I.                    The Communion of Natures (p. 118 et.seq.)

A.                 Reason for the special discussion of the communion of natures.

1.                  Communion of natures.

a.                   Not something outside of the personal union.

b.                  Not in addition to the personal union.

2.                  Personal union includes the communion of the divine and human natures in His Person.

3.                  Both communion of natures and personal union.

a.                   Actually coincide.

b.                  Are distinguished only conceptually.

4.                  Discussion necessary on account of Reformed Theology.

a.                   It admits that in Christ God and man are one Person.

b.                  But rejects any actual communion of the divine nature with the human in His Person.

5.                  Also because of the Roman Catholic theology which agrees with Calvinism.

B.                 The Communion of Natures more completely described.

1.                  Scripture:

a.                   States the fact of the communion of natures.

b.                  Also describes it more fully as a permeation without confusion and conversion.

2.                  Can not regard the communion of natures as if the two natures merely exist side by side.

3.                  Rather, they interpenetrate each other, the divine permeating the human.

a.                   Col 2:9.

b.                  Jn 1:14.

c.                   1Jn 1:1-3.

4.                  Nevertheless, both natures remain intact.

a.                   There is no confusion or conversion.

b.                  They remain unchanged and unimpaired.

5.                  Important question must be treated here (though will be discussed more fully later).

a.                   “Whether or not the Son of God, after the incarnation, is always present, wherever He is, in His human nature.”

b.                  Answer is: “Yes”, though Reformed say “No”.

c.                   Affirmative answer is demanded by Col 2:9.

d.                  Otherwise, would require surrender of the personal union.

e.                   He, the Son of God, actually is in possession of His human nature wherever He is.

f.                    Reformed object that this requires His human nature to be very large and locally extended.

g.                   We reply:

(1)               His human nature did not have to become larger at all.

(2)               Since also the divine nature has no local extension.

(3)               Scripture teaches that His human nature has received:

(a)                In addition to its natural, local, and visible mode of subsistence.

(b)               Also a divine and invisible mode of subsistence which transcends all limitations of space.

(c)                Jn 4:3,4 (local).

(d)               Jn 20:19,26 (illocal, invisible).

(e)                Lk 24:31 (illocal, invisible).

(4)               He possessed this illocal mode of subsistence even in His state of humiliation.

(a)        Jn 8:59.

(b)        Lk 4:30,37.

(c)                Mt 14:25.

(5)               His human nature is capable of two kinds of acts.

(a)                Such as are common with all other men.

(b)               Such as belong exclusively to Him, since only His is personally united with the Son of God, as transcending space, being invisible, etc.


II.                 The Communion of Attributes (p. 129 et. seq.)

A.                 Doctrine of the communication of attributes has been controverted much more than other doctrines.

B.                 Preliminary remarks:

1.                  We must bear in mind what the Church means by “attributes”.

a.                   Denotes not merely attributes in the strict sense, i.e. what the divine and human nature are essentially (e.g. eternal and temporal, infinite and finite).

b.                  But also everything that the natures do or suffer according to their respective essence (e.g. to create and to be created, to give life and to lay down the life).

c.                   “Attributes” therefore:

(1)               Taken in narrow sense for the natural properties themselves.

(2)               Or taken in a wider sense for the very actions through which the properties in the strict sense manifest themselves.

2.                  Must not forget that the communication of attributes does not constitute a special article of faith.

a.                   It does not go “one iota” beyond the doctrine of the personal union.

b.                  Statements expressing this are the same as those expressing the personal prepositions (see Lesson Five).

c.                   So why do we speak of three genera of communications of attributes?

(1)               Some have tried to separate the Son of God from the attribute of His human nature (e.g. birth, suffering, and death).

(2)               Some have tried to separate the Son of Mary from the divine attributes of the Son of God (e.g. divine power, and, above all, divine omnipresence).

(3)               It has been denied that the two natures perform jointly, in one divine-human act, whatever is peculiar to each.

(4)               Tit 1:9-11.




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