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 mankin
. 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.