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After reading the Text-Equivalent for this lesson and after reading Marthaler, p

by | Oct 8, 2021 | Religion and Theology | 0 comments


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After reading the Text-Equivalent for this lesson and after reading Marthaler, pp. 83-95 and 110-122, and the Catholic Catechism, #456-#570, please answer the following. Take about one-half to one typed page for each, (175-350 words). 1,Based on the Text-Equivalent, on Marthaler, pp. 93-95 and 110-112, and the Catholic Catechism, #464-#478, explain the tension in the fifth century between a “descending Christology” and an “ascending Christology” at the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. 2.Based on the Text-Equivalent and on Marthaler, pp. 83-95 and 110-122, identify Arius, Athanasius, Apollinaris, Basil of Caesarea, Cyril of Alexandria, Dioscurus, Pope Leo, and Eutyches. 3. Based on the Text-Equivalent and on Marthaler, pp. 83-95, define Modalism, Subordinationism, Arianism, Apollinarism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism. EACH ESSAY MUST BE 200 WORDS PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ACCESS TO Catholic Catechism TEXTBOOK BELOW IS TEXT EQUVAILENT: The Son of God “Christ has two natures; what is that to me?—But the substantial reparation of humanity lies in that very fact. But this joining of the divine and the human touches and heals what is most profound and most inalienable in me, my very nature. Christ has two natures; what is that to me? But every living intelligence is directly, personally, profoundly involved in this central fact of the history of being, which brings divinization to creatures. At the moment that affects the depths of being itself, it affects the depths of my own being.” Pierre Rousselot, Études sur la foi et le dogmatisme, 1909-1910, cited in Henri de Lubac, The Christian Faith, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986 [1969], p. 103]. Councils and Controversy The decisive century for Catholicism was the first in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ was proclaimed “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) and in which the New Testament was written. After that, the fourth and fifth centuries are perhaps the most fundamental for the course of Christian history. These are the centuries of the four great Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea (325 A.D.), I Constantinople (381 A.D.), Ephesus (431 A.D.), and Chalcedon (451 A.D.). The four Councils met the serious heretical challenges of Arianism, Apollinarinism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism. In the fourth century, the Church faced a challenge on two fronts. On the one hand was Modalism, the teaching that in God there are no distinctions. Thus, Father, Son, and Spirit were just three different ways of speaking about God. On the other hand, Arian Subordinationism taught that the Son was a lesser being than the Father. In the fifth century, the Church wrestled with the dilemma of Christ’s divinity and humanity. Were they radically separate as Nestorianism taught, or were they fundamentally merged as Monophysitism taught? Amidst intense and acrimonious theological controversy, these four Councils established the Creed and defined the fundamental dogmas, doctrines, and theology of the Catholic Church. They established “orthodoxy” through the fundamental dogmas of the Trinity and of the identity of Christ. Ecumenical Council The theological basis for the authority of an Ecumenical Council is the fact that the Church itself is a kind of council. The Church is the assembly of the baptized called by God the Father to be, and to celebrate, the presence of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit until Christ comes again. Christ is present in the Church. A defining feature of the Catholic Church is that the Church is constituted and served by the holy orders of bishop, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, and then the priests and deacons around the bishop. In this sense then, an Ecumenical Council of bishops, authoritatively convoked, is suitable for consultation and for reaching decisions about pressing problems in the life of the Church because Christ is present in the Council. In Catholic theology, the Ecumenical Councils have authority to define matters of faith and morals and may act with the privilege of infallibility. The great contribution of the first four Ecumenical Councils to Catholic faith was to define with authority the doctrines of the Trinity and of the identity of Jesus Christ. Nicaea In 325 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine convoked at Nicaea a council of 318 bishops to deal with a theological controversy at Alexandria around a priest named Arius. Against theological Modalism which failed to distinguish Father from Son, Arius had asserted that, given that God was radically separate from the world, he had created his own Word to use as an intermediary means for creating the world. The Son was thus a being created in time. The divinity of God the Father was radically distinguished from the divinity of the Son who was created out of nothing by the Father. The Son was subordinate to the Father in his very being. At Nicaea, the bishops formulated a Creed that included not just traditional scriptural language but also philosophical language borrowed from Greek thinking. Thus, to the phrase: We believe…and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten generated from the Father, that is, from the being of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made… was added the phrase homoousion to patri, “consubstantial, or one in being, with the Father.” In the aftermath of the Council, great doubt was placed on this Creed, and especially the phrase homoousion to patri. To many, the phrase suggested that the Father and Son were identical. For the next fifty-six years, controversy reigned. Athanasius, who succeeded Alexander as bishop of Alexandria, defended, sometimes almost alone, the Nicene orthodoxy. He was eventually joined by the Cappadocian Fathers, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa who broke new theological ground in defending the Nicene Creed. The First Council of Constantinople In 381 A.D., the Emperor Theodosius I, in order to confirm the faith of Nicaea, convoked a Council at Constantinople, which was attended by 150 bishops. On the basis of the reaffirmation of the Nicene Creed, including the homoousion to patri, the bishops were also able to refute those who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The Creed produced at this Council is sometimes called the “Nicene Creed” since it reaffirms the teaching of the Council of Nicaea. However, its text is different, so it is properly called the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, indicating that it was produced at the Council of Constantinople while affirming the teaching of the Council of Nicaea. Thus, the Catholic doctrine of the Triune God was established and confirmed. Also, at the Council of Constantinople the teaching of Apollinaris was condemned. Apollinaris, while opposing Arianism, had taught that the second person of the Trinity, the Son, took the place of the human soul of Jesus when the Incarnation took place. In order to emphasize Jesus’ divinity, Apollinaris had affirmed the unity of the person of Jesus Christ at the expense of his full humanity. In the view of the Council, if Jesus lacked a human soul, he was not fully human. Ephesus In 431 A.D., the Emperor Theodosius II convoked the Council of Ephesus to refute the errors of the Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople. This controversy was occasioned by some Christmas sermons that Nestorius delivered where he rejected the term theotokos, mother of God, referring to Mary. Instead he preferred the term christotokos, mother of Christ. According to Nestorius, Mary was not the mother of God but of the Christ. Christ was a human person to whom the Son was united by adoption. Nestorius seemed to affirm that in Christ there were two persons, one divine and one human, and that Christ, not the Son of God, died on the Cross. The union of divine and human in Jesus was an accidental union. At the Council, Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria, read a letter refuting Nestorius, which was approved by the Council in condemning Nestorius. Cyril insisted that two natures were so united in Jesus that one could predicate of Jesus things that were divine and things that were human. This is called the communiatio idiomatum, the communication of attributes. However, theological language was not yet developed with sufficient precision to properly state this orthodox insight. Chalcedon In 451 A.D., the Emperor Marcian convoked the Council of Chalcedon to refute the error of Monophysitism associated with Eutyches, a monk at Constantinople. Eutyches extended the teaching of Cyril’s successor at Alexandria, Dioscorus, that the union of divinity and humanity in Christ was a union of nature where divinity and humanity merged into one new nature. Eutyches taught that on being united with the divine nature, Jesus’ human nature was absorbed by the divine. In response to an ironic appeal by Eutyches, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Leo, issued a statement contrary to this teaching of “Monophysitism.” For he who is truly God is the same who is also truly man and there is no deception in this unity in which human lowliness and the divine majesty coincide. God suffers no change because of his condescension, or is man consumed by such dignity. For each of the two natures performs the functions proper to it in communion with the other: the Word does what pertains to the Word and the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one shines forth in miracles, the other is subjected to insults. And, as the Word does not lose the glory which is his in equality with the Father, so the flesh does not abandon the nature of our race (J. Neuner and J. Dupuis, The Christian Faith, p. 202). On hearing Pope Leo’s rule of faith and its teaching on the incarnation, the bishops at the Council of Chalcedon cried, “Peter has spoken through the mouth of Leo.” In rejecting both Nestorius and Eutyches, the Council affirmed, …one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, THE SAME true God and true man, composed of a rational soul and body, consubstantial [one in being] with the Father as to his divinity, and consubstantial [one in being] with us as to his humanity, ‘like us in all things but sin.’ He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity, and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary, the Mother of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 131 [#467]). Orthodoxy Orthodoxy, although it originally meant “right worship,” is usually defined as “correct belief.” It has the connotation of the repudiation of error. However, it means so much more. There is a human necessity to affirm certain truths absolutely. The judgments of Catholic dogma are firm ground on which to take a stand. Correct worship and correct living flow from this orthodox stand. The orthodox affirmations that follow the creedal “I believe” are acts of freedom, the freedom of an act of faith—“the truth shall set you free.” Orthodoxy, correct belief and correct worship, and freedom are mutually implicating. The one goes with the other.


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