The Hypostatic Union Part 2 -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:368 (Oct 1935)
Article: The Hypostatic Union Part 2
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg


The Hypostatic Union
Part 2

Charles Lee Feinberg

(Concluded from the July-September Number)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 12–22, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–11 respectively.}

II. Course of Christological Thinking

D. The Hypostatic Union-Its Implications

When we seek to understand the hypostatic union in its implications, those features and factors involved in it, it is not long before we find that the New Testament contains no systematic or formal setting forth of the doctrine of the two natures in the Person of Christ. The doctrine in its entirety, as with all doctrines of the Word, must be built up on various statements found throughout the Word. There is, however, a norm for every doctrine, as Dr. C. I. Scofield maintained. For example, Romans 5:12–21 might be considered the norm of the doctrine of imputation; Romans 9, the norm of the doctrine of election; 1 Corinthians 15, the norm of the doctrine of the resurrection of believers. In like manner Philippians 2:5–11 might be considered the central passage on the phase of Christology which we are studying. Before we do so, however, we would reiterate that it is still a mystery to finite minds as to how two complete natures with their separate properties and attributes should unite in one Person, without conflict or antagonism, and no sane study of Christology even pretends to fathom it.

Some critics of the negative camp have sought to minimize the importance of Philippians 2:5–11 for the purposes of this doctrine or, indeed, for any attempt to formulate any doctrine of Christ’s Person and work. On a priori grounds they claim that in a practical passage as this assuredly is, Paul would not be introducing doctrine. We are not prepared to say where the apostle Paul, borne along by the Spirit of God, shall or shall not inculcate doctrine. Furthermore, it is ever the practice of the Spirit to teach practical truth from doctrine: they are inseparable. In the second chapter of the Philippian letter the apostle is admonishing the believers at Philippi to be more mindful and

considerate of other believers, not seeking their own glory to satisfy their pride. From this point he goes on to exhort them after the following manner: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, ...

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