First, Calvin speaks of Christ's incarnation—that is, that Christ united two distinct natures (“hisdivinity and our humanity”) in his own person. Second, Calvin writes that this incarnation hasmade our union with him (“mutual connection”) possible. Third, Calvin refers to the humanneed for close proximity (“nearness”) to God, a need that Christ meets when he becomes“Immanuel, that is, God with us”; by virtue of this nearness to God, we “reach” him. Finally,Calvin suggests that Christ has settled the great “disagreement between our uncleanness andGod's perfect purity,” alluding to the forgiveness of sins that we have in Christ's name. We willtake up the last three aspects of Christ's mediation in the section on the benefits for believerscomprised in Christ's mediation; however, we will now take up the issue of Christ's two natures.
Christ's Two Natures
Calvin's christology epitomizes “Chalcedonian orthodoxy,” which is evident when hewrites that “he who was the Son of God became the Son of man—not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For we affirm his divinity so joined and united with his humanity thateach retains its distinctive nature unimpaired, and yet these two natures constitute on Christ.”
Of course, by emphasizing the full divinity and humanity contained in Christ's person, yetacknowledging that each nature remains distinct from the other, Calvin does nothing original.Still, Stephen Edmondson points out that, in one particular area, Calvin's christology washighly original because he argued, against a man named Francesco Stancaro, that Christ'shumanity
as well as
his divinity played a role in his mediation between God and humankind:A wandering Italian theologian, Francesco Stancaro, was teaching that Christmediated between humanity and God only in his human nature and not in hiscomplete person as the God-man....Thus, Stancaro, while acknowledging that both a divine and human nature are united in Christ's one person, argued that thedivine nature, because it was shared equally and fully by the three persons of the
., 2.14.1, p. 482. As for the phrase “Chalcedonian orthodoxy,” see McNeill's note 1 on p. 482.