Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Do Calvinists really accept the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Ecumenical Councils?

As seen from the book The Historic Church: An Orthodox View of Christian History

 Calvin’s Christology
Although Calvin claims to accept
Chalcedonian Christology, he so emphasizes the division between the human and divine natures of Christ that he falls into Nestorian-like beliefs. He shows definite Nestorian tendencies during his arguments against the Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist. Calvin taught that the Faithful could not receive the actual body of Christ, because the human body of Christ, “is contained in heaven, where it was once received, and will remain until the judgment.”941

Thus, Calvin rejected the patristic doctrine of the “communication of attributes.” For this reason he did not teach the deification of the human nature of Christ through its union with the divine nature. The doctrine of the “communication of attributes,” and the deification of the human nature of Christ are both are essential elements of the Christology of the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils.942 Rejection of these key doctrines, compromises the union between the human and divine natures of Christ and leads to a division between the two natures that is very close to the teachings of Nestorianism.

The defects in Calvin’s thought show the wisdom of the Fathers of the Fifth Council, Constantinople II in 553, which declared that Chalcedon must be understood in conformity with the teachings of St. Cyril of Alexandria. By denying the deification of the human nature of Christ, Calvin rejected the foundation of salvation which is the Incarnation and the deification of humanity through the deification of the human nature of Christ.

Although Calvin affirmed his belief in the Incarnation, it is clear that his teachings deprive the Incarnation of its real meaning because he denies the deification of the human nature of Christ.
For this reason, it is not surprising that some of Calvin’s heirs reject traditional Christology and teach that Jesus Christ was only an inspired man, an idea that is the essence of Nestorianism.[1] 

 [1], pages 290-291 by Archpriest John W. Morris (2011-07-15). The Historic Church: An Orthodox View of Christian History (290), (p. 291). AuthorHouse. Kindle Edition.


Jnorm said...

I already know that most within the Reformed Tradition stop at the 4th Ecumenical council. But to reject the 5th is to also reject huge portions of both the 3rd and 4th councils.

Nicholas said...

Reformed Christology fluxuates between docetism and Nestorianism, making no attempt to apologize for or harmonize the disparity.

Ben Barkley said...

Hmm...perhaps I am not following, perhaps. But, not to ardently defending Calvinism, just merely representing them with clarity, Calvin in the context of the quote is speaking on the Eucharist not the incarnation. For Calvin, communication of the human attributes may not be communicated because they are human ones, which do not receive the status of being ubiquitous. Divine attributes are communicated to the world, otherwise there would be no incarnation! But, since the resurrection, Calvin doesn't believe the human attributes are communicable. This discussion for Calvin cannot pertain to the incarnation, only to the Eucharist.





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