podcast 166 – Alvan Lamson’s On the Doctrine of Two Natures in Jesus Christ – Part 2

January 3, 2017

Is the theory that Jesus has “two natures” more trouble than it’s worth? In this second half of his short book, Alvan Lamson objects to the doctrine of “two natures” in Jesus that it

  • implies that Jesus is not an example of faith and piety for us to imitate
  • makes parts of the New Testament impossible for us to understand (Which “nature” is now speaking or acting?)
  • would make it impossible for Jesus to disavow supreme divinity, as anything he says about his inferiority to God can be referred to his human nature
  • is unnecessary, as the exegetical problems it is supposed to solve are more easily solved by less extreme and less arbitrary interpretive moves
  • misfits the general tenor of the New Testament, which as a whole portrays Jesus as different being than God, who is in various ways less great than God is
  • atonement does not require it, and arguments that the sacrifice victim must be of infinite value and have a divine nature are sophistical
  • it is neither explicitly taught nor clearly implied by the Bible, and if God had intended to teach it by means of the Bible, it would clearly taught and emphasized there; but, it is not. Thus, it is unlikely to be part of the content of divine revelation. Nor do Jesus’s disciples, in the New Testament, express the astonishment they would have felt upon being shown that he is God himself. It seems clear that this doctrine of two natures in Jesus is “a product of later ages.”

Is it?

Links for this episode:

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

One thought on “podcast 166 – Alvan Lamson’s On the Doctrine of Two Natures in Jesus Christ – Part 2”

  1. I enjoyed these two podcasts. It’s nice to get a perspective from someone with similar views who lived a couple hundred years ago. There is nothing new under the sun. 🙂

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