Christological and Trinitarian Terms

They could be expanded or sharpened if need be.

nature:  the “what” of something.   That which survives change. The stable structure of a thing  It’s not a great definition, but I don’t feel myself capable of wading through all the nuances of essence, ousia, physis, substantia, etc.   In any case, it will suffice for the present discussion.

anhypostasis:  the human nature being considered abstractly.  Yet, since Christ’s human nature doesn’t exist in the abstract, but in a particular hypostasis of the Logos.  Christ’s human nature is “enhypostasized” in the Divine hypostasis.

enhypostasis:  no nature or essence exists in the abstract, but in a particular mode of existence (cf. Farrell, GHD, 207).  Christ’s human nature was not a hypostasis, but was enhypostasized.  Thus, we say that Christ is a divine hypostasis with a human nature, including human faculties like the soul, enhypostasized.

energies:   the “action” a person is doing (St Basil uses the term “operations,” cf. Letter 234).

Persons (hypostases, subjects):  the “who” in doing the action.

Communicatio Idiomata:  the communication of attributes; sometimes known as the perichoresis.  This is explained and defined differently by different traditions.   Calvinists, when they affirm it (per Muller and Bavinck) say that what is said of one nature is attributed to the Person.  Lutherans say that what is said of one nature is attributed to the other.  The East (and mostly Western Catholicism, too) says that what is said of one nature is communicated to the other nature through the hypostasis of the Word.

For the Lutherans, while they had the correct goal, they were left with the almost absurd conclusion that Christ’s human nature, since it receives the divine nature, and with it the divine qualities–say, ubiquity–is thus made ubiquitous!

While the Calvinist wants to affirm Chalcedon, he is left trying to explain just how the natures are united.   Yes, both natures refer back to the Word, but that’s not the issue under question.  The Calvinist seems to affirm that one cannot have union while maintaining its properties–but this destroys  what we say about the Trinity:  the persons of the Trinity have mutual sharing, but they do not lose their “distinctness.”

The Calvinist will say that the human nature is graced with the gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf Ferguson, Herman Bavinck), but one gets the impression that these are created gifts of the Spirit.   The East (and presumably the West) simply says that the human nature is deified by the divine nature via the Word.

economic Trinity:

immanent Trinity:  undisclosed revelation; God, his Word, and his Breath (MacLeod, 130-131).

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