05 May 2010

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The absence of original sin in Him is to be explained, not so much by a special sanctification of the nature in Mary, as by the fact that the personality in Christ is supplied by the divine and not by the human nature. The Holy One was the Son of God inhabiting a nature which personally united to Himself could not be other than holy. -- H.E. Jacobs, Elements of Religion, p. 94.


Mike Bryant said...

I always thought it was because of the absence of the man's seed? I base this on "through one man sin entered".

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

The absence of man's seed is relevant only if one believes Mary's nature, and hers alone, was sanctified. Of course there are all sorts of problems with that view.

But also, we can't (per Chalcedon) compartmentalize the Divine and Human Natures in Christ this way, to say one and not the other supplies His Personality. Rather, in Him, human nature becomes holy by its union with the Divine, and then both together "supply" His "Personality".

William Weedon said...


Certainly the miraculous manner of the taking of the human flesh from the Virgin has a part; but Jacobs rightly points, I believe, to the Divine Person who assumes that flesh as the foundation of His being without original sin - there can be no sin in Him.


I think Jacobs is pointing to the fact that the Person of the God-Man is the Person of the Divine Son, albeit in human flesh and blood. Since all human "personhood" ultimately derives from Him in whose image we are made, this is no diminishment of His very real humanity.

Mike Bryant said...

Pr. Weedon,

Generally, I would be inclined to affirm that as the deity assumed flesh, the flesh assumed would be sanctified, not be means of Mary's sanctification, but rather by means of the divine nature. I'm just not aware of a direct scriptural reference this view, but I do not disagree with it, at least not entirely. Perhaps I mean to say that it is not entirely complete.

That said, I am not as focused on His assumption of flesh from Mary as much as I am focused on his assumption of flesh apart from any male. Of course, I think, this nicely fulfills the promise that Eve's seed will crush the head of the serpent. I think it is a curious, and perhaps important, point that God did not promise to perform his work through Adam's seed.

I'm still of the mind that it is through the seed of man that original sin is passed from generation to generation as we propagate according to kind (fallen). Although, I have to admit, I don't have any more direct scriptural references than Jacobs does.

I'm hung up here on seed - and that the seed of man is quite unique to the seed of woman. Maybe I'm all wet?

William Weedon said...


Oh, no. Not wet. Jacobs wouldn't deny the importance of the lack of male seed; he just says it is not the primary source of the sinlessness of the God-man.

Mike Bryant said...

I can always tolerate another's alternate emphasis - so long as in the end I'm still right ;)