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Monophysitism Annuls The Distinction Between Divine Person And Divine Nature


This distinction is of paramount importance in Christology. Diphysites
hold fast to the distinction. They maintain a human nature in Christ,
but they do not humanise His person. The person cannot be humanised.
It remained divine after the incarnation, as it was before. Though He
became man, the depth of His being was unchanged. The rain from heaven
and the waters from the earthly spring mingle in one stream, but
beneath the surface the deep undercurrent of being flows on unchanged.
The monophysite in effect abandons this distinction. This is where his
psychology is most seriously at fault. He confuses person and nature.
Deep-seated and superficial states of soul are all one to him. He does
not see the duality in the being of his fellow-men; so he cannot see it
in the ideal man. This is a consequence of monophysitism which has not
attracted the attention of theologians, and which the monophysite
himself did not intend. The doctrine that rules out the human nature
of Christ rules out the divine nature also, by confusing it with the
personality. The monophysite affirms the divine nature while denying
the human. Such affirmation is purely verbal. It is completely void
of significance. The contrast between the divine and human natures is
needed to throw personality into relief. Take away the human nature,
and that contrast disappears, and with it goes the distinction between
divine person and divine nature. Then, instead of a transcendent
personality in whose portrait divine and human features are distinctly
limned, we have a blur. Where God planned a unique though intelligible
psychic harmony, we find a psychic medley.

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Previous: Bergson's Theory Of Deep-seated And Superficial States

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