Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
The past couple of days we have looked at the Chalcedonian Creed, and what is both explicitly affirmed and implicitly denied in the Creed. Below I am repeating the implicit, heretical denials from yesterday. Today we are going to do an exercise with them. Consider this a quiz.
Bearing in mind the orthodox truth of Jesus being “one Person, two natures,” the Person Jesus Christ is both fully and truly God and fully and truly man, go through the specific heresies below and determine the specific error – is it regarding His Person or natures? I have removed the parenthetical explanations from yesterday and included answers at the conclusion of this post.
Docetists denied the humanity of Jesus, He only appeared to be human.
Samosatian adoptionists denied the deity of Jesus, but claim that at some point in His life He was “adopted” by God to this unique role of divine sonship.
Sabellians denied the unique Person of Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity (in speaking of Jesus Christ, the orthodox position is “one Person, two natures”; in speaking of the Trinity, the orthodox position is that “there is one God, God eternally exists as three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each Person is fully God”).
Arians denied the deity of Jesus, though he is the greatest of created beings.
Ebionists denied the deity of Jesus, concluding this would be polytheistic.
Apollinarians denied the full humanity of Jesus, concluding Jesus had a human body but a divine mind and spirit.
Nestorians denied that Jesus is one Person, concluding He consisted of two separate persons, human and divine.
Eutychians denied that Jesus had two natures, concluding that the human nature was absorbed by the divine nature, thus creating a third kind of nature.