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Monday
Jun292009

Theological Term of the Week

Nestorianism
A Christological heresy that taught that Jesus was two distinct persons, a human person and a divine person. This teaching was declared to be heretical by the Council of Chalcedon in 453.

  • The Athanasian Creed:
    Although he is God and human,
    yet Christ is not two, but one.
    He is one, however,
    not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
    but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
    He is one,
    certainly not by the blending of his essence,
    but by the unity of his person.
    For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
    so too the one Christ is both God and human.
  • From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem:
    It is important to understand why the church could not accept the view that Christ was two distinct persons. Nowhere in Scripture do we have an indication that the human nature of Christ, for example, is an independent person, deciding to do something contrary to the divine nature of Christ. Nowhere do we have an indication of the human and divine natures talking to each other or struggling within Christ, or any such thing. Rather, we have a consistent picture of a single person acting in wholeness and unity. Jesus always speaks as “I” not “we,” though he can refer to himself and the Father together as “we” (John 14:23). The Bible always speaks of Jesus as “he,” not as “they.”… [T]he Bible itself does not say “Jesus’ human nature did this” of “Jesus’ divine nature did that” as though they were separate persons, but always talks about what the person of Christ did. Therefore, the church continues to insist that Jesus was on person, although possessing both a human nature and a divine nature.

Learn more:

  1. Theopedia: Nestorianism
  2. GotQuestions.org: What is Nestorianism? Who were the Nestorians?
  3. C. Michael Patton: Heresies: Nestorianism - A Divided Christ
  4. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: Nestorianism
  5. Michael Patton (Bible.org): What is Nestorianism? (video)

Related terms:

Filed under Person, Work, and Teaching of Christ

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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