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Sundy Morning Stumper

As first seen on blogs4God (for about 30 minutes until I realized I posted it to the wrong blog !-) A little Sunday School material this morning to ‘aschew’ on:

The Anathemas (against the “Three Chapters”) of the Second Council of Constantinople (553 AD) was a document drawn to resolve some questions that were raised by the Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD).

Well that’s all fine and good, however after reading the document (Tanner translation), I had some questions of my own. How in the world can I explain the following article (#4 of 14) to my teens who’ve been dumbed-down and politically sanitized by various media outlets and/or public school agendas?

IV. If anyone says that the union of the Word of God with man was only according to grace or function or dignity or equality of honor or authority or relation or effect or power or according to his good pleasure, as though God the Word was pleased with man, or approved of him, as the raving Theodosius says; or that the union exists according to similarity of name, by which the Nestorians call God the Word Jesus and Christ, designating the man separately as Christ and as Son, speaking thus clearly of two persons, but when it comes to his honor, dignity, and worship, pretend to say that there is one person, one Son and one Christ, by a single designation; and if he does not acknowledge, as the holy Fathers have taught, that the union of God is made with the flesh animated by a reasonable and intelligent soul, and that such union is according to synthesis or hypostasis, and that therefore there is only one person, the Lord Jesus Christ one of the holy Trinity — let him be anathema. As the word “union” has many meanings, the followers of the impiety of Apollinaris and Eutyches, assuming the disappearance of the natures, affirm a union by confusion. On the other hand the followers of Theodore and of Nestorius rejoicing in the division of the natures, introduce only a union of relation. But the holy Church of God, rejecting equally the impiety of both heresies, recognizes the union of God the Word with the flesh according to synthesis, that is according to hypostasis. For in the mystery of Christ the union according to synthesis preserves the two natures which have combined without confusion and without separation.

Next week I’m throwing this at my brand-new 11th Grade Class. They’re a pretty savvy bunch, but I doubt any of them read my blogs. Too bad, because if they did they’d understand that to succeed in college:

  • They need to study a little bit about the teacher to understand alot about the material they’re spewing.
  • They need to approach such documents the Anathemas (Schaff-Wace translation) with respect to their historical content and intent.

In this case, the most important historical context for the Anathemas being the Definition of Chalcedon (513 AD). Which like any good church document gave heretics an opportunity to the pester the Church. Bugs which the Second Council of Constantinople (a.k.a. Fifth Ecumenical Council) squashed as the Anathemas confirmed and clarified the issues regarding the unity of the two natures, God and man, is Jesus Christ. Specifically, emphasizing that Jesus Christ does not just embody God the Son, He is God the Son.

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