Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Concerning the Son of God

Likewise, it is taught ath God the Son became a human being, born of the pure Virgin Mary, and that the two natures, the divine and the human, are so inseparably united in one person that there is one Christ. He is true God and true human being who truly 'was born, suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried' in order both to be a sacrifice not only for original sin but also for all other sins and to conciliate God's wrath. Moreover, the same Christ 'descended into hell, truly rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, is sitting at the right hand of God' in order to rule and reign forever over all creatures, so that through the Holy Spirit he may make holy, purify, strengthen, and comfort all who blieve in him, also distribute to them life and various gifts and benefits, and shield and protect them against the devil and sin. Finally, the same
Lord Jesus Christ 'will come' in full view of all 'to judge the living and the dead...,' accordin to the Apostle's Creed. Rejected are all heresies that are opposed to this article."

So that's what the AC says. And we needn't defend it, since the opponents of the AC in the Council of Trent don't oppose this article. They say, "In the third article there is nothing to offend, since the entire Confession agress with the Apostle's Creed and the right rule of faith."

Which is great, until we realize that there is a null curriculum here, and a not so subtle one at that. Very simply, it means that although we agree on the doctrine of Christ, we don't. Very simply, we don't. We teach that there is no contradiction, and yet, all the other doctrines of the AC provide contradiction, they indicate a disparity, so it seems incredibly disingenuous to say there is no difference. It's as if the church were saying, "There is one Christ, and that we know, but everything that proceeds from this premise is faulty." Yet this contradicts the knowledge of Paul, who realizes there are multiple Christs (and yet only one Christ) because the proclamation includes all those things that are and relate to this Christ.

Probably there isn't much more to say. Just look in context, and you learn that unity in teaching of the doctrine of Christ per se does not guarantee unity of teaching in the church, and this because unity in one article does not mean "united in Christ". Christ will guarantee our unity indeed, but not because of this artiicle per se. Which is to say, Christ is a person with effects and a history, not just a category among others.

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