VIII. The Scholastic Lutheran Christology: On the general basis of the Chalcedonian christology, and following the indications of the Scriptures as the only rule of faith, the Protestant, especially the Lutheran, scholastics, at the close of the sixteenth, and during the seventeenth, century, built some additional features, and developed new aspects of Christ's person. The propelling cause was the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence or omnipresence of Christ's body in the Lord's Supper, and the controversies growing out of it with the Zwinglians and Calvinists, and among the Lutherans themselves (see LORD'S SUPPER; LUTHER; ZWINGLI; BRENZ; CHEMNITZ; etc.). These new features relate to the communion of the two natures, and to the states and the offices of Christ. The first was the production of the Lutheran Church, and was never adopted, but partly rejected, by the Reformed; the second and third were the joint doctrines of both, but with a very material difference in the understanding of the second.
1. The Communicatio Idiomatum: The communication of attributes or properties (Gk. or idiomata
, Lat. or proprietates
) of one nature to the other, or to the whole person. It is derived from the unio personalis
and the communio naturarum
. The Lutheran divines distinguish three kinds or genera: (1) genus idiomaticum
), whereby the properties of one nature are transferred and applied to the whole person, for which are quoted such passages as Rom. i. 3
; I Pet. iii. 18, iv. 1.
(2) The genus apotelesmoticum ( koino poietikon
), whereby the redemptory functions and actions which belong to the whole person (the apotelesmata
) are predicated only of one or the other nature ( I Tim. ii. 5-6
; Heb. i. 2 3
). (3) The genus auchematicum
, or majestaticum
, where by the human nature is clothed with and magnified by the attributes of the divine nature ( John iii. 13, v. 27
; Matt. xzviii. 18, 20
; Rom. ix. 5
; Phil. ii. 10
). Under this head the Lutheran Church claims a certain ubiquity or omnipresence for the body of Christ, on the ground of the personal union of the two natures; but as to the extent of this omnipresence there were two distinct schools which are both represented in Formula of Concord
(1577). Brenz and the Swabian Lutherans maintained an absolute ubiquity of Christ's humanity from his very infancy, thus making the incarnation not only an assumption of the human nature, but also a deification of it, although the divine attributes
were admitted to have been concealed during the state of humiliation. Chemnitz and the Saxon divines called this view a monstrosity, and taught only a relative ubiquity, depending on Christ's will (hence called volipraesentia
, or multivolipraesentia
), who may be present with his whole person wherever he pleases to be or has promised to be. (4) A fourth kind would be the genus kenoticum
), or tapeinoticum
), Phil. ii. 7, 8
; i.e., a communication of the properties of the human nature to the divine nature. But this is decidedly rejected by the old Lutherans as inconsistent with the unchangeableness of the divine nature, and as a " horrible and blasphemous "doctrine ( Formula of Concord, p.
612), but is asserted by the modern Kenoticists (see below, IX.).
The Reformed divines never committed themselves to the communicatio idiomatum as a whole (although they might approve the first two kinds, at least by way of what Zwingli termed
allaiosis, or a rhetorical exchange of one part for another); and they decidedly rejected the third kind, because omnipresence, whether absolute or relative, is inconsistent with the necessary limitation of a human body, as well as with the Scripture facts of Christ's ascension to heaven, and promised return. The third genus can never be fully carried out, unless the humanity of Christ is also eternalized. The attributes, moreover, are not an outside appendix, but inherent qualities of the substance to which they belong, and inseparable from it. Hence a communication of attributes would imply a communication or mixture of natures. The divine and human natures can indeed hold free and intimate intercourse with each other; but the divine nature can never be transformed into the human, nor the human nature into the divine. Christ possessed all the attributes of both natures; but the natures, nevertheless, remain separate and distinct. See