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Monday
Jun222009

Theological Term of the Week

 

Eutychianism
A Christological heresy taught in the fifth century by Eutyches of Constantinople, who maintained that Christ had only one nature, a nature that was a mixture of divine and human nature, resulting in a third kind of nature. Sometimes called monophysitism. This teaching was declared to be heretical by the Council of Chalcedon in 453.

  • Scripture repudiating this heresy:
    Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17 ESV)
  • The Definition of Chalcedon:
    Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
  • From The Eutychian Controversy By William Cunningham:
    Christ had been from eternity God over all; He assumed human nature into union with the divine. The divine nature of course continued unchanged, because it is unchangeable. Did the human nature also continue unchanged, distinct from the divine, though inseparably united with it? Christ is uniformly represented to us in Scripture as being prima facie a man—a full partaker of human nature in all its completeness. If it be asserted that He had not human nature in its entireness and perfection, or that anything essential to human nature was wanting in Him, the onus probandi must lie upon those who make this assertion; for the obvious import of the general declaration of the incarnation, and the general bearing of the representation given us of Christ during His abode upon earth, plainly lead to an opposite conclusion. There is no evidence whatever in Scripture that Christ wanted* anything whatever to make Him an entire and perfect man, or possessor of human nature in all its completeness; and, on the contrary, there is direct and positive proof that he had every essential property of humanity.

Learn more:

  1. GotQuestions.org: What Is Monophysitism?
  2. Wayne Grudem, Jeff Purswell: Monophysitism from Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings
  3. New Link! Justin Holcomb: Eutyches: Know Your Heretics
  4. William Cunningham: The Eutychian Controversy
  5. Wayne Grudem: The Person of Christ, Part 3 (mp3)

Related terms:

Filed under Trinity.

*or lacked.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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