Which of these figures is the Eternal Christ? PLEASE NOTE: THIS SAME ARTICLE IS FOUND UNDER "DEFINITION OF CHRIST"

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Which of these figures is the Eternal Christ? PLEASE NOTE: THIS SAME ARTICLE IS FOUND UNDER "DEFINITION OF CHRIST"

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:33 pm



Part III
The question we have been reflecting on is this:

“Which figure in the above poster is ‘Christ’, according to Chalcedon’s formula that Christ is ‘fully human, fully Divine’?

My answer, is “none.”

None of the figures in the poster depicts “Christ” because the Eternal Christ, the Heavenly Christ (of the Chalcedon formula), cannot be seen with the eyes. To point to the man Jesus (in a poster, or in his lifetime in Judea) is not to point to the Eternal Christ, but to the one through whom the Mysteries of Christ were revealed.

How is this so?

Christ, according to the Council of Chalcedon, is absolutely One.

Yet Christ is of two natures, his human nature being “consubstantial with us in all ways but sin”. Notice that the human nature referred to here is our COMMON HUMAN NATURE-- it is “with us all”... a common human nature which Jesus, you, and I equally share.

Jesus didn’t have any more human nature (some kind of “uber” human nature) than you or me because, as the Counsel affirms, Christ’s human nature is “like us in all things but sin.”

So in Chalcedon’s formula of Christ as “fully human”-- the fully human dimension is not a single “person” but a universal “nature”.... not a single individual, but the human nature of everyman.

Perhaps to bring this together, the Council appears to be affirming: The Eternal Christ, the Heavenly Christ, is the mysterious Oneness of the Essence of COMMONLY SHARED Humanity, one with the Essence of Divinity.

It’s important to note that Chalcedon explicitly affirms that God’s Divine nature is united to human nature, not to a particular individual being. We share human nature; in contrast, individual personhood, or self, makes us “particular’ not universal. As well, you are an individual created being, as am I. The human nature of the Eternal Christ is not a visible-- common human nature is not a single “being”, but is our deepest, even ‘hidden’ human reality-- universal human nature.

So to bring the question back to the figures in the poster, “Walking Each Other Home”...

Because the Eternal Christ is the eternal oneness of Divinity and common human nature, no figure in the poster is the Eternal Christ.

According to Chalcedon....

-the Eternal Christ is fully God, and as God is Uncreated Being and not “a being”, the Divinity of Christ cannot be seen.

That is because Monotheism (the ontological millieu of the Incarnation) affirms that everything that God creates is less than God, so nothing in the created order of being IS the Uncreated Divine. Since nothing in creation is God (though God is omnipresent in creation and is the immeditate Source of all creation), no individual thing or individual being is God.

-Likewise, according to Chalcedon, the humanity of the Eternal Christ cannot be empirically seen, but rather, is common human nature, universal and non-particular.

Though Jesus is not the Eternal Christ per se, Jesus is the specific exemplar of the Mysteries of Christ. In the life of the historical Jesus, with its successive spiritual seasons of kenosis (self-emptying), we see the Way, or the full transformative contemplative journey of theosis, to the Eternal Christ. The Mysteries of Christ are recapitulated in everyman's journey as the journey to God.

Cyril of Alexander wrote : “The Logos did not assume some particular human being, but man’s common human nature, yet a nature that appeared (was seen) in one individual.” The Mysteries of Christ were revealed through the historical figure, Jesus , miraculously conceived by God and Mary to demonstrate our common journey of transformation to God.

“No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son...” (Mt. 11:27.)

“Perfectly to know the Father we must be the Son” (Meister Eckhart.)

"The purpose of the Incarnation was to reveal what man is to become, to know the way this works as the nature of man’s eternal oneness with God – no different from Christ." (Bernadette Roberts, The Real Christ (2017)

“The life of grace in making us children of the Father, makes us also brethren of Christ, who must become like Him in all things to deserve the name” (Jean Danielou, S.J.)

“The mystery of Christ is ours also. What was accomplished by the Head must be accomplished also in the members: Incarnation, death, and Resurrection” (Henri de Lubac, S.J.)

I believe the above view of the Chalcedon formula is coherent with the mystical theology of the Church Fathers, and with the whole vector of Christian mysticism up to the present day.

What of the figures of Buddha and Krishna in the poster?

Some Buddhists and Hindus have proposed re-envisioning Christ along the lines of their respective ontologies. My view is that sublime, precious truth has been revealed distinctively through Hinduism and Buddhism, but not the "Mystery of Christ". Looked at from another angle: whatever the interior spiritual Life of the historical Buddha or of Krishna, neither “figure” in the poster, insofar as they are depicted as individual beings, is the “Eternal Christ"-- the figure of Jesus too, is not the Eternal Christ, which is not a being, or Being, but the mysterious Oneness of the two natures.

Perhaps in a certain way the Zen Buddhist saying, “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him!” is relevant. The true Buddha cannot be seen, I believe Buddhists affirm, but only Known through recognition that Buddha Nature cannot be pointed to; similarly, the Christian affirms, the Eternal Christ cannot be seen, but only Known by transformation into the Eternal Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Finally, though the Eternal Christ cannot be seen in a human figure or being, the Eternal Christ can be seen by the "eye of the soul" in the Eucharist which IS the Eternal Christ with us NOW. And, indeed, relative to the poster, "Walking Each Other Home"--Eucharist is, finally, Everyman's eternal "Home", transformed into the One Heavenly Christ.

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