Monophysitism Limits The Scope Of Redemption

Monophysitism shows itself also in the modern tendency to narrow the

scope of redemption. Partial salvation is offered as a substitute for

the salvation of the entire man. This tendency is a natural result of

narrowing the import of the incarnation. It runs counter to orthodox

Christology and the derivate doctrines. A divine economy is traceable

in God's dealings with men; there is nothing purposeless, nothing

e in God's dispensation. The Church's invariable answer to the

Apollinarians was grounded in belief in this economy. She argued that

Christ could not redeem what He did not assume, and, conversely, that

what He assumed He redeemed. He assumed human nature in its entirety,

thought, will, feeling and body; therefore not one of those elements of

human nature lies outside the scope of redemption. Monophysitism

excludes some or all of those elements from the being of the incarnate

Christ, and by so doing deprives the corresponding elements in man's

nature of their rightful share in the benefit of redemption.

The feeling that some parts of human nature are more fitted to survive

than others is wide-spread to-day. It is found within as well as

without the Church. We constantly read of the "survival factor." The

term implies the belief that at death part of the man's nature survives

and part perishes. There is, however, no general agreement as to which

part constitutes the "survival factor." The intellectualist pins his

faith to the immortality of the reason. He is content to let death

deprive him of everything except the logical faculty. For the aesthete

beauty alone is eternal, and his hope for the future lies in the

continuance of his aesthetic sense. The materialist sees permanence

only in the indestructibility of the ultimate physical constituents of

his body. The epigenesis of a spiritual body lies outside his horizon.

The volitionist finds all the value of life in the moral nature. For

him the good will persists when all else is resolved into nothingness.

Character alone, he says, survives the shock of death. All these

limited views of survival are symptoms of monophysite ways of thinking.

The Christian, on the contrary, holds that what is redeemed eo ipso

survives. Whatever else is involved in redemption persistence

certainly is included. Monophysitism stands for a partial redemption;

but to the orthodox who believe that Christ assumed human nature in its

entirety, each part and the whole are of infinite value. He holds that

the strengthening, purifying, and perfecting that salvation brings

apply to the psychic and the physical natures, that no part is exempt,

that neither intellect nor will nor feeling ceases with death, that the

range of reason will be increased, and its operation made more sure,

that lofty and sustained endeavour will replace the transient energy of

the earthly will, that feeling will be enhanced, harmonised, and

purified, that a spiritual body continuous with the body of the flesh

will express man's heavenly experience. These high far-reaching hopes

rest on the doctrines of catholic Christology. Christ assumed our

nature complete in body and psychic parts. He did so with a purpose,

and that purpose could be none other than the redemption of the body

and of all the psychic elements. To the mystic, body and human

activities may seem only transient and unworthy of a place in heaven.

Such is false spirituality. It is contrary to the tenor of catholic

teaching. The incarnation brought divine and human together on earth.

The resurrection fixed their union. The ascension gave humanity an

eternal place among eternal things.