The Doctrine of Christ (part 4)

April 07, 2008     Time: 00:50:21


Craig continues on the Doctrine of Christ (Christology). Incarnation. Logos. Council of Nicaea. Apollinaris. Sinlessness of Jesus. Nestorianism. Council of Chalcedon.

. . . the close of the movie Saving Private Ryan. You may remember in that portion of the film, the elderly Ryan comes back to Normandy for D-Day commemorations. As he approaches the graves of those men who gave their lives to save him so that he could be extracted from Normandy and sent home to be safe, he falls on his knees. He is so broken up emotionally. As his family struggles to help him to his feet, he says to his wife, “Tell me I’ve been a good man.” You see, he realized that those other soldiers had given their lives so that he could live and be saved. As he thought back on his life, he wanted to know that it hadn’t been in vain; that he had lived a life that was worthy of the sacrifice that they had made. So he wanted that affirmation from his wife, “I’ve been a good man. These men did not die in vain.”

As I saw that film, I thought, you know, every one of us is Private Ryan because the lives that were given by those servicemen in World War II and elsewhere are the lives that have made it possible for us to exist and to live the lives of freedom and security that we enjoy today. So really every one of us needs to ask that question of ourselves: have I been a good man? Have I lived a life that is worthy of the lives that have been given on behalf of that freedom. If those who have fallen in the service of our country in foreign wars could look at my life today, would they be revolted and repulsed and say, “This is what I died for? So this person can live this kind of hedonistic, materialistic, consumeristic, pointless life?” Or would they look at our life and say, “Yes, my sacrifice was worth it so that person could be free and live that kind of a life.” I mean that in a very real sense. We really are indebted to those who have given their lives in that way for the kind of freedom and security we enjoy today. We have to ask ourselves: was it worth it for them to do that? Have I lived a life, have I discharged my life, in such a way that they would be pleased with the sacrifice that they made?

So as we think about Memorial Day, I think it is a real call for us to reassess our own lives in light of that sacrifice and to purpose that they shall not have died in vain; that the lives that we lead today will be lives that will be worthy of the sacrifice that our soldiers have made in the fields of battle on foreign soils.

That is just a thought for you to consider as we think about Memorial Day and express our appreciation to those who have fallen in the service of our country.

[Opening prayer][1]

We have been thinking about the subject of the incarnation. Remember last time we saw that the church sought to avoid the two errors of Modalism and Arianism. Modalism held that all three of the persons of the Trinity are equally divine, but that in fact there is no Trinity – there is just one person. Modalism was a form of unitarianism. The church rejected that by saying that there are three distinct persons in the Trinity. On the other hand, Arianism held that there are three distinct persons but Arianism denied the full deity of the Son, saying the Son is in fact a creature – the first creation of God – and that only God the Father is truly God.

The church renounced both of these heresies and said that there are three persons who are equally God, equally divine, and yet are distinct individual persons.

We saw that this came to expression in the Council of Nicaea in the Nicene Creed. But there was a dissension in the church as a result of Nicaea over the interpretation of the word hypostasis. Hypostasis is the Greek form of the word substantia in the Latin. Substantia or substance is something that stands under something else. Sub-stantia – stands under. That is to say, a substance is a thing which bears properties. For example a dog has the property of being brown, being a collie, having four legs, and so forth. Having four legs or being brown are not substances – those are properties. But the dog is a substance. The dog is a thing that has properties. Hypostasis is the Greek form of the Latin substantia – something that stands under or bears properties. So the Nicene Creed uses the word hypostasis in the sense of substantia to say there are not three substances – three hypostases – in the Trinity. There is only one substance.

We saw that the Greek church fathers objected to this because the Greek church fathers understood hypostasis in a quite different way than the Latin church fathers did. They did not equate hypostasis with substance. Rather they thought of hypostasis as a sort of individual. So a rational hypostasis would be equivalent to the modern idea of a person. They wanted to say, therefore, there are three rational hypostases in the Trinity and that is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This disagreement over the Council of Nicaea was finally ironed out in the Council of Constantinople in 381 where the church adopted the interpretation of the Greek church fathers saying that there are three hypostases in one substance. There is one thing that is God but there are three hypostases, in that case three persons, in the one substance of God.

That is a little bit by way of review of where we come to today with the church councils.


Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: That there were three hypostases? They were the first in using that vocabulary to express it. I think that the Latin fathers clearly agreed that there were three persons in the Trinity. Tertullian, you will remember, talked about how there is an “I-thou” relationship between the first and second person of the Trinity. So the Latin fathers clearly thought that there were three persons. It was just a semantic difference. It was whether or not to use this vocabulary. The Latin and Greek speaking fathers had different understandings of the vocabulary. So it isn’t a conceptual difference. That is to say, they didn’t conceive of it in a different way.[2] It was merely a semantic difference.That is why it was able to be ironed out in the end once the vocabulary achieved a clear definition.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: No. This was not the beginning of the split between the Catholic and Greek churches. We will see subsequent to Nicaea and Constantinople, there are several other ecumenical councils that are recognized as authoritative by the universal church whether Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, or even Protestant. In one sense you can say the seeds of dissension are there, and this difference between Greek and Latin was a source of disagreement. But this is not the origins of the split which didn’t occur until 1050, some 700 years later.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: I think the word is “person” interestingly enough. This concept – the word “person” or “persona” in Latin – is a word that came out of the trinitarian controversies. It comes from the word in Greek that meant a mask which a player in a play would hold to his face when he would be a character in a play. The prosopon was the mask that he would put in front of his face to play a character. It was out of that vocabulary that the idea of a person came. These trinitarian controversies are really very, very significant in terms of our very modern idea of a person, of what a person is. These came out of these trinitarian controversies. These are not just confined to the dusty archives of church history. These have had profound implications upon what we conceive persons to be today.


Two broad schools of Christological thought emerged as a result of Nicaea. One is often called the Logos-Flesh Christology. This is often opposed to the Logos-Man Christology. Sometimes this is called Alexandrian Christology versus Antiochian, because that is where these theologians tended to locate – in Alexandrian, Egypt and in Antioch in the Middle East.

I think the difference between Alexandrian and Antiochian can be best understood by thinking of it as a struggle between what we can call a one-nature theory of the incarnation versus a two-nature theory of the incarnation. This is known in theology as Monophysite versus Dyophysite. A physis was a nature. Mono means one as in monochromatic or monotone. Monophysite means one nature. Di means two – two natures. So it is really a struggle between one-nature and two-nature Christologies.

The presupposition of both of these schools of thought was that things really do have natures. There is a such a thing, for example, as human nature, and that the human nature differs from the divine nature. According to Aristotle, the nature of man is rational animal. That is to say, a human being has both an intellectual soul (a rational soul) and he has a physical body. That is essential to being human – to have an intellectual soul and a physical body. The church fathers, I think, seem to have accepted this understanding of human nature. Human nature is essentially a rational soul and a physical body. At the same time, they believed that God had a nature. God has certain essential properties like omnipotence, holiness, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, necessity, and so forth.[3] The question was to understand the incarnation of the divine Logos in the world as the man Jesus of Nazareth.

The church fathers were unanimous in thinking that the incarnation did not mean that somehow the Logos gave up certain of his divine attributes and turned himself into a human being. They did not think that it meant that the Logos divested himself of certain properties or attributes of the [divine] nature and turned himself into a man. This concept of the incarnation would be more akin to pagan mythology than to what the church fathers believed. In pagan mythology, Zeus (the king of the gods) might turn himself into a bull, or he would turn himself into a swan on occasion in these myths. But the notion of the incarnation was not that the Logos turned himself into a human being thereby somehow ceasing to be God. Rather, the doctrine was that the second person of the Trinity – the Logos – was both God and man simultaneously.

Sometimes Christians, I think, don’t appreciate this fact. I’ve seen Christmas cards, for example, sent out for the holidays in which the incarnation is described as Christ turning himself into a human being, as though he underwent some kind of metamorphosis whereby he was God and then he turned himself into a man and became, say, an embryo in Mary’s womb or something. That is not the Christian conception of the incarnation. The incarnation in the minds of the church fathers was that the Logos did not give up his divine nature, but rather he acquired a second nature – namely a human nature in addition to the divine nature that he already had. So the incarnation is not a matter of subtraction; it is a matter of addition. It is not a matter of subtracting attributes from the divine nature; rather, it is a matter of adding attributes of a human nature to the divine attributes that the Logos already had in his preincarnate state. The question was: how do we understand this acquisition by the Logos of an additional human nature.

Advocates of a one-nature, or Monophysite, Christology held that after the incarnation the Logos possessed a single divine-human nature. Sometimes they understood this by saying what happened was that the Logos clothed himself with flesh much as I might put on an overcoat or put on clothes. The Logos who was immaterial clothed himself with flesh and assumed as his own a human body. Sometimes Christ’s flesh was thought to have been deified or rendered divine in virtue with his union with the Logos.

By contrast with this, the proponents of a two-nature, or Dyophysite, Christology said that the incarnation was much, much more than Christ just assuming flesh – just taking on a human body. Rather, he assumes an entire human nature, both a body and a soul. Therefore the Logos is joined at conception to the human being who was born by Mary, who is the mother of Christ. So the incarnation involved the union with the Logos with a complete man so that you have a complete divine being united with a complete human being.

This is why these two schools of thought are differentiated sometimes by calling them Logos-Flesh versus Logos-Man Christology. But I think the best way to understand them is one-nature versus two-natures. After the incarnation, did Christ have two natures or did he have a single divine-human nature?


Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Right. We won’t talk about that until, I think, next week. This is called Kenotic Christology. This comes from the Greek word kenosis which is the word that Paul uses in Philippians 2 when it says that Christ emptied himself and took on human form.[4] We will see that these Kenotic theologians understood this emptying to be in fact a divestiture by the Logos of certain of his attributes. He gave up omnipresence. He gave up omnipotence. He gave up timelessness. But that is not the way in which the original church fathers conceived it. This is an invention of 19th century German and British theologians. We will come to that later. That is a much, much later development in Christology. Even though some Christians hold to it today, it is not, in fact, the way these church fathers conceived of it.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Does God have a soul? I think you are right. You are thinking ahead of me. You are exactly on track. If God is a soul (or has a soul), that is to say he is personal – the Logos in a person – and the man Jesus of Nazareth has a soul, then don’t you have two persons? That is not right, because then how are they one? You’ve got two different persons. You are exactly beginning to pull the thread that tends to unravel Dyophysite Christology into a heresy. We will see how that, in fact, happens, and the response of the church to it. That is a difficulty with it. How do you avoid having two persons, two Sons?

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: That is what the church later declares. That happens in the seventh ecumenical council, I believe, which is again much later where, after Monophysitism had been condemned by the church, Monophysites tried to salvage their position by saying, All right, there are two natures in Christ, but there is only one will. The church then later condemned that as well. But I think that only sharpens the difficulty of the question that was just raised; namely, how can you have two wills without having two persons? That seems incredible to think that one person has two wills. If there are two wills then it would seem you’ve got two persons. So this is the real difficulty that arises with this two-nature Christology. We will talk more about that, but you are right in pointing that out.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: You ask, “Wouldn’t Dyophysitism be sort of like the Trinity in that you have in the Trinity one God in three persons? So what is the matter with saying here you have two persons?” The difficulty here is that if you have two persons – one human and one divine – then Jesus wasn’t divine, at least if you are talking about that human person. This is the difficulty. The Dyophysite theologians want to say that the man Jesus had a full human nature – a body and a soul. Nevertheless he was not a separate person. He was the same person as the Logos. That is the difficulty. How can you have a body and a soul – a complete human nature – and not have a person? In any other case you would have a person. If you have a body and a soul, that is a person. That’s all there is in human nature. But in Christ you don’t have a different person. There is no human person Jesus of Nazareth. There is only the person of the Logos who is divine and who has a human nature as well as a divine nature. They wanted to say that in Christ you do have a body and a soul – a complete human nature – but that human nature is not a person that is distinct from the person of the Logos. That is where the difficulty arises.


I don’t want to give everything away. We are building up! I want you to think about it first. You understand how torn the church fathers were about these issues. I am going to explain what happened.

One of the most creative and original thinkers of this era was Apollinaris. Apollinaris was the bishop of Laodicea, one of the churches that Paul wrote to. He died around 390 AD.[5] Apollinaris said that it is impossible that Christ would have both a complete divine nature and a complete human nature because that would amount to a mere indwelling of God in a human being. It would be like the Holy Spirit dwelling in a human person. That is not what an incarnation is. If you say that there is a complete human nature and a complete divine nature he said you fall short of a true incarnation. You just get an indwelling. Apollinaris believed that if, in addition to the intellect of the Logos, there was in Christ a human mind or intellect then you don’t have a full incarnation. Apollinaris proposed a very ingenuous solution to this problem. The understanding of his solution involves an understanding of his doctrine of human persons. He said that every human person is composed of three parts: a body, an animal soul that he shares with other animals that makes him alive (this would be the psyche, psyche is what we in English transliterate this – soma is the Greek word for body). So there is an animal soul or psyche that animates the body and makes it alive, and then there is the rational soul or mind – in Greek the nous. So human beings are made up of three parts: a body, an animal soul, and a rational soul or nous. The nous or the mind was conceived to be the seat of the sin nature or sinful instincts in man. What Apollinaris proposed was that in Christ the Logos took the place of the rational soul of Jesus. Instead of a rational human soul, the Logos took the place of the nous. As a result, the Logos became constitutionally united with the body and soul of Jesus of Nazareth and became embodied. So you can see this is a form of Alexandrian Christology that Apollinaris was defending.

So, for Apollinaris, in the incarnation you have a single divine-human nature which is composed of the Logos united with a human body and animal soul. That is why Christ was not sinful. It was because the sinful nous was replaced by the Logos. The Logos then united with the body and animal soul of Jesus came to experience the world through the human flesh of Jesus as its instrument. He lived in the world and experienced the world as a human being. Since there is only a single will and a single intellect in Christ he is sinless and indeed incapable of sin and without any sinful desires.


Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Right. Prior to the fall of man into sin, the nous would be free of sin. This isn’t something that was created to be sinful. It is a result of fallenness that the rational soul is infected with sin. It is a result of the fall. That is where it is rooted.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Yes, because the Logos is God – the second person of the Trinity. So he cannot sin. God cannot sin. Unless you think God can cease to be good (if you think God’s holiness is a contingent property rather than an essential property), it follows that God cannot sin.

It is important you understand this because we will use this as a springboard for later developing a view of the incarnation.[6]

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: It would be different in its capacities. The Logos is omniscient, for example, whereas Adam’s rational soul would be very limited in knowledge and understanding. So it would have a great difference in terms of its capacities.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: That is a good question. On Apollinaris’ view, the Logos is still omniscient, omnipotent, and all the rest. So it doesn’t really explain yet how Christ can say, “I don’t know the date of my Second Coming,” or how he can grow in knowledge and wisdom because you don’t have a human rational soul like you do on Antiochian Christology. Here you just have the Logos who is already omniscient. That runs into a real difficulty biblically, doesn’t it?

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: That is a really good question because some of these theologians thought that God was impassible. That is to say God doesn’t experience human passions and emotions. Yet Jesus clearly does. So if God is impassible and the Logos is the rational soul of Christ, it would follow Christ would be impassible – doesn’t have any passions, no emotions, no compassion. That would seem contrary to his crying at Lazarus’ grave. So you either have to give up impassibility or you have to somehow modify this Apollinarian theory to make room for passibility on Jesus’ part.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: If I understand you right, not in the human mind. The question would be, again, whether or not you think of God as impassible or not. If you don’t then there is no problem with Jesus showing compassion and feeling emotions and so forth. If God feels these then so can the Logos.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: I think either of these theories can make sense out of that. They would just interpret it in quite different ways. The one would interpret it as saying this is the Logos submitting to the Father. The other would say this is the human nature of Christ speaking according to his human nature. I think either school could handle those kind of passages, but they would understand them differently.


Let me say that Apollinaris, as developing this one-nature Christology, stands in the tradition of the Alexandrian theologians. For example, Athanasius, who was the greatest of the Alexandrian theologians, always spoke of the Logos as taking on flesh. He never refers to the human soul of Jesus. For example, here is a typical affirmation by Athanasius – he says, “The Logos himself is impassible by nature and nevertheless has these passions predicated of him in virtue of the flesh which he took on since they are proper to the flesh and the body itself as proper to the Savior.” So Apollinarianism achieved a genuine incarnation of the Logos as opposed to a mere indwelling, and it combated the fallible Christ that you have in Arianism. It ensured the unity of his person – there is only one person there. It also explains how God, through participation in the flesh, could experience the world through the flesh. The flesh could feel pain and so forth.

Nevertheless, Apollinaris’ views were condemned by the church in the year 377. This took place at a synod in Rome. There seem to be two particular shortcomings of Apollinarian Christology that were serious. First of all, a body without a rational mind is not a complete human nature. By merely clothing himself with flesh, it was charged, Apollinaris did not achieve a true incarnation. The Logos did not truly become a man, because Christ lacked a human soul.[7] He was like us only with respect to our flesh, which is an animal nature. So one of the church fathers, Gregory of Nyssa, argued that on Apollinaris’ view, Apollinaris had reduced the incarnation to the doctrine that God became an animal – because that is all he took on was just flesh. God in essence became an animal, not a human being. It denies the true humanity of Christ.

Secondly, these church fathers said because Christ lacked a human mind he did not redeem the human mind. The principle here was “that which is not assumed by Christ is not saved by Christ.” If Christ only assumed or took on an animal nature then he only saved the animal nature. In order to save the human nature he had to take on a full human nature. Without this principle, there is no rationale for the incarnation at all. Christ had to take on a human nature in order to save human nature. Yet, Apollinaris had an incomplete human nature.

For that reason, Apollinarianism was condemned by the early church.

Opposing Apollinarian theology were these Antiochian theologians. Remember they insisted on Christ having two complete natures – human and divine. So Christ had all of the elements to comprise a complete human nature – both a human body and a human soul.

One of the most prominent representatives of this two-nature Christology was Theodore of Mopsuestia, not exactly a household name but a significant church father nevertheless. Theodore conceived of the incarnation as a sort of special indwelling of God. He says “The Logos attached himself to the man Jesus at the moment of his conception in Mary’s womb.” Theodore recognizes that in virtue of his omnipresence and omniscience God is everywhere present. He is in one sense in everything. But nevertheless he said in the person of the Son the Logos was pleased to dwell in a more perfect union. He was pleased to dwell as a Son. Theodore affirmed that there is only one person in Christ, but nevertheless he held that each nature is complete in itself and each nature has its own hypostasis. You will remember that is a sort of individual. Moreover, he thought of the union of the Logos with the man Jesus as a sort of functional unity – namely, there was a unity of will and a unity of purpose. They constitute a person only in the sense that they present a sort of single face to the world. Therefore, Theodore’s affirmation that there is only one person in Christ was viewed by his critics with a great deal of suspicion. It was thought that in fact his theory really implied there were two persons in Christ even though he denied that.

But it wasn’t Theodore’s name that came to be connected with the idea that there are two persons in Christ. Rather, that idea became connected with the name of Nestorius. He was the patriarch of Constantinople around 428, or modern day Istanbul. Nestorius affirmed that in Christ there are two complete natures – human and divine. He therefore objected to saying that Mary is the Mother of God, because he said Mary really only bore the human nature of Christ. She didn’t bear the divine Logos. What was formed in Mary’s womb and then later crucified, died, and buried was not God. Rather, that was the man Jesus, and he is called God because that nature (that man) had been assumed by or taken over by the Logos. Alexandrian theologians thought that Nestorius, despite his affirming one person in Christ, was really committed by saying there are two persons or two Sons.[8] I think it is very easy to see why they thought that. If there are two complete human natures then why wouldn’t there be two persons? If there are two souls, two wills, two consciousnesses in Christ, why wouldn’t there by two persons in Christ? Why wouldn’t you have two Sons?

Alexandrian theologians were forced to affirm that there are two natures because Apollinaris’ view had been condemned as we saw. But nevertheless they felt that Nestorianism was itself heretical. So in the year 431 at a Council at Ephesus, Nestorianism was condemned by the church. Nestorianism was condemned because it was argued that there was no real union of the Logos and the man in the incarnation. At best there was just sort of an indwelling of the Logos in the man, but not really an intimate union of the two. On the one hand, Apollinarianism had been condemned, now Nestorianism has been condemned. How do you see the way out of this dilemma?

In the year 451 the Emperor of the Roman Empire whose name was Marcian convened a council which is called The Council of Chalcedon to settle the issue. At the Council of Chalcedon, the Council declares that Christ is one person having two natures. I want to read to you the statement of the Council of Chalcedon because it sets the boundaries for orthodox speculation about the incarnation. This is what it says:

We confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, of reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; like us in all things except for sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days for us and for our salvation born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the difference of the natures being by no means taken away because of the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved and concurring in one person and one subsistent; not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ . . .

This statement is a ringing endorsement of Dyophysite Christology – that Christ has two natures each complete, one human and one divine. Apollinarianism is implicitly rejected when it says that Christ is both perfect in manhood and perfect in deity. He has both a rational soul and body. On the other hand, the council agrees with the Alexandrian theologians that there is only one person in Christ. It condemns the excesses of Nestorianism. Here it says there is only one person – one hypostasis – who is the Logos. Then you have these four adjectives to describe the union – without confusion, without change, without separation, and without division for describing the relationship of these natures in Christ. To say that the natures are without confusion or without change is to condemn Apollinarianism. The natures are not confused into one nature. The natures are not changed.[9] On the other hand, against Nestorianism, you must not separate or divide the person. There is only one person in Christ.

The imperative that we have as a result of Chalcedon can be summed up by saying we must not confuse the natures or divide the person. That is what the lesson of Chalcedon is. We must neither confuse the natures nor divide the person. There are two natures but only one person in Christ.

Now, the Council doesn’t tell us how to do that! All it does is set down the boundary markers for safe speculation about Christology. It is like the Charybdis and the Scylla of mythology where Jason had to sail his boat between those two monsters. If you are to avoid Nestorianism on the one hand and Monophysitism on the other hand you must keep your Christological boat sailing down those safe channels marked by Chalcedon – neither confusing the natures nor dividing the person, but affirming one person in two natures.

I think that the Council of Chalcedon admirably fulfilled the function for which it was drawn up. It didn’t try to solve the problem of the incarnation but what it did set down was boundaries for orthodoxy within which then theologians can wrestle with this problem. We will see during the next couple of weeks how theologians continue to struggle with this and wrestle to understand it.


Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Apollinaris was already dead, because he had died in 390. I think typically these people would change their views to go along with what the church declared. Sometimes they would modify them and try to meet the wording or the language of it but still hold to their view to make it acceptable. So these councils didn’t settle everything, but generally these people would try to accommodate themselves to the council.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: That is the vestige of Logos Christology, and that is in the Nicene Creed. The Logos is begotten of the Father from all eternity in his divine nature. That is a vestige of that old Logos Christology that is preserved in both the Nicene Creed and in the Chalcedonian statement.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: No, it is an eternal begetting. Where he is begotten by Mary you mean? Yeah, that is right, begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead – according to his divine nature he is eternally begotten. But in these latter days he is born of the virgin Mary according to the manhood. So you see he is eternally begotten according to the divine nature but he is begotten in these latter days according to the human nature.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: The word “begotten” doesn’t mean different things. That just means to be sired, to be an offspring of.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: No, not at all. Remember the example of the sunbeam and the sun. The sun can be streaming forth the sunbeam from eternity with no beginning, but the sunbeam always proceeds from the sun.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: There it says that that had a beginning because it says “in these latter days.” But it is not from the word “born” or “begotten;” it is because “in these latter days.” That shows that there is a beginning to the human nature.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: It is very interesting. Notice what it says about Mary. Mary is the mother of God according to the manhood. She didn’t beget the divine nature – the Logos. That is begotten by the Father. But she begets the Logos according to his human nature.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Let me say this. I think there is truth in both positions. The Alexandrians were correct in seeing there is only one person in Christ. That is right. The Antiochians were correct in emphasizing that there are two complete natures in Christ. Chalcedon affirms those truths in each position while condemning the errors in each position. The lesson that we learn from Chalcedon, again just to repeat it so you have it clear in your mind, is we must not confuse the natures nor divide the person. That will be the springboard on which we will then answer, “How can we do this in a rational and coherent way that is faithful to the Bible and to understand this?”[10]



[1] 5:19

[2] 10:01

[3] 14:56

[4] 20:00

[5] 25:05

[6] 30:05

[7] 35:07

[8] 40:08

[9] 45:00

[10] Total Running Time: 50:21 (Copyright © 2008 William Lane Craig)