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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

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Westminster Larger Catechism: Question 46

I shall not waste time on the extremes of the Kenosis theory; but some of the more orthodox theologians hold that Christ laid aside a number of his trinitarian activities.  If this were the case, we would have difficulty in thinking he was the same person.  But worse than that, there would be cosmic repercussions.  -- Gordon H. Clark

Question 46

What was the estate of Christ’ s humiliation?

The estate of Christ’s humiliation was that low condition, wherein he for our sakes, emptying himself of his glory, took upon him the form of a servant, in his conception and birth, life, death, and after his death, until his resurrection. (Phil. 2:6–8, Luke 1:31, 2 Cor. 8:9, Acts 2:24)


The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

It should be duly noted here that when the Logos assumed a human form with a reasonable human soul and personality that He did not cease to be God, the second Person of the Godhead at any point.  If so, then it would follow that God changes, which is impossible (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).  The idea that God in some sense suffered on the cross would imply that the whole Trinity suffered since all three persons of the Godhead are one God.  Christ suffered only in his human person, soul, and nature and not as the divine Logos.  The idea that God changes or suffers is a heresy called patripassionism. 

Also, Christ did not empty himself of deity when the Logos assumed human form.  Rather the two persons are perfectly united in the one man, Jesus Christ.  Neither person is confused with the other nor mixed together.  Yet they are not separated but perfectly united.  Each person in the man Jesus Christ is recognized by the propositions he thinks.  The Logos thinks all the propositions of Deity, while the human person thinks all the propositions of a human person.  In this way Jesus is both fully God and fully human.  He has both a divine will and a human will because he is one man but indwelt by both a human and reasonable soul and by all the fullness of the Godhead, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity.  (Colossian 1:19; 2:9).

Furthermore, if Philippians 2:5-11 means he emptied himself of the divine propositions/attributes then he would not be fully God but only a man.  As Gordon H. Clark said, if Jesus ceased to be God while on earth then creation would cease, since the Logos created the universe and fully sustains its continued existence (Colossians 1:16-17):
Some pages back person was defined as a complex of propositions.  A man is what he thinks, for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.  This definition also allowed the Trinity to consist of three different persons, although far more closely related than any three human persons, yet quite distinct, contrary to the heresy of Patripassianism.  With this settled, the question becomes, Was Jesus a human or a divine person, or perhaps both?  When the Second Person became man, did he retain his divine mind and activities, or did he become a different person by laying aside some of his prerogatives?  I shall not waste time on the extremes of the Kenosis theory; but some of the more orthodox theologians hold that Christ laid aside a number of his trinitarian activities.  If this were the case, we would have difficulty in thinking he was the same person.  But worse than that, there would be cosmic repercussions.  Not only does John say that Christ created the universe, but Hebrews 1:3 declares that Christ upholds all things by the word of his power.  If he ceased doing so, the world would have collapsed the day of his birth.  Would he have recreated it thirty years later?  On this schedule he could not have met the Samaritan woman at the well.  In fact there would have been no wood for a cross on which to crucify him.  Colossians 1:17 enforces this point:  "by him all things hold together," the solar system and even the Roman Empire.  One or more theologians try to avoid these conclusions by the peculiar phrase that Christ on earth laid aside the "independent use" of his divine attributes.  But this ruins the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity because, quite aside from the previous impossibilities, there never were any independent uses of his divine attributes.  Christ as the Second Person, before his Incarnation, never did anything independently of his Father.  John 1:1-3 states that Christ created all things without exception.  But so did the Father.  Creation is ascribed to both. . . . [1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9; Revelation 4:8, 11; 10:6]
Gordon H. Clark, The Incarnation, (Jefferson:  Trinity Foundation, 1988), pp. 64-65.

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