Fully God, Fully Man

As embryo, foetus, infant, child and man [Christ’s personal, human nature] is hypostasis [i.e. personalized and individualized] in the Second Person of the Trinity. The flesh is his. The form of a servant is his. The likeness of men is his. The obedience unto death is his. As every juncture…we have to do not with a man into whom God changed himself, but with God himself. He is a real man only as the Son of God. Nor is his human nature mere attribute, an accident of his existence. It is part of his essence or being. He became man; and he is, irrevocably and inalienably, man. Everything he is and does is modified by his humanity as sure as by his divinity. He thinks and loves and wills as man, as surely as he thinks, loves and wills as God (Macleod, The Person of Christ, 202).

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About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
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8 Responses to Fully God, Fully Man

  1. Lee says:

    “Irrevocably”? So that means “everything he is and does [currently] is modified by his humanity as sure as by his divinity”? I must confess that even though I’ve been reading a lot about Christology over at EP, I haven’t considered whether or not Christ is currently still 100% man, which is what Macleod seems to be saying – and that thought doesn’t seem to resonate very well for me…

  2. Danny Slavich says:

    Yeah, the doctrine of the continuing incarnation is the orthodox (little “o”, I’m not sure about the big “O”) position.

    A good book (which I haven’t read) is Gerit Scott Dawson’s book, Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarntion .

    I’ve heard it said that part of what makes the Incarnation so amazing is the permanence of it. That God actually became man — and that he does not unbecome man.

    I don’t have any specific “proof texts” I can think of, but I think the NT speaks with (at least) several lines of evidence:

    1. The similarilty of Christ’s resurrection body (as the firstfruits) with our resurrection bodies (1 Cor 15).

    2. The abiding “slainness” of Jesus the Lamb in Revelation.

    3. The continuing intercession of Christ on our behalf seen in Hebrews.

  3. Lee says:

    That’s very interesting – I really can’t remember having thought about this before! But … the only passage that makes sense to me in this context is 1. – 2. could simply be positional, it seems to me, relative to our need for Him to be so, and 3. doesn’t seem to require Him to be man – His once having been so seems adequate to me… but again, I’m still trying to get my head around this – I’m not trying to argue against it, necessarily…

  4. Danny Slavich says:

    I didn’t have enough time earlier to give my reasons why I think these three lines of reasoning indicate the abiding incarnate state of Jesus. (Tis the season for gift wrapping after all ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since you seem to agree with #1, I’ll just mention my thoughts on #2, and #3.

    2. Basically, I think there seems to be a line of biblical evidence that indicates the abiding “scars” and “stripes” (etc) of Jesus in heaven. This would mean that he would still have to be in form of a man (i.e. still incarnate).

    3. The author of Hebrews seems to argue that the similarity and identity of a priest is what grounds his intercession on behalf of the people. Since Christ is the Priest par excellance, his continuing intercession would imply his continued incarnation.

    (Btw, sorry if that last comment of mine came off as irritated or anything.)

    Also, we’re looking forward to seeing you guys next week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Lee says:

    Nope – I didn’t sense any irritation or anything like that!

    2. Right – there’s definitely that the abiding scars, etc. – but obviously on His risen, glorified body – the one with the sharp, two-edged sword for a tongue and face which is the source of light for Heaven…. I’m not sure how beneficial anthropological comparisons are here.

    3. Why? He’s a priest after the order of Melchizedek, after all, not of Aaron. Melchizedek was an anomaly – the priest who was king of Peace, without father, without mother… the quintessential type of Christ, yes (I think some have even said that he was a theophany), so again, I’m not sure how beneficial the comparison is here…

    Yes – we’re looking forward to seeing you guys, too!

  6. Lee says:

    Wow – my last comment was sure grammatically challenged! I must have kept trying to refine my thoughts while composing it…

    2. “…there’s definitely the evidence of the abiding scars…”

    3. “… type of Christ, yes …, but again…”

  7. Danny Slavich says:

    2. Hmm… maybe my entire argument here isn’t actually found in Revelation, but starts in the gospel of John (and Revelation subsequently). It seems that John at the end of his gospel portrays a risen, still-scarred and still truly human Jesus. This is the Jesus into whose hands and side Thomas puts his hands. This is the same Jesus who ascends into heaven. Why would this same Jesus then somehow, in heaven, shed his humanity? I think in Revelation that John paints a metaphorical/apocalyptic picture of the risen and glorious Jesus. But the elements of the still-scarred body seem to be implied when he says the Lamb “as though slain” (Rev 5:6) opens the scroll. Of course, this isn’t an “anthropological” picture of a Jesus with seven horns and eyes. But, again, I think it points back to John’s account of the risen Jesus’ human and scarred body.

    3. I think the Melchizidek point is that Christ’s priesthood is unending — not that it is “unhuman”. Hebrews 7:16 says that Christ became a priest on the “basis of an indestructible life”. This Christ is the one who abides and intercedes forever. Now, if he is no longer human, why would his life have to be called “indestructible”? It would be a given, since he is God. But the “indestructible” nature of Christ’s life is important and poignant, I think, because he forever lives to make intercession for the people. There must be analogy or similarity for intercession to take place. The blood of bulls and goats could never save because they were insufficient — men committed sins and so it was the blood of a man that was needed to make atonement. Christ forever can intercede on the basis of his all-sufficient sacrifice and eternal, indestructible life.

  8. Lee says:

    2. I guess I’m having trouble with the “still human” side of things… Because even in John’s gospel, He’s clearly something *more* than human, wouldn’t you say? In what sense, other than form, is He human? If it is just form, then in what sense is He human?

    3. Good point on “indestructible life”, but see my questions for 2. above…

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