So Philippians, yep...not too bad on that...now those 'lovely' Church fathers!
Compare and contrast Theodore of Mopsuestia and Cyril of Alexandria on the indwelling of the Word in Christ (Jn 1:14) and assess their soteriological ramifications.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[a] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- okay break it down - two guys to swat up on.
A beauty to Cyril's words that quite took my breath away in college this morning - so if he's got my heart, my head should follow!
Theo ...em...I think I get this whole 'well pleased' mindset. I can see why he thought the way he did and soteriological ramifications- wow - what a great phrase - em, now, let's consider (posh voice) 'what might be the soteriological remifications of such and such...! Well, okay.
Cyril - the beauty of the hypostases. Christ can only save us if he were fully divine and fully man, consubstantial with the father and consubstantial with us - yes?
It is not enough for Theo to argue that the indwelling occurred because God was so pleased - that the Logos did the indwelling and Jesus was indwelt because even though subtle, this is edging towards a 2 sons theology? Yes?
(Can I invite John Piper around to tea? All is forgiven!)
Next exam choice: How much was at stake in the controversy between Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople? Whose account do you find most theologically compelling and why?
That I can write on Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius, is great because as I understand it, if I am correct, Nestorianism is Theodore's thinking reductio ad absurdum. I must therefore guard against repeating myself. For Nestorius, who took Theodore's thinking further there is a divine and human nature to Christ that are distinct to the extent that Mary can not be the Theotokos only the Christokotos. She cannot be the mother of the divinity but only the mother of the Christ fused divinity/humanity. So Cyril addressed this problem of his day and coined (I think) the term hypostasis so that the Godhead contains one essence (ousia) but three hypostases. He wanted to preserve the idea of three persons in one. Mary is the theotokos, the mother of God because it doesn't diminish the father who has his own hypostasis.
I so hope I'm on the right lines here - some bits of my thinking need seriously tweaking.
Seems so strange to be having to intellectualise God in this way. It really makes you appreciate worship-time though when you can just be still and know that he is God with your heart and soul rather than those aching brain cells.