Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pieper, 1968, vol. 2 “The Second Genus of the Communication of Attributes (Genus Maiestaticum)"

“The Second Genus of the Communication of Attributes (Genus Maiestaticum)" (Loc. 3666)

In opposition to the communication of attributes, “Reformed theologians demand that an unbridgeable chasm should be established between the divine attributes of the Son of God and His human nature, because, as they say, Christ’s human nature cannot be invested with divine omnipotence, divine omniscience, and other attributes of the deity without its being destroyed” (Loc. 3666). Their intention is to avoid making humanity into deity, something of which they accuse Lutherans. Pieper affirms that the underlying issue is the Reformed assertion, “Finitum non est capax infiniti” (Loc. 3704). He counters that the very identity of the Christ is an exercise of the infinite dwelling in the finite. An attempt to deny the genus maiestaticum can “actually destroy Christ’s divine nature” (Loc. 3742). Pieper brings in numerous biblical arguments for the human Christ having a divine nature.

Pieper discusses the limitations of Jesus as well, how he is weak, weary, and suffering. “Scripture explains this fact by pointing to the office which Christ had to perform on earth among men and for men” (Loc. 3834). Jesus limited his omnipotence as needed to execute his saving office. Pieper classifies omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence all in the same way, meaning that the Son of God does have all those divine qualities. All are asserted in Scripture. This cannot be denied, though some of the implications may be open to debate.

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