Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pub Theology

The Hypostatic Union of the two natures of Christ is like a Black and Tan (a kind of alcoholic drink):

"The hypostatic union is kind of like this black and tan," I began.

I was barely finished saying the phrase when at once I could see their eyes light up, ears perk, and both men seemed to lean a little close to me. At the thought of mixing religion and beer and their reactions to my opening comment, I knew I was speaking their language. I continued:

"You see, Christ was both true man and true God. That is, He has two different natures. Just like this Black and Tan has two different natures -- or styles -- of beer within its glass. Yet, even though there are two styles of beer in a Black and Tan they are both contained in the one drink that is called a Black and Tan. Likewise, Christ's two natures are both found in the one Person called Jesus of Nazareth.

Hat tip: Kenny Pearce


Anonymous said...

I'll drink to that!

Sally said...


Anonymous said...

So, is this post actually the launch of a quest to have Asbury's temperance policy changed?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

and we raise a toast saying, "The Lord be with you!!! And also with you!!!"

MethoDeist said...

Quick question that is not meant to be condescending as I am confused by an aspect of Christian theology and would like to hear some opinions by those that are in seminary, laypersons and active pastors.

How can Jesus be both God in human form and the son of God at the same time?

This is an aspect of Christian theology that I have never understood.

Also, gospels such as Mark seem to paint Jesus as a man who received the holy spirit from God and became his son while Luke and Matthew paint a Jesus that was born as a son while John takes the God in human form approach.

So, in the Christian paradigm, was Jesus God in human form or was he the son of God who had certain aspects of God his father?

Please help.


John said...

In Chalcedonian Christology (which is accepted by almost all traditions which call themselves Christians), he is both fully God and fully human simultaneously.

This Christology is the best representation of the whole of the Biblical text. Although certain Scriptures may make mention of his divinity or his humanity, the Hypostatic Union is the best way of summarizing the whole teaching available.

How did this mystery come about? How could Christ be both fully God and fully human? We shall not know in this lifetime.

My rabbits sit in their cage on the floor. They watch me and my wife interact. They might perceive that we are mates of a sort, but this is unlikely. At any rate, the rabbits' limited intelligence prevents them from understanding the concept of marriage which exists between my wife and myself. At best, they have the faintest glimmer of a relationship which parallels the bonds between rabbit mates and warren community as metaphors for how they could understand the relationship between me and my wife.

Now the intellectual difference between rabbits and humans is far smaller than that between humans and God. Just as the rabbits lack the intellectual ability to grasp such higher concepts, so do humans lack the ability to fully understand God.

Does that make sense?

the reverend mommy said...

And yet, I would argue that all analogies fail at anything more than a rough description of the two doctrines that are the hardest to understand -- the Christiological and the Trinitarian.

Analogies fail because most are material descriptions and God cannot be pounded into being just in the material. Thus, while analogies of light being both wave and particle or water being ice, liquid and steam can elucidate, they ultimately fail at grasping the essential mystery of it all.

And that begs the question: if we could so easily comprehend, would we ever gain in the struggle? Perhaps the struggle to understand is the goal.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reply. However, I am still confused about the nature of Jesus. Was Jesus the Son of God or God in human form?

What I am getting at is this, if Jesus is the Son of God then God is his father but if Jesus is God in human form then Jesus is not the son of God since he is God himself.

Also, I understand that the current explanation is trying to bring together the Gospels but it seems that much is lost in the translation.

Thanks for any help that you can give.

John said...

Jesus is the Son of God, meaning God the Father. He is also at the same time God himself (meaning part of the Trinity of persons constituting God).

If that makes sense, then please explain it to me.

The Trinity won't get any clearer this side of Heaven. The Hypostatic Union will remain a mystery.