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The Doctrine Of Subjective Redemption Due To Monophysitism


The doctrines of Christ's person and of His work are intimately
associated. What He did depended on what He was. Christology and
Soteriology act and react upon each other. If Christology is crippled,
Soteriology goes lame. Christ takes His stand in the centre of the
cosmic process in virtue of His unique being. In that He unites deity
and humanity in His own person, He brought redemption within the reach
of mankind. His redemption of humanity was as definite a fact as His
assumption of human nature. Both to the Christian are objective
historical facts; if either of them falls to the ground, so does the
other; and with that collapse goes the purpose of creation and
humanity's hope. A docetic interpretation of the human nature entails
a docetic view of redemption. Monophysitism, as we have seen, casts
doubts upon the reality of the sufferings and humanity of Christ; in so
doing it compromises the work He accomplished. Atonement ceases to be
a cosmic transaction completed on Calvary, and becomes a subjective
process. Redemption is made into an attitude, or rather a change of
attitude, on the part of the individual. That Christ wrought a power
and hope for man which man could not achieve for himself is not a
familiar doctrine to-day. Pain, not sin, is the great modern problem.
The Cross is made to stand for sympathy, not for satisfaction.
Salvation, achieved at a definite moment of history and conferred on
believers of subsequent generations, rests for its foundations on the
objective assumption of human nature by a divine person. If the
foundations be undermined, as monophysitism undermines them, the
superstructure crumbles. Redemption becomes improvement by effort and
self-help, or a constant endeavour after a private ideal of conduct.

Next: Monophysitism Limits The Scope Of Redemption

Previous: The Present Existence Of Christ's Human Nature

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