Hypostatic union

The first sort of objection one would make to orthodox Christology would be like this:

God cannot X

Christ actually did/ was X

Therefore, Christ is not God.

The X might be any number of predicates, viz. die, be born, have a body, learn things, be a creature, not know things, etc.

The orthodox response to the objection is that it fails to grasp what we mean by a hypostatic union, sc. the unity of a human nature in a divine person. The basic principle is this: when something is unified to a person, what affects it affects the person, even if the person can exist without it. If you touch my hand, you touch me; if you cut off my hand, you do me injury even though my person can survive without a hand and might even exist before it (say, in utero.) This principle applies not only to body parts but even to property, clothing or likenesses.  If you venerate a statue you venerate the person it is a likeness of, and if you can express your anger or disgust at a person by harming what they own.

There are important ways in which the hypostatic union has to be divided from all these modes of unity to a person,  since the hypostatic union is sui generis,  but the basic fact of unity-to-person remains. There are also, of course, important objections that can be raised to this response, but it still counts as a response to the first sort of objection given above.

1 Comment

  1. Steph said,

    November 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    This is a little off topic but I thought I would share these with you since they gave me a good laugh. 🙂 They are funny versions of Plato’s dialogues, but I couldn’t find the first few but these are still funny:





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