St Cyril of Alexandria: The One Incarnate Nature of Christ

“We say that there is one Son, and that he has one nature even when he is considered as having assumed flesh endowed with a rational soul” (On the Unity of Christ, p. 77; my emphasis). We first note the assertion of the one Son: Jesus Christ is identical to the eternal Son of God the Father. St Cyril thus reaffirms the unitive thrust of his christology and rejects any suggestion of Jesus being a creaturely son alongside the divine Son. Jesus simply is the Son. “You must not divide him who is of David’s line by saying that he is someone different to the one Christ and Son and Lord,” writes Cyril, “for the correct position is that the Only Begotten Son who is born from God the Father is himself, and no other, the Son of David according to the flesh” (p. 83). Or as Christopher Beeley puts it: “There is one Son in the incarnation just as there is one Son apart from it” (The Unity of Christ, p. 260). But then Cyril goes on to speak of the “one nature” of Christ after the Incarnation. The heirs of Chalcedon do not speak this way. We speak of the one hypostasis of the incarnate Son in two natures. Cyril himself frequently spoke of the Incarnation as a “union in hypostasis,” and he insisted upon the theandric union as the consolidation of divinity and humanity, without confusion or mixture. So why speak of “one incarnate nature”?

To clarify his meaning Cyril offers a creaturely analogy. “Do we not say,” he asks, “that a human being like ourselves is one, and has a single nature, even though he is not homogeneous but really composed of two things, I mean body and soul?” (p. 78; my emphasis). When body and soul are joined together to make a human being, they do not lose their distinctiveness nor is their integrity compromised. At first glance the analogy seems weak. The union of soul and body brings about a composite being greater than its parts; but in the hypostatic union the divine Son remains the divine Son, only now enfleshed.

Let’s take a look at Cyril’s two letters to Succensus, written sometime between 434-438, to see if we can gain further clarity.

In his first letter Cyril reiterates his contention that in the Incarnation “two natures come together with one another, without confusion or change, in an indivisible union” (Ep. 45.6). He then makes the following important statement:

The flesh is flesh and not Godhead, even though it became the flesh of God; and similarly the Word is God and not flesh even if he made the flesh his very own in the economy. Given that we understand this, we do no harm to that concurrence into union when we say that it took place out of two natures. After the union has occurred, however, we do not divide the natures from one another, nor do we sever the one and indivisible into two sons, but we say that there is One Son, and as the holy Fathers have stated: One Incarnate Nature of The Word.

As to the manner of the incarnation of the Only Begotten, then theoretically speaking (but only in so far as it appears to the eyes of the soul) we would admit that there are two united natures but only One Christ and Son and Lord, the Word of God made man and made flesh. (Ep.45.6-7)

The Incarnation occurs out of or from two natures, resulting in the one incarnate nature of Christ. At an intellectual or notional level, we may of course distinguish the divine and human natures in Christ—neither are obliterated when hypostatically united—but in reality the two natures have so interpenetrated the other that there is now only the single nature of the God-Man. Cyril restates this argument in his second letter, in response to a criticism of his one-nature formulation:

This objection is yet another attack on those who say that there is one incarnate nature of the Son. They want to show that the idea is foolish and so they keep on arguing at every turn that two natures endured. They have forgotten, however, that it is only those things that are usually distinguished at more than a merely theoretical level which split apart from one another in differentiated separateness and radical distinction. Let us once more take the example of an ordinary man. We recognise two natures in him; for there is one nature of the soul and another of the body, but we divide them only at a theoretical level, and by subtle speculation, or rather we accept the distinction only in our mental intuitions, and we do not set the natures apart nor do we grant that they have a radical separateness, but we understand them to belong to one man. This is why the two are no longer two, but through both of them the one living creature is rendered complete.

And so, even if one attributes the nature of manhood and Godhead to the Emmanuel, still the manhood has become the personal property of the Word and we understand there is One Son together with it. The God-inspired scripture tells us that he suffered in the flesh (1 Pet. 4.1) and it would be better for us to speak this way rather than [say he suffered] in the nature of the manhood, even though such a statement (unless it is said uncompromisingly by certain people) does not damage the sense of the mystery. For what else is the nature of manhood except the flesh with a rational soul?  (Ep. 46.5)

Again we see Cyril allowing a distinction between the two natures at a theoretical level, but he has little interest in dualistic theories about Christ. What is important is the one divine Son who has clothed himself in our humanity. He especially fears that the Nestorian rhetoric of an abiding association of two natures must ultimately dissolve the Incarnation. “Cyril is happy,” John McGuckin explains, “to accept the notion of ‘two natures’ but feels that this needs qualification if it is to avoid a tendency towards the kind of separatism that has been advocated by Nestorius. He wishes to speak of a concurrence to unity ‘from two natures’ but does not posit a union that abides ‘in two natures’. For Cyril, to abide in two natures means to abide in an ‘un-united’ condition that can only be theoretically applied before the incarnation takes place; the incarnation itself is the resolution to union of the two natures” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy, p. 355, n. 6).

At stake is the single-subject hermeneutic discussed in “Holy Scripture and the Grammar of the Son.” But ultimately what is at stake is nothing less than the salvation of the world, for if Jesus is not the Word himself, all is undone. McGuckin elaborates upon the importance of the mia physis for Cyril:

For Cyril, if the christological union means anything it means that there is only one reality to be affirmed henceforth. This concrete reality (physis) is what stands before the christian observer; it is a single concrete reality enfleshed before us: Mia Physis Sesarkomene. What is more, that concrete, fleshed-out reality, is that of the Word of God, none other. In short, by using the phrase Cyril is attributing the person of the Word as the single subject of the incarnation event. He does so in a phrase which is highly succinct (a good rallying phrase for his party), provocatively robust (using concrete physis terms as opposed to the semantic word-plays of Nestorius), and radically insistent on the single subjectivity of the divine Word (the direct personal subject of the incarnate acts). (p. 209)

For Cyril physis signifies a “concrete personal individuate”—thus equivalent to hypostasis. He employs both terms to refer “to individual and real personal subjectivity, and in the way he uses them they are synonyms of ‘the Logos as subject'” (p. 209). As Cyril writes: “Thus, there is only one nature (physis) of the Word, or hypostasis if you like, and that is the Word himself” (quoted by McGuckin, p. 209). Yet given that physis can also signify an entity’s defining properties (see Hans van Loon, The Dyophysite Christology of Cyril of Alexandria [pp. 512-517]), one can understand why Antiochenes and Latins found the “one incarnate nature” objectionable and why the phrase did not survive in the post-Chalcedonian Church.

(Return to first article)

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21 Responses to St Cyril of Alexandria: The One Incarnate Nature of Christ

  1. The “monophysite” Orthodox Churches (I quote monophysite because it’s highly debatable as to whether they are actually holding this view), i.e., the Syriac Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, etc., tend to still use St. Cyril’s definitions of the nature of the God-Man when referring to Christ over that of the Chalcedonian definition, right?

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  2. I agree with Cyril on the complete unity of the Word of God Incarnate. It’s obvious from Scripture that Christ’s Flesh was also Divine, because He was able to do things in His Flesh that no mortal man could do; such as walking on water, escaping on different occasions an attempt to kill Him, His being able to be transfigured on the Holy Mount, and many other deeds that only His Divine Flesh could do, including being raised from the dead incorruptible after three days. I believe that the Nestorians were confused on the issue that Christ had two distinct “persons” in one Incarnate Son, but that didn’t mean that they rejected the Deity of Christ. The Nestorian Catholics made many missionary conversions of peoples as far east as China an maybe Japan, bringing the Gospel farther than the Western Latin Church ever reached for many centuries. So, I wouldn’t consider the Nestorians as “anathema” as Cyril did. Nestorius was a student of Theorodet (spelling maybe incorrect) and other saints of the ancient Syrian Universal Church who were considered orthodox and taught the truth of the ultimate universal reconciliation of All.

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    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      I have somehow picked up (in a way I cannot immediately document with specific references) the idea of a ‘high view’ of the unfallen mortal human among some Fathers (St.Augustine?), such that Christ possesses again (until the Resurrection) what our progenitors first possessed before their fall – though (if there was/is such a view), I do not know that it contradicts His also being “able to do things in His Flesh that no mortal man could do”.

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  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Does the kind of ‘monothelitism’ which St. Maximus the Confessor and Pope St. Martin died opposing have any kind of direct (degenerate?) relation to the Nicene(-Alexandrian) ‘miaphysitism’ defended by St. Cyril?

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      David, I do not know enough about the development of monothelitism to have an opinion.

      I am curious to know how the Oriental Orthodox Churches handled the monothelite question. Mina, you there?

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    • Mina says:

      I apologize for the delay in coming to discuss the question. I will add to this discussion an email Fr. Peter Farrington published online discussing the issue of the will(s) of Christ:

      https://www.academia.edu/6776618/A_Preliminary_Conversation_on_the_Will_of_Christ_with_an_Eastern_Orthodox_Monk

      With that in mind, I will add my own commentary with what little I have read and understood on the issue of the will(s) of Christ. First, theologically, we as Oriental Orthodox (OO) seem to set our standard on St. Severus of Antioch. If one is looking for the theology of St. Severus, I recommend “Three Monophysite Christologies” by Roberta Chesnut, where in it, St. Severus uses the same analogy of human “wills” as St. Cyril used the analogy of human “natures” to make one human nature. In other words, there is a will of the soul and will of the body, in one human will. In the same way, we speak of one will of the incarnate Logos.

      Other OO fathers seem to speak of the will of Christ as the divine will incarnate. In other words, just as we can say the flesh of Christ is divine, we also say so of the will, that by the human will and energy, this becomes a receptacle of the divine will and energy, and while one can make them distinct in contemplation, after the union, you can only call that “one will”. Another argument is if we pray to the Father, “let it be according to your will”, we too who try to conform our wills to the will of the Father and make that “one”, how much more should one describe the will of Christ Himself. For the will of Christ Himself, no matter in what sense that will is acted out is the will of the Father.

      So we can recognize in Maximus the Confessor similar undertones with St. Severus’ beliefs, but we find that many other arguments of his are unfair. He condemns anyone who uses the analogy of two wills in human composition making one human will. Later on, John Damascene even condemns anyone who makes the same analogy concerning “physis”! Did he forget that St. Cyril was the one who used this analogy?

      Furthermore, this debate of the wills of Christ is very strange. The more I read about it, the more I am confused. Yes, Maximus did suffer, but so did the Coptic Church. The Coptic Church and Maximus had a common enemy: Cyrus of Alexandria, nicknamed “the Caucasian”. While Cyrus was glad to support the cutting off of Maximus’ tongue, he also ordered the death of Bishop Minas, the brother of the anti-Chalcedonian Pope Benjamin I. He also thought that by persecutory pressure, he can get some anti-Chalcedonians to sign on to Monotheletism and reunite the Church. He did win some support, but he also did accrue some anti-Chalcedonian opposition. One is not sure if the opposition is because of legitimate rejection of Monothelitism, but rather more of a principle in standing firm against Chalcedon in general.

      It is clear in our tradition’s polemics that Pope Leo of Rome confessed “two wills” in his Tome, but the way we interpreted it is the will of two persons, united by a concordance of wills. Can one really describe Christ in the same way as to describe a Christian’s relationship with God? “The Word does what belongs to the Word, and the flesh does what belongs to the flesh.” It’s understandable that the Chalcedonian tradition did not interpret it that way, but after some bloodshed, the OO tradition remained obstinate in the anti-Chalcedonian polemical interpretation of Nestorianism.

      All in all, I would say the issue of theletism is little studied in the OO tradition. Did the OO Church continue in the same way St. Severus did? A lot of Chalcedonian research (key word, Chalcedon) seems to indicate that later OO fathers were more clearly “Monothelite”, whereas Fr. Peter Farrington disagrees with this assessment. So we hope that in the future, more texts would be translated (like that of Pope Theodosius I of Alexandria, considered a spiritual successor to St. Severus and dubbed also “chrysostom” in our tradition, Pope Damian I of Alexandria, and Pope Benjamin I of Alexandria) that may give us a clearer answer, at least in the Coptic side.

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      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Thank you for all this!

        I’d never heard of the “analogy of human ‘wills’ as St. Cyril used the analogy of human ‘natures’ to make one human nature.”

        Does anyone to your knowledge explicitly discuss the (im)possibility of distinct Wills of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well as One Divine Will characterizing The Divine Ousia?

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        • Mina says:

          I highly recommend Roberta Chesnut’s “Three Monophysite Christologies” for this one, as she describes St. Severus’ take on the will(s) of Christ. Based on her description, I really don’t find much essential difference between St. Severus and Maximus the Confessor (based on what I read in his disputation with Pyrrhus).

          Starting at page 22, Roberta Chesnut describes how St. Severus proceeds to talk about the human will as the origin in which man chooses to partake of the divine nature (or “His bounty). We were created for this purpose. However, because of sin and death from the world, our wills are sick and in need of healing. He denies that the body is the source of sin, so he refutes any Augustinian notion of Original Sin (this was a huge dispute with Julian of Halicarnassus), but rather the world. He would say that Christ did not say “woe to the human genus,” but “woe to the world”.

          We have natural human liberty. God does not violate our human liberty by any change of our nature, but rather change of the environment of sin around us through His grace and gifts. He uses the example of King Saul. God anointed Saul, but Saul is not by nature “kingly”. Saul had free will, and later on rejected God’s calling or grace. Therefore, when God said “I repent that I made him king, for he deserted Me,” this is a result Saul’s free will, not because God created him by nature good or king and then regretting the creation.

          Now comes the fun part (starting page 25). Roberta Chesnut then talks about how this theology of the will of humanity in general is connected to Christology. God does not make moral choices. God simply is the Good that we are called to choose. The fact that Christ had to make choices means that Christ was endowed not with a mere human puppet, but a human nature with a rational soul endowed with will and reason. AT THE SAME TIME, He is God, and so using the text Isaiah 7:15, “before he knows how to choose evil, he will choose the good”, St. Severus writes (Hom. LXXXIII from PO xx.415-17):

          ***************************************
          The words ‘he scorned’, and ‘he did not obey’, and this other, ‘he chose’, show us that the Word of God is united hypostatically not only to flesh, but still to a soul endowed with will and reason, for the purpose of making our souls, bent towards sinfulness, incline toward the choice of good and the aversion to evil.


          Each of us, in effect, examined at the age of infancy, has no knowledge of good or evil. . . But as by nature Emmanuel was all God and the Good itself. . . he did not wait for the time of discernment. . . On the one hand he scorned evil and did not obey it, and on the other, he chose good.
          ***************************************

          This is consistent with what I read from Maximus the Confessor in his disputation:

          ***************************************
          If this interpretation of the patristic definition be correct, then in the first place it is not possible to say that this [appropriated will] is a gnomic will, for how is it possible for a will to proceed from a will? Thus, those who say that there is a gnomie in Christ, as this inquiry is demonstrating, are maintaining that he is a mere man, deliberating in a manner like unto us, having ignorance, doubt and opposition, since one only deliberates about something which is doubtful, no concerning what is free of doubt. By nature we have an appetite simply for what by nature is good, but we gain experience of the goal in a particular way, through inquiry and counsel. Because of this, then, the gnomic will is fitly ascribed to us, being a mode of the employment [of the will], and not a principle of nature, otherwise nature [itself] would change innumerable times. But the humanity of Christ does not simply subsist [in a manner] similar to us, but divinely, for He who appeared in the flesh for our sakes was God. It is thus not possible to say that Christ had a gnomic will. For the Same had being itself, subsisting divinely, and thus naturally hath an inclination to the good, and a drawing away from evil, just as Basil, the great eye of the Church, said when explaining the interpretation for the forty-fourth Psalm: “By the same line of interpretation, Isaiah said the same thing: ‘Before the child knew or advanced in evil, he chose the good.’ (Isaiah 7:15) For the word ‘before’ indicates that He had by nature what is good, not inquiring and deliberating as we do, but because He subsisted divinely by virtue of His very being.”
          ***************************************

          He uses the same passage Is. 7:15 to prove that while Christ exhibited free human choice, the mode (tropos) of choice is done so divinely (and since Christ’s human will is not “gnomic”), so that even before knowing good and evil, He chose good and rejected evil. For St. Severus, instead of using the idea of tropos, he would say that the distinction in contemplation of the natures can help us understanding that “choice” is a human quality or will and the keeping with the good before knowing good and evil is connected to a divine quality or will, but all together, in reality, His choice of good before knowing good and evil is the theanthropic will of Christ, or in another sense, the one will of the Word incarnate. It is a divinized human will and a humanized divine will all in one.

          Furthermore, Dr. Chesnut continues on the energeia of Christ in St. Severus’ thought (operations or activity) starting on page 29. I will just quote the relevant passages of St. Severus:

          ***************************************
          He who acted as one man, who is composed of soul and body, and one operation, for there is one efficient motion, the outreaching itself of what he wills. [But] of these different things done, this belongs to the intelligible realm, but that to the tangible and sensible.

          Between the things performed and done by the one Christ, the difference is great. Some of them are acts befitting the divinity, while the others are human…Yet the one Word performed the latter and the former…Because the things performed are different, we shall [not] on this account rightly define two natures or forms as operating.

          Thus one also sees Immanuel [as one sees the builder] for the one who acts is one–this is the Word of God incarnate–and the operation is one efficient cause, but the things done are different…Thus let no man separate the Word from the flesh, and thus he cannot divide or separate the operations. (Letter 1 to Sergius the Grammarian)
          ***************************************

          In other words, just as much as you can distinguish the differences of wills and operations of the human soul and body, but cannot separate or divide them from each other, so in the same sense, while you can distinguish the differences of human and divine wills and operations, you cannot separate or divide them, as if saying “The Word does what belongs to the Word, or the flesh does what belongs to the flesh.” No, after the hypostatic union, the Word incarnate does divine and human things, keeping full integrity of both, but also keeping a real hypostatic union, so that the human nature, will, and operation of Christ becomes the means by which we partake of the glory and operation of the divinity, since we cannot know God by essence, but by energy (Chesnut pp. 32-34).

          Based on St. Severus’ Christology alone, I find no difference essentially between his beliefs and the little I have read from Maximus the Confessor, who would rather stressed more on the integrity of the wills than on the theanthropic unity of them, or even the concentrating on the divine tropos of the human will, which I think is analogous to later OO fathers describing even Christ’s human will as “divine will”, as if to describe a divinized humanity of Christ the Word.

          I know this is long and tedious, but I hope that answers your question 🙂

          Mina

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          • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

            Thank you! Long, but not tedious! Perhaps answering so deeply/radically, that I do not follow all the answer, yet… I have certainly not thought about ‘gnome’/’gnomikos’ sufficiently or (to my recollection) encountered quite such a discussion as St. Maximus’s (in his work, or elsewhere). Nor have I (to my recollection) encountered this translation, exegesis, and use of Isaiah 7:15 [or 16: Vulgate v. 16 has “Quia antequam sciat puer reprobare malum et eligere bonum,” while I have not looked up the LXX yet). Even in the sense of the verse given and the understanding set out, I am not sure I see a contradiction between ‘Before the child knew or advanced in evil, he chose the good’ and (subsequent) gnomical exercise.

            But I am not (yet?) sure what to try to ask, further…

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        • Mina says:

          I also found this article online:

          http://www.ttgst.ac.kr/upload/ttgst_resources13/20124-208.pdf

          It generally agrees with what I am trying to portray concerning St. Severus’ Christology.

          God bless.

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  4. Mina says:

    I want to add a commentary to this post by Fr. Kimel. I wouldn’t use the word “personal”, but physis would be “concrete individuate” or “concrete specimen” or “concrete existence”. St. Severus interpreted the term “hypostasis” the same way. Not every hypostasis is a prosopon, but every prosopon is a hypostasis. In St. Severus, before the incarnation, the hypostasis was only divine, but after the incarnation, the hypostasis, that is the whole concrete unit of existence, is both human and divine. The humanity is “hypostatic”, that is “it truly exists and is concrete”, but we cannot think of humanity separately from divinity. That is why “after the union”, we think of humanity and divinity as “one hypostasis”, which is also “one nature”.

    The importance of this is most essentially sacramental. We do not partake of flesh and blood alone, but we partake of the life-giving flesh and blood, or the divine flesh and blood, or the “one nature” of God the Word incarnate. In addition, since our humanity is mingled and made one with His humanity, we are exalted into His divine glories. This is why essentially, the “mia physis” terminology was seen with a soteriological focus, not merely a terminological focus.

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      It’s interesting, Mina, that you raise a question about McGuckin’s description of hypostasis as personal subjectivity. There were times when reading his book when I wondered whether his interpretation of Cyril might be too colored by Zizioulas and Lossky, in the same way that Zizioulas’s reading of the Cappadocians is too colored by the modern personalist concerns. I’m too ignorant to have an opinion, but the question did cross my mind.

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      • Mina says:

        Same here Father. I also am too ignorant to judge this. I am by no means a scholar, but I read what other scholars say and keep an open mind. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I also am suspicious of the modern personalist theology developed later. Not that I am against the personalist theology; I actually am drawn to it. But I don’t pretend that this is how the ancient fathers thought. I think we need to admit there was a development of thought, a growth of theology. I also would say in the same way that Gregory Palamas, while getting patristic support, is still a development, not a literal adherence of ancient doctrine.

        Development of theological language is very difficult to know, and these developments were only made as a reaction to a heretical development. Can one consider that after the trying times of the 5th to 7th centuries, that not one, but two Orthodox developments of linguistic differences occurred? I believe so. Maybe even a third, but that one is still too difficult to know at the moment.

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  5. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    The Classical Christianity blog has provided a lengthy citation from van Loon on Cyril and the mia physis: http://goo.gl/5V4vYr.

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    • Mina says:

      I had a different impression of St. Cyril’s response to Theodoret. If Theodoret did not like “hypostatic union”, St. Cyril responded to Theodoret with “Mia Physis” in his “On the Unity of Christ”, probably to be more provocative. I don’t think St. Cyril ended his use of “hypostatic union”, let alone “natural union”. Yes, it’s a tool, but so was “homoousios”, despite the fact that previous fathers may have used “homoi-ousios” in an Orthodox way. “Homoousios” was not St. Basil’s favorite term, but he accepted it on account of fighting the Arian heresy. St. Cyril became more frequent with the term “Mia Physis” because of supporters of not just Nestorius, but also of Theodore of Mopsuestia, lead by Theodoret.

      I think Van Loon is trying really hard to make St. Cyril a diophysite out of Miaphysite language. The fact that St. Cyril uses the analogy of human composition was “proof” that St. Cyril was “really” a diophysite. By that logic, so was the whole OO tradition that demanded “Miaphysis”.

      I do appreciate something in this article. When mentioning “one nature of the Word incarnate”, the term “incarnate” is not a nature, but it describes the Word directly. This refutes the notion that St. Cyril believed the “one nature” was the divine Word only or that “incarnate” was a second nature. But since Van Loon’s purpose is to make St. Cyril look more diophysite than miaphysite, his arguments rely on:

      1. St. Cyril’s use of Pseudo-Athanasius (was St. Cyril “fooled”?)
      2. A pressure by Miaphysites on St. Cyril
      3. St. Cyril didn’t really use it that much before the Nestorian controversy, so it must not be his favorite

      I am doing a lot of research right now on deification. One interesting person is St. John Chrysostom. It is very difficult to find any reference of deification in him, leading some scholars to think he inherited a Diodorian/Theodorian concept of anti-deification. But others think that he had enough contact with the Cappadocian fathers to have his own unique theological development that had hints of deification.

      Another research I read is the deification language of St. Athanasius as “theopoeisis”. This particular scholar I was reading was saying that St. Athanasius never used “theosis”, which is a philosophical term that is used a lot by the Cappadocians, and may cross the line into inappropriate understandings of the glorification of mankind. Therefore, St. Athanasius confesses “theopoiesis”, but is “anti-theosis”. This line of argumentation is what I consider “stretching it”, and is filled with a personal bias (this is a man who wanted to defend his predecessor’s condemnation of the term “deification”).

      So I find Von Loon suspiciously doing something similar with regard to St. Cyril’s alleged “diophysite” theology.

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  6. Maximus says:

    St. Maximus main point: Humanity fell in the disobedience of Adam, if Christ did not take up a human will/energy then He isn’t human and therefore, we aren’t saved in Him. Human will, above most things, needs to be recapitulated. Fr. Demetrios Bathrellos has a wonderful book on this subject.

    http://www.amazon.com/Byzantine-Christ-Christology-Confessor-Christian/dp/0199258643/ref=la_B001HOPDXC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452699823&sr=1-1

    Fr. Florovsky compares every christology that falls short of confessing a fully human will and act in Christ to Augustinianism, since anthropological minimalism is the common theme.

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  7. It seems perfectly clear from all Scriptures (OT-Emmanuel, God with us–& NT), that Jesus Christ was Deity in every way, including The Divine Word within His Divine supernatural Flesh! As Jesus said, ” I always do the Will of My Father and always please Him”. Only a Divine and perfectly sinless Flesh could take our sins upon Himelf, and be raised from the dead in three days INCORRUPTIBLE! He was, is, and always will be Deity in Word, (now incarnate), Heart, Soul, and Will–filled with the Holy Spirit and ONE with the Father. He was Deity in every way. I can’t find in any Scripture that he possessed two Wills! (Of course, He had the “nature” of the Flesh and the Word) He did have human needs and emotions just like us, but always perfectly followed our Heavenly Father’s Will. Even in the Garden of Gethsemenee, in the literal Greek text, He said, ” Father, if you WISH, allow this cup to pass from Me; nevertheless, not My WILL but Your WILL be done”.

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  8. After reading today about all the persecution in the church of those who didn’t agree with monotheletism, especially in the times following the orthodoxy of the fourth century, I can’t understand why there was such a difficulty in understanding the difference between Christ, the eternal Word taking on Flesh and trying to mold the two into one inseparable unity? The diotheletists were surely wrong in thinking of Christ’s flesh and the Word as indivisable. When Christ’s was crucified, his Body lay incorruptible in the tomb, while The Word preached the Gospel to the spirits in hades as recorded in 1 Peter 3:19-20, 4:6. From what I’ve read about Cyril’s belief, he saw the distinction between Christ,s Flesh and the Word. The diophysites believed Christ had two wills, which runs contrary to Scripture. What I can’t understand is the anathemas, tortures, and cruel murdering of so-called Christians who differed on some things that those with heresies didn’t understand. It’s obvious from Scriptures that Christ, The Word of God took on flesh–yet sinless and supernatural flesh–He even laid down His Life, as He said, no one takes it from me. He had only ONE Divine Will and that was to do everything His Father and the Holy Spiritempowered Him to do. God works in perfect Triunity. All of church history is filled with Christians persecuting one another over doctrinal differences (many times over theological hairspliting and hating each others theological interpretations and different sects. I realize that we have to stand for orthodoxy, but not at the expense of all the anathemas and violent persecutions.

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