Re: Did Rushdoony have a 'Nestorian Nod'?

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Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Freshman
On Sept. 3, 2018, we had a thread called "Did Rushdoony have a 'Nestorian Nod'?". The basic premise of the OP was that Rushdoony had said somewhere that it is properly the divinity and not the humanity of Christ that is the object of worship. I just came across a quote on the topic from Rutherford's Examen Arminianismi so I'm posting it here. My Latin is utter garbage, so I'm posting the Latin text first for the sake of anyone who knows Latin better than me, and then my own translation. My apologies to anyone with any love for Latin or decent translations.
Hebr. 1.6
Et adorent cum, omnes Angeli Dei.
Quaeritur, An Christus, qua homo, adoretur; & qua homo, sit formale objectum adorationis? Ajunt Remonstr. c. 16.134.
Nos negamus. 1. Quia nulla creatura, sed solus Deus, est adorandus. Deut. 6.13. Mt. 4.10. At Christus homo, seu Christi humanitas est creatura; & adoratio est gloria Dei propia, quam alteri Deus dare non vult. Isa. 42.8.
2. Quia Christi Humanitas, Idolum non est.
3. Quia Arianis & Socinianis favet, argumentum nobis eripere, quo probamus Christum esse verum Deum, eo quod adorent eum, omnes Angeli. Heb. 1.6.

Hebr. 1.6 And let all the angels of God worship him.
It is asked, Whether Christ, as a man, is worshiped, and as a man, is formally the object of worship? Adjunct Remonstr. c. 16.134.
We deny, 1. Because no creature, but only God, is worshiped. Deut. 6.13 . Mt. 4.10. But Christ the man, or Christ's humanity, is created; and worship is properly the glory of God, which he does not desire to be given to another. Isa. 42.8.
2. Because Christ's humanity is not an idol.
3. Because they encourage the Arians and Socinians to snatch our argument from us by which we prove Christ to be true God, according to which [it is said] let all the angels praise him. Heb. 1.6.
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
If I am reading Samuel Rutherford correctly, he is saying that we worship the God-man on account of his deity, not on account of his humanity.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
It's the person we worship, no?

Yes would have to be the answer to that question; otherwise, we would be Nestorians. To say that we worship the divine nature, but not the person of Christ would imply that Christ is two persons, not one person with two natures. I think what Samuel Rutherford is getting at is that we worship the person who is God and man on account of him being divine. Yet because he is both God and man it is appropriate that he received worship in his human nature.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
My Latin is utter garbage, so I'm posting the Latin text first for the sake of anyone who knows Latin better than me, and then my own translation. My apologies to anyone with any love for Latin or decent translations.

Keep working on your Latin, brother, as there is a ton of Reformed literature (some of it from Scottish and English divines, never mind the continentals) that needs to be translated out of Latin. I say that as one who is useless at languages.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
As has been alluded to above, the crux of the matter is this:

Is worship something that is due a person, or is worship something due a nature?

I would assert that worship is due a person, and not a nature.

But, the worship due to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is on account of His divinity, not to His divinity.

Therefore, we worship the WHOLE person of Christ, (Godhood and manhood united), for the sake of the Godhood.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
The divine nature doesn't suffer passions, so when Christ suffered, it was in his human nature. Yet it wasn't the human nature doing the suffering, but the divine Person.

That wording though... I don't think it's quite cricket to ever say "the divine Person" with regard to Christ. That seems to suggest that there is a Divine person and also a Human person. There is one person.

I could be persuaded otherwise though, with careful arguments.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Freshman
Chalcedonian theology 101. Divine person. No human person, just human nature assumed alongside divine person (which itself includes a divine nature).
So with regards to worship and prayer, would it be accurate to say that worship is given to Christ the eternal, immutable divine person, though not by way of separation or abstraction from his humanity, which is inseparable from his person?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
So with regards to worship and prayer, would it be accurate to say that worship is given to Christ the eternal, immutable divine person, though not by way of separation or abstraction from his humanity, which is inseparable from his person?

Yeah. Persons, not natures, receive worship. That's what Rushdoony got hung up on. He abstracted the nature from the person, and that's why he was charged as a Nestorian. Natures can't be abstracted.
 

Shanny01

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't have it with me but I found Owen's discussion of the nature and causes of the Worship owed to Christ as the God-Man in his Christologia to be most beneficial.
 
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SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Chalcedonian theology 101. Divine person. No human person, just human nature assumed alongside divine person (which itself includes a divine nature).

I'll buy that.

Athanasian Creed said:
...

(29) Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(30) For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

(31) God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world.

(32) Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

(33) Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

(34) Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

(35) One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.

(36) One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

...
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
It's not Chalcedonian. It's a confusion of persons and natures. It is a Divine person with two natures.
Hmmmm. I'll think on this since that council addressed serious issues. My concern stems from trying to pry the full humanity and divinity of Christ apart. Precise language is critical here though we'll not likely fully understand the concepts.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Hmmmm. I'll think on this since that council addressed serious issues. My concern stems from trying to pry the full humanity and divinity of Christ apart. Precise language is critical here though we'll not likely fully understand the concepts.

3 Divine Persons in the Trinity. THerefore, the Logos was a divine person who in the incarnation assumed a human nature alongside his divine nature, yet never ceasing to be a divine person.

The root of every patristic heresy was a confusion of person and nature
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's not Chalcedonian. It's a confusion of persons and natures. It is a Divine person with two natures.

I wasn't intending to say anything different than this.

My entire point is that we do not direct worship to a "nature", we direct it to a "person". Christ is ONE PERSON to whom we direct worship. The reason why we direct worship to Christ, despite Him having a human nature, is because He has a divine nature.

We worship the Person because of the Nature. We don't worship the Nature.

Is this wrong?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I wasn't intending to say anything different than this.

My entire point is that we do not direct worship to a "nature", we direct it to a "person". Christ is ONE PERSON to whom we direct worship. The reason why we direct worship to Christ, despite Him having a human nature, is because He has a divine nature.

We worship the Person because of the Nature. We don't worship the Nature.

Is this wrong?

As long as you maintain the Person is a divine person, you are good.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Was it connected to whether worship should be offered to the human nature or the Person?

My point was that Rushdoony separated the natures in practice. While he might have been correct to say that worship is offered to the person, he said other things, too.
https://tentsofshem.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/the-recons-flee-defeated-on-christology/

From the article: "the grace and glory of being united to the dinive nature of the Logos ..." "But if someone labors hard in Syriac and such,t hen they probably are." "Because I don’t see you really keeping up with te arguments."
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I came across something in James Durham that is of relevance to this discussion:

That the Mediator is the Object of Divine Worship, is fixedly to be acknowledge; even the Man Christ, is to be honoured with Divine Worship, prayed unto, etc. as in Scripture is clear. Thus the Mediator is the material object of Divine Worship, or the Objectum quod: for, we worship and invocate Him who is the Mediator; and there is no question of this.

James Durham, A Commentary upon the Book of the Revelation (1658; Willow Street PA: Old Paths Publications, 2000), p. 15.
 
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