Thursday, April 08, 2010

Perry Robinson can't get "nature" and "person" straight

Perry Robinson followed up some of our conversation from this Beggars All post (here's his most recent comment, if I recall correctly) on his blog here.  The latter is fast becoming a very long and fairly involved conversation, with me against ~5 commenters, a couple of whom (Perry included) can be quite verbose.  But I wanted to bring out a string of Perry's interaction with me in which he consistently confuses the nature of Christ with the person of Christ, and several times obstinately refuses correction.
Source - Perry: As for the dead not hearing with their physical ears, I suppose Jesus couldn’t hear our prayers either since he has physical ears too.
Me:  ?? I was under the (obviously mistaken) assumption that Jesus ALSO has a divine nature and powers. Silly me.

Source - Perry:  So when Thomas falls down before Jesus and renders worship is worship of his body or is it passed on to his divine person?
Me:  Passed on…to His divine person? You who were ripping me for confusing the Gk words for nature vs person a month ago…might want to rethink this sentence.

Source - Perry:  Jesus is also deity, but it is also said of him that he “hears” prayers. Since your argument was that disembodied saints could not “hear” prayer, seemingly even by divine aid since they lacked lack physical ears, then it follows that either that Jesus hears them with physical ears or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t then the mere lack of physical ears has nothing to do with “hearing” prayers. And besides, natures don’t do anything, persons do so the “hearing” is said of the person and not the divine nature. When I remarked that the worship and honor that Thomas offers to Jesus is passed on to his divine person, in no way did I confuse person and nature. Jesus is a divine person and not a human person and this was the same point I made to you previously. What I corrected you on if you recall was that you confused person and nature by saying that the hypostatic union amounted to two hypostases coming together, which betrayed a complete lack of understanding or familiarity with the term and the doctrine.

Source - Perry: And besides, natures don’t do anything, persons do so 
Me:  Said the guy who earlier asked: “So when Thomas falls down before Jesus and renders worship is worship of his body or is it passed on to his divine person?
That’s rich.
Perry:  where is Thomas directing his worship but to the humanity of Jesus?
Me: That’s just the point – He isn’t directing his worship to a NATURE at all. How are you missing this?
Perry: Is this worship passed on to his divine person or not?
Me:  ???? As opposed to “His human ‘person’”? You’re not making any sense.
Perry: The fact that you don’t seem to know what an implication is, aren’t familiar with basic theological concepts like the soul or in our last exchange didn’t know what the term “hypostatic union” picked out I think shows that the confusion is on your part.
Me: Said the guy who just asked: “ Is this worship passed on to his divine person or not?” Yes, *I’m* the one who doesn’t understand the Hypostatic Union.
Perry:  Your position a la WCF 8.2 confuses person and nature by saying that since Jesus has a human nature, he is also a human person.
Me: Sorry, you can’t quote me making that confusion. Jesus is ONE PERSON. YOU’RE the one making Him into “a divine person”, as opposed to some other kind of ‘person’, “human” presumably. Go back, read it again, make sense this time.

Source - Perry:  I noted that natures perform no acts, but only persons do. To which you responded with noting that I posed the question about Thomas’ worship at the feet of Jesus and whether this worship was passed on through his humanity to the divine person or not and that this was “rich” implying some kind of inconsistency. First, your remark doesn’t answer my question. Please address it. Is Thomas’ worship passed on through the humanity of Christ or not? Second, that question doesn’t propose that natures are the locus of actions, so I am not being inconsistent. If you think so, you need to make an argument. Again, I’ll wait for the actual argument.
I agree that Thomas isn’t directly it ultimately to a nature, but he is directing it to the divine person through the nature before which is kneeling.

...The problem is that you see the preceding term, “divine” to refer exclusively to nature, but it doesn’t. There are divine persons, angelic persons and human persons and there is divine nature, angelic nature and human nature. To say that Jesus is a divine person picks out the kind of person or hypostasis as distinguished from the other two. It does not imply that the person is a nature.

Source - Perry:  I brought the point up to clear up your obvious lack of familiarity with the concepts and to correct your muddled thinking.
Me:  And yet YOU confused “nature” and “person”, TWICE. Is it so hard to humble yourself and say “oops, I’ve been falsely accusing you of the same crime of which I’m guilty”?

Perry:  whether the person is accessible and not whether the materials contain them or not.
Me:  Yes, the person is of course accessible. Now the question is HOW. And of course a person who IS THERE is accessible differently from a person who IS NOT THERE.

Perry:  Is Thomas’ worship passed on through the humanity of Christ or not?
Me:  The question makes no sense. One does not worship a NATURE. One worships a PERSON.
Perry:  Thomas and Scripture approvingly invoke implicitly the principle that the honor or worship rendered before one thing is passed on to the person. How are you missing this?
Me:  There was no THING present with Thomas. CHRIST was RIGHT THERE.
Perry:  Is Jesus always and only a divine person or not?
Me:  No, that statement is false. At the time of His incarnation, though He had from eternity past always been only a divine person, He took on human flesh and nature and is from that time forward forever the God-man.
Surprising, given all your much-ballyhooed qualifications and the way you rip me for one mistake one time, that you continue in these mistakes here.
Perry:  If Jesus is just one person, but not a divine person, then who is the Logos if not the one person of Jesus?
Me:  Hopefully, the explanation I just gave clarifies my reasoning. I stand behind it still, but you need to understand it in light of your equivocation of the words “divine person”.

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