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In the debate concerning the "hypostatic union" and the "kenosis" the Lutheran church stood opposed to the majority position. I can not seem to find a good resource to explain the distinctives of the two sides of the issue.

As far as I am able to understand it, the debate was over the concept of whether or not the infinite divine nature of the Logos was contained or not contained in the finite body of Jesus.

I believe the majority opinion was that the finite can not contain the infinite, following the Chalcedonian formula of no mixture of the two natures. And the Lutheran belief is that the two natures cannot be sepparated.

I am confused as to the Latin "non extra carnem" not without incarnation. What is it that is "not without incarnation"? Also how does all of this relate to the "kenosis" or emptying (Phil.2:7) during Christ's earthly ministry as compared to after the assention? What is orthdoxy and when do we cross the line into heresy?

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Welcome to Christianity--StackExchange! Perhaps you could let us know what you've discovered so far in your research. How do you define the "majority position"? Maybe you can link to your working definition of the theological terms. (I also note that you use different terminology in the title of the question as compared to the body. Could you trace out the parallels for us?) – Jon Ericson Apr 16 '12 at 20:10

I'm not sure I understand the specifics of the issue exactly, but the Essay Library from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod often has good resources on questions like this.

A quick search turned up two essays that seem to speak to the questions:



Sorry for the format of my initial answer. I went through the first document a bit more carefully and it looks like the difference between the Calvinists and Lutherans was about how Christ's body was present in the Eucharist.

From the first article:

Calvin’s main objection to the Lutheran understanding of the sacrament was that the Lutherans understood the body and blood of Christ to be present substantially...and would allow no figurative understanding of Jesus’ words of institution. The Lutherans believed that Christ’s true body was able to be simultaneously present on many altars by virtue of the communication of attributes...and therefore truly present under the physical elements of bread and wine.

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Welcome to Christianity--StackExchange! I'm not sure I understand the question myself, so it's not just you. In general, we encourage answers to include a bit more than links to search results. If you participate in the site a little bit more, you'll obtain the privilege of making comments, which would be a better place to post links such as this. – Jon Ericson Apr 16 '12 at 20:15
Thanks for the update. (This isn't the easiest question to answer, I'd say. ;-) – Jon Ericson Apr 16 '12 at 21:48

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