Another one

OK, I know it’s Christmas and all, but this is on my mind. Oh wait. This is about christology…. so Christmas is entirely appropriate.

I’d love to read Garcia’s article if someone wants to send it my way. Right now, I can only comment on this blog post on its own merit. And it is entirely misleading and wrongheaded. Here’s the giveaway:

Calvin attacks Osiander’s doctrine of justification because he makes justification to be grounded upon an essential union between the believer and Christ (particularly, with his righteousness in its divine essence).

Yes, this was exactly Calvin’s problem with Osiander and it could not have less to do with Lusk. Union with Christ and justification in Lusk is union with Christ as justified by the Spirit by being raised from the dead (1 Tim 3.16, etc). The righteousness of Christ here, is the righteousness he has as a human being–the nature that was raised from the dead. We can talk all day long of how the divine nature must also be involved by virtue of the hypostatic union, but that is not anything Lusk bothers with.

For Lusk, union with Christ is parallel to union with Adam. He commonly frames his whole discussion as involving the question of the first and second Adam. So there is no reason to bring questions about the nature of the hypostatic union into this. It is simply an unnecessary detour into confusion for anyone who is concerned about what Lusk actually wrote.

7 thoughts on “Another one

  1. Steven W

    Well I do think that the hypostatic union should be discussed, but ironically, I would argue that Garcia doesn’t understand it. Garcia argues that Lusk’s lack of imputation causes him to confuse the persons in the union. Strange indeed, but we quickly see how deep Garcia’s problem goes when he makes this statement:

    “despite the efforts of some to reinterpret Calvin’s model in a theosis or deification perspective, Calvin’s applied model of the communication idiomatum (and his view of the Person of Christ more generally) is clearly concerned to extend the implications of the Chalcedonian ‘distinction-without-separation’ to the deeply interwoven question of Christ, the Supper, and salvation in relationship.”

    Here Garcia is posing theosis against the Chalcedonian “distintion-without-separation.” Of course, Garcia’s major weakness is that Chalcedon is founded on theosis. I mean really, God unites humanity IN Himself. So if correct Garcia has shown that acceptable Reformed soteriology is incompatible with classic Christology. Perhaps Lusk’s proposal doesn’t look so bad compared to that.

  2. Steven W

    Really Mark, if I can be frank, his actual interaction with Lusk is virtually non-existant. I’m at my parents’ house, and my copy of the WTJ is at my apt., but as I recall he only quotes a sentence or two from Lusk. It is the “redundancy” remark, I believe.

    I was confused on Garcia’s understanding of union because he appears to agree with a Gaffin formulation of imputation within union (though I don’t get Gaffin anymore either), but goes on to say that imputation is necessary for keeping “seperateness” in the union. He connects this union with a sacramental union.

    My understanding of Lusk’s critique is that it is a critique of “impute” as an external transfer. His notion of union includes imputing, so he doesn’t see a need for an extra category. If Garcia is understanding Lusk correctly, then I would imagine his own notion of “impute” is an external transfer, and this is how it helps to distinguish between persons.

    But again, I’m pretty sure that this is incompatible with Chalcedon, a parallel that Garcia claims.

  3. Steven W

    Oh, for clarification. My pont about Garcia not spending a lot of time with Lusk is not so much a criticism against Garcia, though he perhaps should have done more since he is making associations, but rather that this article was not a critique of “The Federal Vision.” Garcia is concerned with the larger Pauline discussion. Many other names were mentioned, Garlington included, with Lusk occupying a small role amongst them.

  4. Pingback: Once More With Feeling » Blog Archive » Another one, part two

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