Ephrem is rightly considered the forerunner of the Immaculate Conception. He contrasted Mary with Eve, and set the stage for calling the Mother of Christ a mediatrix between the human race and her divine Son. \"Mary and Eve,\" he wrote, \"were two people without guilt. As two simple people they were originally the same. But later one because the cause of our death, and the other the cause of our life.\" (2)
Christology Of The Later Fathers
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His early days and youth have some bearing on his teaching about Christ. Born in Africa, where Christological issues had been debated for more than a century, Augustine led a life of dissipation and for nine years was a Manichaean. But he wrote later on that there were three things he never completely lost even in his worst days: faith in providence, at least a dim awareness of sanctions after death, and trust in Christ as Savior.
Pelagianism and Augustine's defence of grace are the foci around which centuries later will revolve the Christology of the Reformation and the Council of Trent. Trent, like Augustine, stressed the need of Christ not only to redeem mankind (because man had sinned), but to raise mankind to a supernatural state of being (because men are creatures and not divine).
The Pauline epistles also advanced the \"cosmic Christology\"[note 20] later developed in the Gospel of John, elaborating the cosmic implications of Jesus' existence as the Son of God: \"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.\" Paul writes that Christ came to draw all back to God: \"Through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven\" (Colossians 1:20); in the same epistle, he writes that \"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation\" (Colossians 1:15).
In 431, the First Council of Ephesus was initially called to address the views of Nestorius on Mariology, but the problems soon extended to Christology, and schisms followed. The 431 council was called because in defense of his loyal priest Anastasius, Nestorius had denied the Theotokos title for Mary and later contradicted Proclus during a sermon in Constantinople. Pope Celestine I (who was already upset with Nestorius due to other matters) wrote about this to Cyril of Alexandria, who orchestrated the council. During the council, Nestorius defended his position by arguing there must be two persons of Christ, one human, the other divine, and Mary had given birth only to a human, hence could not be called the Theotokos, i.e. \"the one who gives birth to God\". The debate about the single or dual nature of Christ ensued in Ephesus.
The Nativity of Jesus impacted the Christological issues about his person from the earliest days of Christianity. Luke's Christology centers on the dialectics of the dual natures of the earthly and heavenly manifestations of existence of the Christ, while Matthew's Christology focuses on the mission of Jesus and his role as the savior. The salvific emphasis of Matthew 1:21 later impacted the theological issues and the devotions to Holy Name of Jesus.
Matthew 1:23 provides a key to the \"Emmanuel Christology\" of Matthew. Beginning with 1:23, the Gospel of Matthew shows a clear interest in identifying Jesus as \"God with us\" and in later developing the Emmanuel characterization of Jesus at key points throughout the rest of the Gospel. The name 'Emmanuel' does not appear elsewhere in the New Testament, but Matthew builds on it in Matthew 28:20 (\"I am with you always, even unto the end of the world\") to indicate Jesus will be with the faithful to the end of the age. According to Ulrich Luz, the Emmanuel motif brackets the entire Gospel of Matthew between 1:23 and 28:20, appearing explicitly and implicitly in several other passages.
A central element in the christology presented in the Acts of the Apostles is the affirmation of the belief that the death of Jesus by crucifixion happened \"with the foreknowledge of God, according to a definite plan\". In this view, as in Acts 2:23, the cross is not viewed as a scandal, for the crucifixion of Jesus \"at the hands of the lawless\" is viewed as the fulfilment of the plan of God.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) expressed this sentiment about Roman Catholic Mariology when in two separate occasions he stated, \"The appearance of a truly Marian awareness serves as the touchstone indicating whether or not the christological substance is fully present\" and \"It is necessary to go back to Mary, if we want to return to the truth about Jesus Christ.\"
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Tertullian. tertullian taught that the oneness of the Father and the Son required a oneness in substance that underlay the difference in persons in the Trinity. His corporeal concepts, tied in with time and quantity, however, involved his explanation in subordinationism; but his terminology regarding one Person in two substances, or natures, as well as the distinction of the three Persons in one substance in the Trinity, proved invaluable in the later Western Christological development. His intention was to combat monarchianism, which denied the diversity of Persons in the one God, as well as various forms of Adoptionism and Modalism. The Roman type of adoptionism that saw Christ raised to divinity in His Baptism was combated by the popes before 200; and callistus, with the condemnation of Sabellius, included a repudiation of the modalism of No'tus and Praxeas in Asia Minor, who considered the three functions of the Father, Son, and Spirit in the history of salvation as mere manifestations or modes of the Godhead. This theory was rejected also by hippolytus of rome. A further development of Modalism manifested itself in patripassianism, or the theory that if Father and Son were one in substance, the Father must have suffered for mankind.
In the West, a new type of Adoptionism was discussed in 7th-century Spain, and was condemned by Charlemagne in several Carolingian synods. The later scholastics argued over the personality of Christ, and this problem has been resurrected in contemporary discussions concerning the ego of Christ. Protestant theology from Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli to Hegel, Strauss, Ritschl, and M. Köhler has been more concerned with the religious, ethical, and historical implications of Christology than with the explanation of the union between the divine and human nature. Many contemporary non-Catholics accept some type of subordinationism in their Christological thinking.
Arius wrote to Eusebius of Nicomedia referring to the eternal Word that, '[B]efore He was begotten ... He was not, for He was not without beginning.'1 Where he qualified his argument on the fact that the Son has an eternal beginning from the Father who alone has no beginning.2 Arius seems trying to say that the Son does not exist apart from being begotten. An idea he claimed to be shared by Church fathers before him.
There is a debate on whether or not precursor to Arianism can be found among the earliest church fathers before the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea. Among the early Christian authors whom the early Church considered authoritative we can find some whose teachings are similar with the Arians that were used by the Arians to assert that their theology is patristic. What then differentiate these Ante Nicene Fathers3 from the Arians in terms of their Christology?
3 Ante Nicene refer to before the Council of Nicaea in 325. They're early Church fathers who are venerated in the 24 sui juris Catholic churches, 16 canonical Eastern Orthodox churches, 6 canonical Oriental Orthodox churches, and Church of the East. Such as St. Justin Martyr, St. Theophilus of Antioch, Tertullian of Carthage, Origen of Alexandria, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, and St Lucian of Antioch.
Some of the pre-nicene fathers were subordinationists yet they still adhere to Jesus as \"God of God.\" Gregory Thaumaturgus, Irenaeus, Athenagoras and others taught that the Son is eternally begotten from the Father not created from nothing. On the other hand, Arius introduced a completely alien thought to the church by teaching that the Logos had a beginning of existence, created from nothing.
This Patristic Angelic Christology should not be confused with John Calvin's view on Christ-Michael theory or Seven Day Adventist belief that the Archangel Michael is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Because the Church Fathers never conflate Michael with the Angel of the Lord; the two are distinct, the former an angel by nature while the later by voluntary condescension.
Referring to the Johannine Prologue he wrote, \"[it shows] that at first God was alone, and the Logos [already exists] in Him. ... The Logos, then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills, He sends Him to any place; and He, coming, is both heard and seen, being sent by Him.\"7 This view later developed further by Ss. Lucian of Antioch and Dionysius of Alexandria. He is the Son who is sent into the world as a representative of His Father, to be \"heard and seen.\"7 He is called God's servant,6 reflective of His work in the world He created on behalf of His Master.11 This was an argument that the Arians later point to to show the antiquity of their argument, of the emanation of the spoken Logos \"whenever t