“The Practical Importance of the Genus Apotelesmaticum” (Loc. 5848)
In discussing the genus apotelesmaticum Pieper observes that “the first two genera, the genus idiomaticum and the genus maiestaticum, are its necessary presuppositions, so that the Church contends for them in the interest of the third” (Loc. 5848). This third genus demonstrates that “all actions of Christ are theanthropic and so of a unique, saving, and truly consoling nature” (Loc. 5848). This genus gets its name from the “work” (apotelesma) of the Christ (Loc. 5857). Jesus, true man and true God, remains man and God. His divine nature receives nothing from the human nature (Loc. 5883). Being truly divine and truly human is at the heart of his ability to atone for our sins. Luther’s criticism of Zwingli was largely based on Zwingli’s separation of the natures. By denying the suffering of the divine Zwingli leaves us with a mere man dying for us, which is ineffective. Pieper does observe that many Reformed theologians are inconsistent and admit both divine and human natures in the atonement (Loc. 5910). The desire of God to take on a human nature and thereby be able to suffer as we do has often been treated as a matter of great comfort (Loc. 5935).