Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Summary of True Christology by Richard Hooker

To gather therefore into one sum all that hitherto has been spoken touching this point, there are but four things which concur to make complete the whole state of our Lord Jesus Christ: his Deity, his manhood, the conjunction of both, and distinction of the one from the other being joined into one.

Four Principal heresies here are which have in those things withstood the truth: Arians by bending themselves against the Deity of Christ; Apollinarians by maiming and misinterpreting that which belongeth to his human nature; Nestorians by rending Christ asunder, and dividing him into two persons; the followers of Eutyches by confounding in his person those natures which they should distinguish.

Against these there have been four most famous ancient general councils: the Council of Nice [Nicea] to define against Arians, against Apollinarians the council of Constantinople, the council of Ephesus against Nestorians, against Euychians the Chalcedon council. In four words… truly, perfectly, indivisibly, distinctively; the first applied to his being God, and the second to his being Man, the third to his being of both One, and the fourth to his still continuing in that one Both: we may fully by way of abridgement comprise whatsoever antiquity hath at large handled either in declaration of Christian belief, or in refutation of the foresaid heresies. Within the compass of which four heads, I may truly affirm that all heresies which touch but the person of Jesus Christ, whether they have risen in these latter days, or in any age heretofore, may be with great facility brought to confine themselves.

We conclude therefore that to save the world it was of necessity the Son of God should be thus incarnate, and that God should so be in Christ as hath been declared.

Richard Hooker (c. 1554-1600)

From The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book V, 1597

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