in the body and blood of Christ. Bullinger explicitly rejected such "instrumentalism" and considered the Supper to be a testimony to or an analogy of God's grace, whereby God testified to the believers, through the analogy of bread and wine nourishing an invigorating our bodies, concerning the salvation and nourishment won in Christ's body and blood received in faith.



It is my contention that Christ communicates and communes with believers THROUGH His "advocate", the Holy Spirit, who He sent. The Spirit, Who is not restricted spatially, He being without a body as does Christ, i.e., He can freely function in His Omnipresence. It was the Lord's purpose in sending the Spirit that He would be "another Comforter" to believers because He would not be able to do so as would the Spirit Who could and would dwell within them and minister to them individually and corporately. Thus, it is the Spirit of God as the representative of Christ Who is actually present in the Supper.

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: Pilgrim] #21384
Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:30 AM
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Ok, thanks.

Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: Pilgrim] #21385
Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:36 AM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:36 AM
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Pilgrim, this has been very interesting. Not between Luther and Calvin, but the idea that the Reformed position need not totally agree with Calvin.

Would you say the Bullinger views on the Lord's Supper represent the classical Reformed view? What other doctrines have the majority of the Reformed moved away from Calvin? It appears as if so much of the infighting within the Reformed ranks concerns what exactly is and who represents the classical Reformed position. Maybe it is not that easy.

(if this needs to be moved to a new thread, please do so).

Last edited by John_C; Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:43 AM.

John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: 2 questions: Trinity, Incarnation #21386
Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:01 PM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:01 PM

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Two misconceptions are presented in this thread that need to be corrected.

1. It was Luther who, in the doctrine of communicatic ideomatum, upheld the Chalcedon Creed whereas Calvin and his followers divided the person contrary to "the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons." Justin Cloute in "Reformed Christology: Modern Nestorianism?" writes,

Quote
Reformed theologians claim agreement with the symbol of Chalcedon, but in reality this agreement is only superficial. "On the basis of the philosophical principle that ‘the finite is not capable of the infinite’ (finitum non est capax infiniti), they insist that the Son of God, after the incarnation, is not everywhere present according to his human nature, but that his presence is limited to a single place." [James R. Janke, "’We (still) do not have the same spirit’ A Critique of Contemporary Reformed Christology and Its Impact on the Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper," We Believe in Jesus Christ, ed. Curtis A. Jahn (Milwaukee: NPH, 1999) p.267] Grudem, an author of a popular Reformed dogmatics book,[Systematic Theology] says, "When we are talking about Jesus’ human nature, we can say he ascended to heaven and is no longer in the world (John 16:28; 17:11; Acts 1:9-11). But with respect to his divine nature, we can say that Jesus is everywhere present."Quotations like this one demonstrate that the Reformed do not hold to the unity of person in Christ as it is found in Scripture and as it was affirmed at Chalcedon. To say that Jesus’ human nature is contained within his human body, but that his divine nature supercedes this body and fills everything, is to say that Jesus’ human nature was not always with his divine nature. This is a separation of Christ.


2. Luther rejected consubstantiation which implies a mix or mixture of two substances. He taught a sacramental union of the undivided body and blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine. Calvin, on the other hand, divided the person, contrary to Chalcedon, and taught that Christ was only spiritually present.

Re: Questions about Trinity [Re: John_C] #21387
Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:23 PM
Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:23 PM
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John,

As far as the Lord's Supper and specifically the matter of the "Real Presence", there were several who disagreed with Calvin during his day and those shortly after his death; all whom were of high esteem. I would venture to say that many of those views are still held today in various circles. One of the better books out there that provides some historical data and the debates which took place between parties concerning this matter is Keith Mathison's book, Given For You. I am not qualified to say which view is the "Classic Reformed View", but what I do NOT hold to is the idea that John Calvin is to be the sole source of what Calvinism is. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What I mean by that is most knowledgeable people in the Reformed camp will agree that John Calvin did not invent/discover the doctrines which have been unfortunately named, "Calvinism". But rather, Calvin, with the gifts given to him "codified" and refined those doctrines which had been believed long before he arrived. Thus, our Reformed faith is that which is most biblical, IMHO, and which has come down to us from the efforts of many men and women who God raised up throughout the centuries as in its development. I'll leave it to the obnoxious "TR's" to fight it out among themselves as to who holds to that which is "THE classic Reformed" view! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" /> For myself, I'll embrace what I believe the Scriptures teach and which has historical precedence in the church.

What I AM sure of is that speratus' "god", Martin Luther was unfortunately in error in regard to his view of the two natures of Christ and consubstantiation. I suspect that the latter determined how he interpreted (forced upon) Chalcedon to preserve and defend it. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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