The Trinitarian Perspectives on the Humanity of Jesus in Relation to Our Humanity Systematic Theology II Page 1 By Timothy Ching Lung LAM
According to Gregory of Nazianzus, “
the unassumed is the unhealed
,” and therefore Jesusshould have assumed our
fallen, sinful and alienated humanity
in order to be a truly man inthe same way as we are in order to save us.
However, it appears to be logically impossiblefor the unity of the
in the one Person of Jesus. Stressing oneither sides or synthesizing the two would result in a formation of heresy as witnessedthroughout history such as Docetism, Apollinarianism, Eutychianism, etc. Most importantly,failure to affirm this unity would result in inefficacy of the salvation, which accordingly leadsto the collapse of the entire Gospel.In this respect, many theologians had attempted to tackle the unity of the two apparentlycontradicted natures in Jesus using some theological concepts such as the
couplet and Christological
. Nevertheless, thedebates continue even today due to their respective deficiencies. Some theologians evenadmitted that the matter at issue was beyond human apprehension as the Scots Confessionasserted the incarnation as the “most wondrous conjunction” and the Formula of Concordacknowledged it “next to the mystery of the Trinity, this is the chiefest mystery.”
Having said that, there has been an increasing emphasis in relational approaches to thisclassical Christology and that a relational concept of person is being introduced by somecontemporary theologians such as Wolfhart Pannenberg, Colin Gunton, and T.F. Torrance.Their main emphasis appears to stress on the relationality of personhood, which liesultimately in relationship with God for the triune God is a relational God.
In this respect,the goal of this paper is to reassess the classical theological concepts of the
couplet and the Christological
and refine themthrough the integration of the Trinitarian perspectives in order to affirm the full humanity of Jesus in relation to our humanity.
Walter A. Elwell, ed.
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology,
(Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book HouseCompany, May 1990), 242.
Scots Confession, 7; Formula of Concord, Epitome, 8: Affirmative 12 quoted in Geoffrey Bromiley, “TheReformers and the Humanity of Christ,” eds. by Marguerite Shuster & Richard Muller,
Perspectives on Christology. Essays in Honor of Paul K. Jewett, (
Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), 103.
Stanley J. Grenz, “The Social God and the Relational Self: Toward a Theology of the
in thePostmodern Context,”
Horizons in Biblical Theology
, Vol. 24 (2002): 57.