THE FUNCTIONAL UNITY OF CHRIST’S NATURES
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THE FUNCTIONAL UNITY OF CHRIST’S NATURES book
Theodore considered the real problem in christology to be not so much whether the unity of Christ’s natures is to be centered in one hypostasis, on what we would call today a metaphysical level, but rather how his two natures can be rightly said to operate together as one individual. The fathers at the early councils established dogmatic formulations that they believed accurately expressed the substantial unity of Christ as a single individual. While fully recognizing the need for this kind of true personal unity, Theodore insisted that any formulation must preserve and express the full integrity of Christ’s humanity, especially his human free will. He believed that Christ’s humanity had an essential role to play in God’s plan for universal salvation. The dilemma he faced was: how could he justify his assertion that Christ has but one will while also afﬁrming that his human will did still function in a truly free way; and how too could he maintain only one Son of God, while at the same time distinguishing between the Word as the Son of God by nature, and Christ in the ﬂesh as the Son by grace?