Hypostatic Union explanation

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Hypostatic Union explanation

#1

Post by RickD » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:25 pm

Ok everyone,

I'm trying to explain the Hypostatic Union to my son, and it's not working. Anyone have a way to explain it so a teenager can understand. Links, or anything would be appreciated.
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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#2

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:31 pm

It's like, those jars where the peanut butter and jelly come together--one squeeze and you get a PB&J sammich!

Image

:D

In all seriousness, check your PMs
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#3

Post by RickD » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:37 pm

Thanks, I'll have a look.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#4

Post by Christian2 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:07 am

RickD wrote:Thanks, I'll have a look.
And after you do look, how about explaining it to the rest of us? :)

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#5

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:40 pm

I'm arguing, C2, that you really can't explain the hypostatic union with analogies or metaphors. You always end up getting in trouble. The only way to really do it is to get your language right and just speak it plainly. We need to say that in Christ, two complete natures coexist (though without being comingled) in one person. By extension, we need to recognize that persons are not natures (necessarily). Persons have natures (at least, that's the case with humans). Christ, the person, has two natures: a human one (whereby He has attributes like having a body, was able to get tired, was able to sleep, etc.) and a divine one (whereby He was omniscient, omnipotent, etc.).

At that point, the best way to explain the HU is to talk about what it isn't. It isn't adoptionism (the idea that there is only one nature--human--and that this human person was adopted by Jesus. It isn't Arianism (the idea that the two natures are comingled such that the resulting nature is neither human nor divine but rather semi-divine). It isn't apollinarianism (whereby the divine nature took on a truncated human nature, such that the "mind" part of the human nature was "stripped out" and "replaced" with the divine mind). It isn't nestorianism (whereby each nature is viewed as a person, such that there are really two persons in one being), etc.

Does this help grasp/comprehend it? On the level of experiential understanding, I don't think so. A blind man may be able to understand colors intellectually, but he doesn't have an experiential grasp of them until he actually sees a color. And so it is with the HU. We can't have an experiential grasp on it because of what it is, so we really should quit trying. But we can have a very good, solid, and helpful intellectual understanding of what it is and isn't, and to that end, the language is incredibly important, especially as illustrated by old errors.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#6

Post by IceMobster » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:27 pm

Jac3510 wrote:I'm arguing, C2, that you really can't explain the hypostatic union with analogies or metaphors. You always end up getting in trouble. The only way to really do it is to get your language right and just speak it plainly. We need to say that in Christ, two complete natures coexist (though without being comingled) in one person. By extension, we need to recognize that persons are not natures (necessarily). Persons have natures (at least, that's the case with humans). Christ, the person, has two natures: a human one (whereby He has attributes like having a body, was able to get tired, was able to sleep, etc.) and a divine one (whereby He was omniscient, omnipotent, etc.).
What about angels? Does each angel have a nature of his own or do they all share one? Of course, we are taking into the account that angels do exist because there are some who think they do not.
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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#7

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:44 pm

Angels do not have their natures. They are identical with their natures. As such, they do not share a nature. Rather, each angel is actually a distinct nature, much as humans are distinct from trees at the level of nature.

So to explain a bit more, as this will help with the OP, a thing's nature is in other contexts the same thing as its form. So you have a human nature. But you are not identical with a human nature. You have that nature. You exemplify that nature. I have the same nature, and so we say that you and I are the same kind of thing. The word "human" answers to a real, constituent part of your ontology. So what makes you and me different entities? It isn't our nature, as we share the same one. The principle of individuation (as it is called) is our matter. I am this body, you are that body. Again, getting back to classical language, your matter is informed, such that you are a form/matter composite. And the same is true with me. Our form is the same, but our matter is different. Now on my view (which is the Thomist view), you are a "person" insofar as you are a form/matter composite, and that's precisely because you are are a human person. That's your nature. All human persons are form/matter composites. As such, when your form/nature (or "soul") is separated from your body--when your form/soul is no longer informing matter--you are no longer a form/matter composite but are now only a form and strictly no longer a person (since, again, in humans, the person is the form/matter composite).

That does not hold in the case of angels. Angels, by nature, are not material entities. That is, their nature is such that their form does not, in fact, inform matter. Angels are pure form. That is, they are pure nature. But let's revisit the question we asked above. Pretend that you and I are both angels. Now, what distinguishes us? It can't be our matter, because neither of us have any matter. But if we share a common nature (suppose "angel" was a nature like "human" is), then we would not be distinguished by nature, either. Therefore, we would be exactly the same entity. So what we have to say is that the principle of individuation for angels is the form itself. You have your nature, I have mine. We may both be called "angels," but that is only by similitude or analogy. There is no form "angel" in us that the word "angel" corresponds to.

Taking this all the way back to the HU, Jesus is a person who has two distinct natures. The divine Person just is a nature (like angels). But He chose to incarnate, to take on a human nature. Now the human nature has naturally a body. That is, the human form naturally informs matter (that is why a disembodied soul is in an unnatural state). Thus, the Person of Christ, who is a Divine Person, in taking on a human nature in addition to His Divine nature (which is to say, in addition to Himself), also naturally takes on a body. That's called Incarnation. So Christ has two natures (which also implies two wills and two intellects; a human will and a human intellect, and a divine will and a divine intellect). The two exist completely, without being mixed together. They exist in one Person--that's actually a bit easier to see in Greek. The word for "person" is hypostasis, which you might etymologically translate "that which stands under," with the implication of being that which is the ground of something else. So that which grounds the two natures in reality is the Person of Christ. And that Person, of course, is God, since that Person is (like angels) pure form and thus identical with His nature. Thus we say that Christ literally is God even as Christ literally is human.
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IceMobster (Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:49 pm) • EssentialSacrifice (Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:11 pm)
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#8

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:50 pm

How does the spirit of a human, fit into his nature? God is spirit, and humans are spiritual beings in a physical body. Does that mean Jesus had two spiritual natures?

That's specifically what my son was asking about.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#9

Post by EssentialSacrifice » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:12 pm

Re: Hypostatic Union explanation
Postby Jac3510 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:44 pm
remarkable post Jac.
Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence. -St Augustine

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#10

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:26 pm

RickD wrote:How does the spirit of a human, fit into his nature? God is spirit, and humans are spiritual beings in a physical body. Does that mean Jesus had two spiritual natures?

That's specifically what my son was asking about.
I think you know that I'm not a trichotomist, meaning that I don't think that humans are composed of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. I'm a dichotomist, meaning that I think that humans are composed of two parts: body and soul. In this context, "spirit" and "soul" are more or less synonymous. There are technical differences in how the words are used in various contexts, but by and large, consider them the same thing.

So the spirit of a man is his soul, and the soul is the animating principle or the form of the body. God is spirit, which is to say, soul, which is to say, form. He is His own nature. Humans are spiritual beings insofar as we are living creatures--indeed, everything that lives is spiritual in this sense, since every living thing has a soul (an animating principle).

This is important to your question because you son likely thinks of the spirit being "in" the body in the way I am "in" my car: I am distinct from it and drive it around. He might well think that he is "in" his body and "driving it around." On that view, the problem would be that the "human spirit" would somehow be "in" Jesus' body, and the "divine spirit" would be in Jesus' body, which would mean that the body would have two "passengers." But that's not the right picture at all. Remember that the soul is the form, and the form animates matter and makes it what it is. A body is a human body because the human soul manifested that body--it informed the matter so that the matter took that particular shape or "form." Take the form/soul/nature/essence away, and all that's left is a shell that will quickly decompose. Think of the body as coming out of the soul. Or think of the soul as producing a body in accordance with its nature.

So when the divine person, who does not HAVE a spirit but IS a spirit (DS and all that)--He just IS His nature/form/essence/soul--takes on a human nature, then that human nature produces a body. The one person is the ground of being for those two natures. There are two "spirits" if you will . . . a human and divine spirit, but remember that these spirits are really souls or animating principles. There is only one person. The human nature/soul/spirit is perfectly and completely submitted to the divine nature/soul/spirit. Thus, in Christ's flesh, humanity is perfectly submitted to and united to the divine. That is why that salvation is most fitting in the Incarnation: we are saved in Christ's body by being raised with a body like His (perfectly submitted to and in harmony with the divine nature). But now I'm going a bit far afield and so will stop here.

-----------------------
EssentialSacrifice wrote:
Re: Hypostatic Union explanation
Postby Jac3510 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:44 pm
remarkable post Jac.
Thank you :)

I taught a three week Sunday School (each week an hour long) on this stuff. Called the series "the divine life," with each Person of the Trinity getting a week. It was fun!
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#11

Post by EssentialSacrifice » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:17 am

Truthfully Jac, anyone who can explain Divine Simplicity to me as understandable, well, quite honestly, this topic is a walk in the park :esurprised: and there's no doubt your Sunday school days are demonstrably well regarded and still put to use this very day, in my case.
by RickD » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:50 pm

How does the spirit of a human, fit into his nature? God is spirit, and humans are spiritual beings in a physical body. Does that mean Jesus had two spiritual natures?

That's specifically what my son was asking about.
Rick ...last paragraph of Jac's post here: by Jac3510 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:44 pm ? answer to your son's Q is not there ?
Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence. -St Augustine

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#12

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:31 pm

In each of us resides the self of the past the current and the self of the future. Often these selves are in conflict with one another. If you stop to dwell on it you may never be able to resolve these entities logically yet one knows that they exist in one body. Logic and reason may allow one to understand things but the ultimate truth resides in experience.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#13

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:21 am

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:In each of us resides the self of the past the current and the self of the future. Often these selves are in conflict with one another. If you stop to dwell on it you may never be able to resolve these entities logically yet one knows that they exist in one body. Logic and reason may allow one to understand things but the ultimate truth resides in experience.
I'm going to bookmark this post, and reread it next time I'm tripping on LSD. :shock:
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BGoodForGoodSake (Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:23 pm)
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#14

Post by IceMobster » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:01 am

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:In each of us resides the self of the past the current and the self of the future. Often these selves are in conflict with one another. If you stop to dwell on it you may never be able to resolve these entities logically yet one knows that they exist in one body. Logic and reason may allow one to understand things but the ultimate truth resides in experience.
Mind elaborating on this? Self of the past, self of the current and self of the future? What the hell?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

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Re: Hypostatic Union explanation

#15

Post by LittleHamster » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:27 pm

IceMobster wrote:
BGoodForGoodSake wrote:In each of us resides the self of the past the current and the self of the future. Often these selves are in conflict with one another. If you stop to dwell on it you may never be able to resolve these entities logically yet one knows that they exist in one body. Logic and reason may allow one to understand things but the ultimate truth resides in experience.
Mind elaborating on this? Self of the past, self of the current and self of the future? What the hell?
That would need lots of new-age/mysticism terminology to explain - not really theological.


But if you are interested in that kind of stuff, read on.....

A person does not have a soul but they are a soul and have three bodies - the physical, psychical and noetical. These make up the temporary personality (corruptible) in time and space. At the time of death, all three bodies are dissolved and the accumulated experiences of the individual are now held by the permanent personality (incorruptible) . Its the spirit-ego-being (or self-aware soul) part of the permanent personality that exists in past-present and future. The permanent personality is the one that returns to the father as explained in the parable of the prodigal son.

for what its worth, see this breakdown ....

God and Humanity according to Christian Mysticism
http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... ad#p160048

Parable of the Prodigal Son
http://www.researchersoftruth.org/teach ... odigal-son
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