Adoptionism: Wikis

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Francesco Albani's The Baptism of Christ, when Jesus became one with God according to Adoptionism

Adoptionismism, sometimes called dynamic monarchianism, is a minority Christian belief that Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary in the normal way. Jesus was adopted as God's son (Son of God) at his baptism. By Jewish-Christian accounts,[1] Jesus was chosen because of his sinless devotion to the will of God. Early Jewish Christians understood Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God in terms of the anointing at his baptism which some see as in line with the radical monotheism of first century Judaism. The Jewish-Christian Gospels make no mention of a supernatural birth. Rather, they detail his experience in the River Jorden.

The theology of the Virgin Birth developed as Christianity left its Jewish roots and Gentile Christianity became dominant. Adoptionism was declared heresy at the end of the second century, and was rejected by the Emperor Constantine at the First Council of Nicaea, which wrote the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and identifies Jesus as eternally begotten of God. [2]

Some scholars see Adoptionist concepts in the Gospel of Mark and in the writings of the Apostle Paul. Mark has Jesus as the Son of God, occurring at the strategic points of 1:1 ("The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God") and 15:39 ("Surely this man was the Son of God!"), but the Virgin Birth of Jesus has not been developed.[3] [4]

By the time the Gospels of Luke and Matthew were written, Jesus is portrayed as being the Son of God from the time of birth, and finally the Gospel of John portrays the Son as existing "in the beginning". [5]

Contents

History

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Early Primary Writings

In The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart D. Ehrman argues that the Adoptionist Theology may date back almost to the time of Jesus and his view is shared by many other scholars. The first leader of the Church was James the Just who succeeded his brother Jesus of Nazareth. [6] They were located in and about Jerusalem, perhaps in the Cenacle, and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. These early Jewish Christians were thought to have been called Nazarenes. The term Nazarene was first applied to Jesus.[7] and later to the Jewish Sect that believed Jesus was the Messiah.[8] It is close to an historical certainty that Matthew belonged to this group.[9]

One account of the life and teachings of Jesus, dating from this time was written by a person named Matthew.[10] According to the Church Fathers, he was the same person as the Apostle Matthew, and his account was called the Gospel of the Hebrews or the Gospel of the Apostles [11][12] [13] [14][15] This, the first written account of the life of Jesus was adoptionist in nature. The Gospel of the Hebrews has no mention of the Virgin Birth and when Jesus is baptized it states, "Jesus came up from the water, Heaven was opened, and He saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and enter into Him. And a voice from Heaven said, ‘You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’ And again, ‘Today I have begotten You.’ Immediately a great light shone around the place" [16][17][18]

The Gospel of Mark was composed around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and is generally believed to be is the first Canonical Gospel written.[19][20][21][22][22][23] [24] [25] [26] [27] The phrase "Son of God" is not present in some early manuscripts at Mk 1:1. Bart D. Ehrman uses this omission to support the notion that the title "Son of God" is not used of Jesus until his baptism, and that Mark reflects an adoptionist view. Furthermore, the Virgin Birth is not mentioned. However because the words "Today I have begotten you", are omitted from the Gospel of Mark and is therefore generally believed to have less adoptionist tendencies than the Gospel of the Hebrews[5]

Even by the time of the Paul the Apostle adoptionist Christology was still being embraced. Paul's writings do not mention the Virgin birth of Christ and it would appear that Paul had never heard of it. Paul's that God said "You are my son. Today I have begotten you" must be adoptionist for it renders impossible Jesus being eternally begotten and it is almost a direct quote from the Gospel of the Hebrews [28] [29]

Later Secondary Documents

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written several years after Paul. [30] Neither gospel was written by eyewitnesses to Jesus. The authors composed their gospels based on earlier Christian documents such as the Gospel of Mark.[31][32] Both Luke and Greek Matthew now clearly reject the Jewish Christian Adoptionist theology that Jesus became the Son of God at his baptism and state that He was begotten by God at his birth.[33]

In the 2nd century, adoptionism was one of two competing doctrines about the nature of Jesus Christ, the other (as in the Gospel of John) being that he pre-existed as a divine spirit (Logos)[34].

Historically, there were three waves of Adoptionist speculation if we exclude the hypothetical beliefs of the primitive church that cannot be determined with certainty. The first, which dates from the 2nd century, differs significantly from the subsequent two (dating respectively from the 8th and the 12th century), which follow the definition of the dogma of the Trinity and Chalcedonian Christology.

Adoptionism and Christology

Adoptionism is one of two main forms of monarchianism (the other is modalism, which regards "Father" and "Son" as two aspects of the same subject). Adoptionism (also known as dynamic monarchianism) denies the pre-existence of Christ and although it does not deny his deity many Trinitarians claim that it does. Under Adoptionism Jesus is currently divine and has been since his adoption, although he is not equal to the Father.

Adoptionism was one position in a long series of Christian disagreements about the precise nature of Christ (see Christology) in the developing dogma of the Trinity, an attempt to explain the relationship between Jesus of Nazareth, both as man and (now) God, and God the Father while maintaining Christianity's monotheism. It differs significantly from the doctrine of the Trinity that was later affirmed by the ecumenical councils.

Second century: pre-Nicene Christology

The first known exponent of Adoptionism in the second century is Theodotus of Byzantium. He taught[35] that Jesus was a man born of a virgin according to the counsel of Jerusalem, that he lived like other men, and was most pious; but that at his baptism in the Jordan the Christ came down upon the man Jesus in the likeness of a dove. Therefore wonders (dynameis) were not wrought in him until the Spirit (which Theodotus called Christ) came down and was manifested in Him. The belief was declared heretical by Pope Victor I.

The second-century work Shepherd of Hermas also taught that Jesus was a virtuous man filled with the Holy Spirit and adopted as the Son[36]. While Shepherd of Hermas was popular and sometimes bound with the canonical scriptures, it never achieved canonical status.

In the 3rd century, Paul of Samosata, Patriarch of Antioch, promoted adoptionism. He said Jesus had been a man who kept himself sinless and achieved union with God. His views, however, did not neatly fit in either of the two main forms of Monarchianism.[citation needed]

Adoptionism: Hispanicus error

In the late 8th century, adoptionism, called the Hispanicus error, was espoused by Elipandus, bishop of Toledo in the Caliphate of Cordoba, and by Felix, bishop of Urgell in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Ascaric, bishop of either Astorga or Braga in the Kingdom of Asturias, was also implicated in the heresy. Alcuin, the leading intellect at the court of Charlemagne, was called in to write refutations against both of the bishops. Against Felix he wrote:

As the Nestorian impiety divided Christ into two persons because of the two natures, so your unlearned temerity divided Him into two sons, one natural and one adoptive.

Beatus of Liébana, from the Kingdom of Asturias, also fought adoptionism, which was a cause of controversy between Christians under Muslim rule in the former Visigothic capital of Toledo and the peripherical kingdom. The doctrine was condemned as heresy by the Council of Frankfurt (794).

12th century and later: Neo-adoptionism

A third wave was the revived form ("Neo-Adoptionism") of Abelard in the 12th century. Later, various modified and qualified adoptionist tenets emerged from some theologians in the 14th century. Duns Scotus (1300) and Durandus of Saint-Pourçain (1320) admit the term Filius adoptivus in a qualified sense. In more recent times the Jesuit Gabriel Vásquez, and the Lutheran divines Georgius Calixtus and Johann Ernst Immanuel Walch, have defended adoptionism as essentially orthodox.

19th century, Psilanthropism

A form of adoptionism surfaced in Unitarianism during the 18th as the virgin birth was increasingly denied by Unitarians[citation needed]. In the 19th Century the term Psilanthropism, was applied by such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge who so called his own view that Jesus was the son of Joseph.[37])

Notes

  1. ^ They too accept Matthew's gospel, and like the followers of Cerinthus and Merinthus, they use it alone. They call it the Gospel of the Hebrews, for in truth Matthew alone in the New Testament expounded and declared the Gospel in Hebrew using Hebrew script. After saying many things, this Gospel continues: “After the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John. And as Jesus came up from the water, Heaven was opened, and He saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and enter into Him. And a voice from Heaven said, ‘You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’ And again, ‘Today I have begotten You.’ “Immediately a great light shone around the place; and John, seeing it, said to Him, ‘Who are you, Lord? And again a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ Then John, falling down before Him, said, ‘I beseech You, Lord, baptize me!’ But He forbade him saying, ‘Let it be so; for thus it is fitting that all things be fulfilled.’” Epiphanius, Panarion 30:3 & 30:13
  2. ^ "Jesus was either regarded as the man whom God had chosen, in whom the Deity or the Spirit of God dwelt, and who, after being tested, was adopted by God and invested with dominion, (Adoptian Christology); or Jesus was regarded as a heavenly spiritual being (the highest after God) who took flesh, and again returned to heaven after the completion of his work on earth (pneumatic Christology)." Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma [1]
  3. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York : United Bible Societies, 1994). Mark 1:1.
  4. ^ Ben Witherington III, What Have They Done With Jesus? (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2006), p. 7.
  5. ^ a b Ehrman, Bart D., The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. p.74-55.
  6. ^ Jerome, Illustrious Men 3
  7. ^ Gospel of Matthew 2:23
  8. ^ F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingston, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press, (1988-92) p. 597&722.
  9. ^ Both the Gospels (pro-Christian and seen by some as anti-Judaism) and the early Talmud (part of Judaism and seen by some as anti-Christian) affirm this to be true. Bernhard Pick The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, Kessinger Publishing, 2006 p. 116
  10. ^ Bernhard Pick, The Talmud: What It Is and What It Knows of Jesus and His Followers, Kessinger Publishing, 2006 pp. 122, 125-129
  11. ^ Eusebius Church History 3:39 .
  12. ^ Origen explains, "The very first account to be written was by Matthew, once a tax collector, but later an apostle of Jesus Christ. Matthew published it for the converts from Judaism and composed it in Hebrew letters." Eusebius Church History, 6:25 Eusebius adds insight by explaining that the apostles "were led to write only under the pressure of necessity. Matthew, who had first preached the Gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going to other nations, committed the gospel to writing in his native language. Therefore he supplied the written word to make up for the lack of his own presence to those from whom he was sent." Eusebius Church History, 3:24
  13. ^ Irenaeus gives us further insight into the date and circumstances of this gospel by explaining, "Matthew also issued a written Gospel of the Hebrews in their own language while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the Church." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:1
  14. ^ Matthew, the tax collector and later an Apostle, composed his gospel near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians. It was then translated into Greek but the Greek copy was lost. The Hebrew original was preserved at the Library of Caesarea, which Pamphilus diligently gathered. The Nazarenes transcribed a copy for Jerome which he used in his work. "Jerome, On Illustrious Men 3">Jerome, On Illustrious Men 3 [2]
  15. ^ Matthew's gospel was called the Gospel of the Hebrews or sometimes the Gospel of the Apostles, and was written in the Chaldee and Syriac language but in Hebrew script. It was used by the Nazarene communities. Jerome, Against Pelagius 3:2 [3]
  16. ^ Epiphanius, Panarion 30:13
  17. ^ James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel & the Development of the Synoptic Tradition, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2009, pp. 1-376
  18. ^ Pierson Parker A Basis for the Gospel According to the Hebrews Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Dec., 1940), pp. 471.
  19. ^ Crossan, John Dominic (1991). The historical Jesus: the life of a Mediterranean Jewish peasant. San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0060616296. 
  20. ^ Eisenman, Robert H. (1998). James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Penguin Books. p. 56. ISBN 014025773X. 
  21. ^ John Robinson, Redating the New Testament, 1976, Wipf & Stock Publishers: ISBN 1579105270. p.352
  22. ^ a b Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. pp. 164. ISBN 0-385-24767-2. 
  23. ^ Millard, A. R. (2000). Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus. NYU Press. p. 56. ISBN 0814756379. http://books.google.com/books?id=TCrfgC6QWp0C&pg=PA56&vq=%22without+convincing+the+majority+of+leading+specialists%22&dq=%22reading+and+writing+in+the+time+of+jesus%22&sig=bwLoqmD7bv1FhweRKjTUZ81RPkQ. "C.P. Thiede drew on papyrology, statistics and forensic microscopy to try to prove O'Callaghan's case, yet without convincing the majority of leading specialists." 
  24. ^ R. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?, Millennium Press 1997 p. 8
  25. ^ Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:1
  26. ^ G.A. Williamson, Papias, quoted in Eusebius, Penguin Books, 1965 p. 103
  27. ^ Bernd Kollmann, Joseph Barnabas, Liturgical Press, 2004, p. 30
  28. ^ William Christie, Discourses on the Divine Unity Publisher Eaton by Stower, 1810 p.113
  29. ^ Ramacharaka, Mystic Christianity, Publisher Cosimo, Inc., 2006 p.21
  30. ^ Dating, Early Christian Writings
  31. ^ Gospel of Matthew, Early Christian Writings
  32. ^ Gospel of Luke, Early Christian Writings
  33. ^ Virgin Birth of Jesus
  34. ^ "Jesus was either regarded as the man whom God hath chosen, in whom the Deity or the Spirit of God dwelt, and who, after being tested, was adopted by God and invested with dominion, (Adoptian Christology); or Jesus was regarded as a heavenly spiritual being (the highest after God) who took flesh, and again returned to heaven after the completion of his work on earth (pneumatic Christology)." Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma [4]
  35. ^ Hippolytus of Rome, Philosophumena, VII, xxxv.
  36. ^ "The Holy Pre-existent Spirit. Which created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that he desired. This flesh, therefore, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was subject unto the Spirit, walking honorably in holiness and purity, without in any way defiling the Spirit. When then it had lived honorably in chastity, and had labored with the Spirit, and had cooperated with it in everything, behaving itself boldly and bravely, he chose it as a partner with the Holy Spirit; for the career of this flesh pleased [the Lord], seeing that, as possessing the Holy Spirit, it was not defiled upon the earth. He therefore took the son as adviser and the glorious angels also, that this flesh too, having served the Spirit unblamably, might have some place of sojourn, and might not seem to have lost the reward for its service; for all flesh, which is found undefiled and unspotted, wherein the Holy Spirit dwelt, shall receive a reward." [5]
  37. ^ Cyclopædia of Biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical literature, Volume 2 By John McClintock, James Strong

See also

References

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Adoptionism, in a broad sense, a christological theory according to which Christ, as man, is the adoptive Son of God; the precise import of the word varies with the successive stages and exponents of the theory. Roughly, we have (1) the adoptionism of Elipandus and Felix in the eighth century; (2) the Neo-Adoptionism of Abelard in the twelfth century; (3) the qualified Adoptionism of some theologians from the fourteenth century on.


(1) Adoptionism of Elipandus and Felix in the Eighth Century


This, the original form of Adoptionism, asserts a double sonship in Christ: one by generation and nature, and the other by adoption and grace. Christ as God is indeed the Son of God by generation and nature, but Christ as man is Son of God only by adoption and grace. Hence "The Man Christ" is the adoptive and not the natural Son of God. Such is the theory held towards the end of the eighth century by Elipandus, Archbishop of Toledo, then under the Mohammedan rule, and by Felix, Bishop of Urgel, then under the Frankish dominion. The origin of this Hispanicus error, as it was called, is obscure. Nestorianism had been a decidedly Eastern heresy and we are surprised to find an offshoot of it in the most western part of the Western Church, and this so long after the parent heresy had found a grave in its native land. It is, however, noteworthy that Adoptionism began in that part of Spain where Islamism dominated, and where a Nestorian colony had for years found refuge. The combined influence of Islamism and Nestorianism had, no doubt, blunted the aged Elipandus's Catholic sense. Then came a certain Migetius, preaching a loose doctrine, and holding, among other errors, that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity did not exist before the Incarnation. The better to confute this error, Elipandus drew a hard and fast line between Jesus as God and Jesus as Man, the former being the natural, and the latter merely the adoptive Son of God. The reassertion of Nestorianism raised a storm of protest from Catholics, headed by Beatus, Abbot of Libana, and Etherius, Bishop of Osma. It was to maintain his position that Elipandus deftly enlisted the co-operation of Felix of Urgel, known for his learning and versatile mind. Felix entered the contest thoughtlessly. Once in the heat of it, he proved a strong ally for Elipandus, and even became the leader of the new movement called by contemporaries the Haeresis Feliciana. While Elipandus put an indomitable will at the service of Adoptionism, Felix gave it the support of his science and also Punic faith. From Scripture he quoted innumerable texts. In the patristic literature and Mozarabic Liturgy he found such expressions as adoptio, homo adoptivus, ouios thetos, supposedly applied to the Incarnation and Jesus Christ. Nor did he neglect the aid of dialectics, remarking with subtilty that the epithet "Natural Son of God" could not be predicated of "The Man Jesus", who was begotten by temporal generation; who was inferior to the Father; who was related not to the Father especially, but to the whole Trinity, the relation in questions remaining unaltered if the Father or the Holy Ghost had been incarnate instead of the Son. Elipandus's obstinacy and Felix's versatility were but the partial cause of the temporary success of Adoptionism. If that offspring of Nestorianism held sway in Spain for wellnigh two decades and even made an inroad into southern France, the true cause is to be found in Islamitic rule, which practically brought to naught the control of Rome over the greater part of Spain; and in the over-conciliatory attitude of Charlemagne, who, in spite of his whole-souled loyalty to the Roman Faith, could ill afford to alienate politically provinces so dearly bought. Of the two heresiarchs, Elipandus died in his error. Felix, after many insincere recantations, was placed under the surveillance of Leidrad of Lyons and gave all the signs of a genuine conversion. His death would even have passed for a repentant's death if Agobar, Leidrad's successor, had not found among his papers a definite retraction of all former retractions. Adoptionism did not long outlive its authors. What Charlemagne could not do by diplomacy and synods (Narbonne, 788; Ratisbon, 792; Frankfort, 794; Aix-la-Chapelle, 799) he accomplished by enlisting the services of missionaries like St. Benedict of Aniane, who reported as early as 800 the conversion of 20,000 clerics and laymen; and savants like Alcuin, whose treatises "Adv. Elipandum Toletanum" and "Contra Felicem Urgellensem" will ever be a credit to Christian learning.


The official condemnation of Adoptionism is to be found (1) in Pope Hadrian's two letters, one to the bishops of Spain, 785, and the other to Charlemagne, 794; (2) in the decrees of the Council of Frankfort (794), summoned by Charlemagne, it is true, but "in full apostolic power" and presided over by the legate of Rome, therefore a synodus universalis, according to an expression of contemporary chroniclers. In these documents the natural divine filiation of Jesus even as man is strongly asserted, and His adoptive filiation, at least in so far as it excludes the natural, is rejected as heretical. Some writers, mainly Protestant, have tried to erase from Adoptionism all stain of the Nestorian heresy. These writers do not seem to have caught the meaning of the Church's definition. Since sonship is an attribute of the person and not of the nature, to posit two sons is to posit two persons in Christ, the very error of Nestorianism. Alcuin exactly renders the mind of the Church when he says, "As the Nestorian impiety divided Christ into two persons because of the two natures, so your unlearned temerity divided Him into two sons, one natural and one adoptive" (Contra Felicem, I, P. L. CI, Col. 136). With regard to the arguments adduced by Felix in support of his theory, it may be briefly remarked that (1) such scriptural texts as John, xiv, 28, had already been explained at the time of the Arian controversy, and such others as Rom., viii, 29, refer to our adoption, not to that of Jesus, Christ is nowhere in the Bible called the adopted Son of God; nay more, Holy Scripture attributes to "The Man Christ" all the predicates which belong to the Eternal Son (cf. John, i, 18; iii, 16; Rom., viii, 32). (2) The expression adoptare, adoptio, used by some Fathers, has for its object the sacred Humanity, not the person of Christ; the human nature, not Christ, is said to be adopted or assumed by the Word. The concrete expression of the Mozarabic Missal, Homo adoptatus, or of some Greek Fathers, ouios thetos, either does not apply to Christ or is an instance of the not infrequent use in early days of the concrete for the abstract. (3) The dialectical arguments of Felix cease to have a meaning the moment it is clearly understood that, as St. Thomas says, "Filiation properly belongs to the person". Christ, Son of God, by His eternal generation, remains Son of God, even after the Word has assumed and substantially united to Himself the sacred Humanity; Incarnation detracts no more from the eternal sonship than it does from the eternal personality of the Word. (See NESTORIANISM.)


(2) New-Adoptionism of Abelard in the Twelfth Century


The Spanish heresy left few traces in the Middle Ages. It is doubtful whether the christological errors of Abelard can be traced to it. They rather seem to be the logical consequence of a wrong construction put upon the hypostatical union. Abelard began to question the truth of such expressions as "Christ is God"; "Christ is man". Back of what might seem a mere logomachy there is really, in Abelard's mind, a fundamental error. He understood the hypostatical union as a fusion of two natures, the divine and the human. And lest that fusion become a confusion, he made the sacred Humanity the external habit and adventitious instrument of the Word only, and thus denied the substantial reality of "The Man Christ" -- "Christus ut homo non est aliquid sed dici potest alicuius modi." It is self-evident that in such a theory the Man Christ could not be called the true Son of God. Was He the adoptive Son of God? Personally, Abelard repudiated all kinship with the Adoptionists, just as they deprecated the very idea of their affiliation to the Nestorian heresy. But after Abelard's theory spread beyond France, into Italy, Germany and even the Orient, the disciples were less cautious than the master. Luitolph defended at Rome the following proposition -- "Christ, as man, is the natural son of man and the adoptive Son of God"; and Folmar, in Germany, carried this erroneous tenet to its extreme consequences, denying to Christ as man the right to adoration. Abelard's new-Adoptionism was condemned, at least in its fundamental principles, by Alexander III, in a rescript dated 1177: "We forbid under pain of anathema that anyone in the future dare assert that Christ as man is not a substantial reality (non esse aliquid) because as He is truly God, so He is verily man." The refutation of this new form of Adoptionism, as it rests altogether on the interpretation of the hypostatical union, will be found in the treatment of that word. (See HYPOSTATIC UNION.)


(3) Qualified Adoptionism of Later Theologians


The formulas "natural Son of God", "adopted Son of God" were again subjected to a close analysis by such theologians as Duns Scotus (1300); Durandus a S. Portiano (1320); Vasquez (1604); Suarez (1617). They all admitted the doctrine of Frankfort, and confessed that Jesus as man was the natural and not merely the adoptive Son of God. But besides that natural sonship resting upon the hypostatical union, they thought there was room for a second filiation, resting on grace, the grace of union (gratia unionis). They did not agree, however, in qualifying that second filiation. Some called it adoptive, because of its analogy with our supernatural adoption. Others, fearing lest the implication of the word adoption might make Jesus a stranger to, and alien from God, preferred to call it natural. None of these theories runs counter to a defined dogma; yet, since sonship is an attribute of the person, there is danger of multiplying the persons by multiplying the filiations in Christ. A second natural filiation is not intelligible. A second adoptive filiation does not sufficiently eschew the connotation of adoption as defined by the Council of Frankfort. "We call adoptive him who is stranger to the adopter." The common mistake of these novel theories, a mistake already made by the old Adoptionists and by Abelard, lies in the supposition that the grace of union in Christ, not being less fruitful than habitual grace in man, should have a similar effect, viz., filiation. Less fruitful it is not, and yet it cannot have the same effect in Him as in us, because to Him it was said: "Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee" (Hebr., i, 5); and to us, "You were afar off" (Eph., ii, 13).

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.

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