De Moor V:22: The Deity of the Son Defended, Part 5

They Object: 1. Passages; in which, α. He, as the Son and Image of God, is distinguished from God; Catechesis Racoviana, chapter I de Cognitione Personæ Christi, question 73, page 105, But indeed, from this, that Christ is the Son of God, He appears not to be that god: otherwise He would be a Son to Himself. Responses: a. He that is distinguished from God οὐσιωδῶς/ essentially considered, is not God: but Christ is only distinguished from God ὑποστατικῶς/hypostatically considered, that is, from God the Father; who often is specifically indicated by this Name, inasmuch as He, as the first Person of the Deity, economically sustains the Majesty of the Deity, while Christ occupies the Office of Mediator, and the Holy Spirit the Office of Paraclete/Comforter.[1] b. The Names of Son and Image of God imply, rather than overthrow, the same Nature with that God: in the same way that Son of man by this very name is signified to be a Man partaking of the Essence of the same, although not numerical and individual, which is specific to hyperphysical Generation, but specific:[2] while in that third thing, that, as the divine Nature, so also the human Nature, is communicated to the Son through Generation by the Father, these two agree: compare ARNOLDI’S Refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ on the place cited, § VII, pages 301, 302.

β. In which Christ is called Man and Mediator, and is thus distinguished from God, Romans 5:15; 1 Timothy 2:5. Responses: a. He that is set forth as a mere Man, is not able to be God; but not He that is set forth only as a true Man, because He is able to be both God and man. b. And, that the matter thus stands, it is evident from the Mediatorial Office attributed to this Man, Christ, which supposes true Deity in His Person; without which the Man Jesus Christ would not have been able to give Himself as a ἀντίλυτρον ὑπὲρ πάντων, ransom for all, as it is in verse 6, which argues the full and ἀνυπεύθυνον/uncontrolled right and power of Christ over His humanity and life, a power bestowed upon no one except God and a divine Person: see ARNOLDI’S Refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ on the place cited, § I-V, pages 169-171. Whence this Man Jesus Christ, the Second Man, the antitype of Adam, is set forth to us as more excellent than all mere men, both by the heavenly origin of His Person with respect to Deity, ὁ Κύριος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, the Lord from heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:47; and by virtue of His merits, whereby He has obtained Justification of life for all given to Him by the Father, Romans 5:15-19. c. Indeed, BISTERFELD,[3]de Uno Deo contra Crellium, book I, section I, chapter VI, page 69, believes that in 1 Timothy 2:5 Christ Himself is called the One God and One Mediator at the same time, in such a way that One is put in the place of the Same, writing: “For One God, One also Mediator of God and man is the man Christ Jesus:[4] in such a way that the genuine sense would be, The Man Jesus Christ is the one God, and the One Mediator of God and Men; so that by the One God the Father is not at all understood, but Jesus Christ alone.”


γ. In which Spiritual Gifts are read to have been bestowed upon the Son of God, Matthew 3:16; John 3:34. But to which our AUTHOR rightly Responds: These Spiritual Gifts pertain to the Human Nature of Christ, and flow from the union of the Human Nature of Christ with the Divine Person of the Son of God, and hence are more fully applicable to the Θεανθρώπῳ/God-man than to any mere creature: compare Chapter I, § 8.

Johannes a Marck

δ. In which ἡττήματα/imperfections appear to be attributed to the Son of God, as of Wisdom, Mark 13:32; John 7:16; of Goodness, Matthew 19:17; of Power, John 5:19; 11:41; of eternal and absolute Authority, Matthew 20:23; 26:39; 28:18; John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:28; etc. To which our AUTHOR most satisfactorily Responds: All which; α. Either by incorrect interpretation are twisted unto the Worse contrary to the mind of the Spirit; regard is had to this in Matthew 19:17, while EPIPHANIUS, Ancorato, opera, tome 2, § 18, pages 23, 24, already observed that in Matthew 19:17 Christ only speaks these things for the conviction of that young man. β. Or they argue the mere Order of Persons; thus, for example, the text in John 5:19 has regard to the Personal distinction and Order of operation among the divine Persons, which, nevertheless, dos not imply limited and dependent Power in the Son: but, contrariwise, Christ signifies the identity of His Essence and Power with the Father, when he asserts that, whatever the Father does, He does ὁμοίως/likewise:[5] compare BECMANN’S Exercitationes Theologicas, XII, pages 183-185. γ. Or they have regard unto the Mediatorial Office voluntarily undertaken: to this refer John 7:16; 11:41; Matthew 20:23; John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3; on which Passages examine the Marginal Notes of the DUTCH TRANSLATORS. On John 14:28, compare EPIPHANIUS, Ancorato, § 17, opera, tome 2, page 23. IGNATIUS, in his Epistola ad Magnesios, chapter XIII, says, Ὑποτάγητε τῷ ἐπισκόπῳ καὶ ἀλλήλοις ὡς Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς τῷ Πατρὶ κατὰ σάρκα, be ye subject to the bishop and to one another as Christ was to the Father according to the flesh. δ. Or they ought to be restricted to His Humanity, as in Mark 13:32, in which, 1. Christ attributes to Himself ignorance of the Day of Judgment only according to His Human Nature, since Divine Knowledge, as an Essential Attribute, is common to Him with the Father. 2. And He is likewise able to call Himself τὸν Υἱὸν, the Son, in relation to τὸν Πατέρα, the Father, when He attributes this Ignorance to Himself; because the Attributes of both Natures are able to be attributed to the Person in the concrete because of the Hypostatic Union, although He be denominated by the other nature. 3. But, when He says that οὐδεὶς οἶδεν—εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατήρ, no one knoweth…but the Father, He does not do this to exclude the Son as God and the Holy Spirit, but only to exclude Creatures: otherwise, we could conclude from a similar expression that the Father and Son are ignorant of one another. 4. At the same time, when the exclusive term μόνος/ only, Matthew 24:36, εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατήρ μου μόνος, except my Father alone, is added to the assertion concerning the Father, the Lord does not mention the Son any more than the Holy Spirit in what precedes; but He only cites ἀγγέλους τῶν οὐρανῶν, the angels of heaven, for an example, in order to indicate that this time is hidden from even the most excellent Creatures. And our AUTHOR, in his Exercitationibus Textualibus XXXII, Part IV, § 8, page 209, teaches, “It had already been observed that exclusive terms, of which sort is that Alone/Only, are quite frequently taken not absolutely and universally, but accept a manifest restriction, either from the context in which they are employed, or from the scope of the speaker, or even from the nature of the matter that is treated.” Which Canon he illustrates with clear examples. “And so,” adds our AUTHOR, “here, as also in many other Passages, Matthew 11:27; 19:17; John 17:3; Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; etc., it is observed that by οὐδεὶς εἰ μὴ, no one except, and the addition in Matthew 24:36 of the term μόνος/only, there is no exclusion of the other Persons of the Deity besides the Father, but only whatever Creatures, against which is opposed theFather only, not so much as the Father, but as God.” Add PLACÆUS’ opera, tome 2, pages 987-990, 1103, 1104; SPANHEIM’S Decadum Theologicarum V, § 4, opera, tome 3, column 1221; and below, Chapter XIX, § 9.


ε. Or they speak of a new Declaration of a matter; to which end refer Matthew 28:18, as far as this has regard to a demonstration of divine Power: since in general the Giving of πάσης ἐξουσίας ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς, all power in heaven and in earth, which the Lord says was granted to Him after the Resurrection, is to be referred to Him as Mediator; and at the same time necessarily supposes divine Omnipotence in His Person, in order aptly to make use of that ἐξουσίᾳ/power/authority: so that He as Mediator is not able to have all Power in heaven and earth, unless He possesses Omnipotence as God: compare below, Chapter XIX, § 26. That which is read concerning the Subjection of the Son to God the Father in 1 Corinthians 15:28 is also able to be expounded unto this sense, concerning the sense of which text see farther below, Chapter XX, § 32 near the end.


Unto the fourfold Objection against the divine Nature of Christ, sought from Scripture, from the Catechesi Racoviana, chapter I de Cognitione Personæ Christi, question 7, pages 50, 51, 1. that Scripture sets forth to us only one that is God by nature, who is the Father of Christ; 2. that Scripture testifies that by nature Jesus is a man, which excludes the divine nature from Him; 3. that, whatever of the divine Christ has, the Scripture teaches that He as it by the gift of the Father, Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:27; 4. that Scripture shows that Jesus was accustomed to claim all His divine works, not for Himself, nor for some divine nature belonging to Him, but for His Father, John 5:19; 10:25: ARNOLDI skillfully provides a response in his Refutatione Catecheseos Racovianæ, on the place cited, § XXXVII-XLV, pages 182-186.


Objection 2: More Arguments from Reason: α. Against eternal Generation; when Aëtius the Anomean was concluding a Son dissimilar to the Father, because the one ἀγένητον/unoriginated is ἀνόμοιον/ anomoion/unlike one γενητῷ/originated; but the Son is γενητὸς/ originated, the Father ἀγένητος/unoriginated: BASIL responds, ἀγένητος ἐστι δήλωσις τῆς ὑπάρξεως, οὐ τῆς οὐσίας, unbegotten is a description of person, not of being; see DANÆUS on Augustinum de Hæresibus, chapter LIV, page 982a. β. Against the Personal Union of the Two Natures; γ. and the conjunction of the Mediatorial Office with the Divine Nature: which are elsewhere refuted or to be refuted: compare Chapter V, § 8, 9, Chapter XIX, § 19, 20, chapter XVIII, § 15.

On this § 22, compare CALVIN, Institutes of the Christian Religion, book I, chapter XIII, § 23-29; HOORNBEECK, Socinianismo confutato, tome 2, book I, chapter I, section III, pages 211-225; BISTERFELD, de Uno Deo contra Crellium, book I, sections I, II, pages 1-358, book II, section II, pages 543-593; SPANHEIM, DecadumTheologicarum V, § 9, number 2, opera, tome 3, columns 1223, 1224; STAPFER’S Theologicæ polemicæ, tome 3, chapter XII, § 239-291, pages 488-516; PETAVIUS’ Dogmata theologica, volume I, tome 2, book III, chapters I-VI, pages 130-156. On § 21, 22, compare MARESIUS’ Hydram Socinianismi expugnatam, tome 3, and on Volkelius’ book V de Vera Religione, chapters X, XIII; TURRETIN’S Theologiæ Elencticæ, locus III, question XXVIII.

[1] See John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7. [2] That is, with respect to species. [3] Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld (1605-1655) was a German Reformed theologian and philosopher. While a student, he studied under Johann Heinrich Alsted, and lived with Andrew Rivet, keeping a close association with these men throughout his life. He served as Professor of Philosophy at Herborn, and as a Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Wissenburg. [4] 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (εἷς γὰρ Θεός, εἷς καὶ μεσίτης Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς)…” [5] John 5:19: “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (ὁμοίως, in the same way, equally).”

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