Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Vincent Cheung on the Hypostatic Union: There Is No Contradiction

Vincent Cheung, apparently a Clarkian presuppositionalist, flatly denies that there is a contradiction in the hypostatic union in his Systematic Theology:


Biblical Christianity holds that Christ possesses two natures, that he is both divine and human. He exists along with God the Father in eternity as the second person of the Trinity, but took upon himself a human nature in the INCARNATION. The result compromised or confused neither the divine nor the human nature, so that Christ was fully God and fully man, and he will remain in this condition forever. The two natures of Christ subsisting in one person is called the HYPOSTATIC UNION. Some people allege that this doctrine generates a contradiction; therefore, before providing the biblical data for this doctrine, we will first defend its logical consistency.
(Systematic Theology, page 138).

And again:

In a similar way [similar to the distinction in the trinity between three persons and one essence], the doctrinal formulation for the personhood and incarnation of Christ states that he is one in one sense, and two in a different sense. That is, he is one in person, but two in natures. To clarify this doctrinal formulation, we need to define the terms and relate them to the doctrinal formulation of the Trinity. The way NATURE is used in the doctrinal formulation of the incarnation is similar to the way ESSENCE is used in the doctrinal formulation of the Trinity. They refer to the definition of something, and the definition of something in turn refers to the attributes or properties [of] something. Personhood is again defined by the consciousness or intellect. Now, the definition of God includes the ontological attribute of the Trinity, and therefore there is only one God although there are three divine persons who share fully and equally in the same set of attributes that define deity. In the incarnation, God the Son took upon himself the nature of man; that is, he added to his person the set of attributes that define man. He did so without mingling the two natures, so that both sets of attributes remained independent. Thus, his divine nature was not diminished by his human nature, and his human nature was not deified by his divine nature. This formulation also protects the immutability of God the Son, since the human nature did not modify his divine nature at all. The objection that divine and human attributes necessarily contradict one another when possessed by the same person fails to take into account that the two sets of attributes are independent from each other in God the Son. For example, Christ was not omniscient according to his human attributes, but he was omniscient according to his divine attributes, and this remains true even to this day. His divine attributes has not deified his human attributes. This doctrinal formulation of the incarnation is immune to the charge of contradiction, since we do not claim that Christ is one and two at the same time and in the same sense. What we assert is that Christ is one person with two sets of attributes. Since this formulation does not generate a logical contradiction, it is established as true if we can show that Christ is both God and man through biblical exegesis. (Systematic Theology, page 139).

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

1662 Book of Common Prayer

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

I posted this entire section from Cheung's Systematic Theology on God's Hammer a few days ago, in response to Sean's assertion that the orthodox view of the Incarnation was contradictory nonsense. Needless to say, no one even attempted to disprove what Cheung wrote (indeed, how could they?). I've always found Cheung to be quite solid in both biblical exposition and sound reasoning. But I don't think he would refer to himself as a Clarkian. He disagrees with Clark on a number of issues, and is a much clearer thinker in many ways. I've certainly benefitted from his teaching ministry greatly over the past few years. I have no problem highly recommending all of his works.

Support Reasonable Christian Ministries with your generous donation.