Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

If the question were asked: How is god omnipresent? How can the undivided totality of His substance be in each part of the universe? How can it be all in heaven and all on earth, and all on earth without ceasing in any measure to be all in heaven, and without motion or extension, without multiplication of presences, and so that there is no more of God in the whole universe than there is in each point of it? If such a question were asked Dr. Shedd, we presume that, bowing before before the inscrutable mystery, he would reply: God is present after the manner of an infinite Spirit – a manner most real, but utterly incomprehensible to us. Grant, then, that this infinite Spirit has taken to itself a human nature, as an inseparable element of its person, the result is inevitable. Where the divine is, the human must be. The primary and very lowest element of a personal union is the co-presence of the parts. To say that the divine nature of Christ is personally present without his humanity, is to deny that this humanity is a part of that personality, and the doctrine of the incarnation falls to the dust: Christ becomes no more than the organ of a special revelation of Deity: His humanity is no more properly one person with God that the burning bush was one person with Jehovah. Accepting the doctrine of real incarnation, the omnipresence of the human nature of Christ, not in itself, in which respect its presence is determinate, but through the divine, is a necessary result and involves no new mystery. In that whole Godhead which dwells in Christ’s body can, without motion without leaving heaven, or extending itself, be present with us on earth, then can it render present with us, without motion or extension, that other nature which is one person with it. What the divine nature of Christ has of itself, his human nature has through the divine, which has taken it to be one person with itself. This is one result of the doctrine of the Communicatio idiomatum, of which, as we shall see in a moment, Dr. Shedd offers so extremely inaccurate a definition. If the Evangelical Lutheran is asked, how can Christ’s human nature b present with us? he can reply: After the manner in which an infinite Spirit renders present a human nature, which it has taken to be an inseparable constituent of its own person, a manner most real, but utterly incomprehensible to us. This is the doctrine as which Dr. Shedd levels, as has often been done before him, the term Ubiquity. It was the whole Christ – the man as well as the God – who said “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” It was the whole Christ who said: “Lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” And what the Christ promised, the whole Christ will perform. On any other theory, the Christian on earth has no more a personal Christ with Him than the Patriarchs had; the New Dispensation has made no advances on the Old; the divine nature, the second person of the Trinity, was just as much on earth as he is now; and all the light, peace and joy, which a sense of the actual nearness, tender guardianship, and personal sympathy of an incarnate Christ sheds upon the soul, vanish in a haze of hyperboles, a miserable twilight of figures of speech, and the vigorous and soul-sustaining objectivity of Faith faints into a mere sentimentalism. Cold speculation has taken our Lord out of the world he redeemed, and has made heaven, not his throne, but a great sepulcher, with a stone rolled against its portal.    

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p 349-351

(Emphasis are mine).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s