4 - The Communion of Natures (Loc. 2363)
THE REASON FOR THE SPECIAL DISCUSSION OF THE COMMUNION OF NATURES
The concept of the personal union of human and divine in Christ should include the communion of natures. Yet the discussion is made important for several reasons.
- Calvinism rejects “actual communion of the divine nature with the human” (Loc. 2378) in Christ. They make this claim based on the presupposition that a finite human cannot have communion with the infinite. They accept an assumption of the person of the Son but not the human nature.
- Roman Catholic theology sides with Calvinism in this issue.
CRITIQUE OF THE DENIAL OF THE COMMUNION OF NATURES
Pieper asserts that the personal union requires a communion of natures. He points to Unitarians as the most consistent in this regard. The Reformed inconsistency is based on “their principle that the finite is not capable of the infinite” (Loc. 2424) and is addressed in the Apology of the Formula of Concord (1582).
THE COMMUNION OF NATURES MORE COMPLETELY DESCRIBED
“Scripture not merely states the fact of the communion of natures, but also describes it more fully as a permeation without confusion and conversion” (Loc. 2450). This is the historic understanding of Col. 2:9, John 1:14, and 1 John 1:13. In the end, Reformed and Lutheran theologians disagree on the humanity of Christ. Lutherans assert that the Son of God is, since the incarnation, present always and everywhere according to his human nature. The Reformed insist on locality after the incarnation.