NBTS E-Story

Barbara Fillette and Jaeseung Cha

Food-for-Thought Lunch Seminar

On December 4th, an eager and inquisitive group of students, faculty, and alumnae gathered for the second of four Food-for-Thought lunch seminars centered around celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism, hosted by the Reformed Church Center. The esteemed presenter was Dr. Jaeseung Cha, Associate Professor of Foundational and Constructive Theology. The topic for the day was "The Concept of Christ's Humanity in the Heidelberg Catechism: Reformed Theology Revisited." Dr. Cha led the group through a set of questions around the various ways Christ's humanity has been understood by some of the patristic fathers, the Calvinist reformers, and the Lutheran theologians, lifting up their various emphases. While many of these great thinkers focused on the distinctions between the human and divine natures of Christ, Dr. Cha encouraged us to consider what it is that holds the two natures together, and had us wondering whether Christ's humanity in his incarnation was by necessity because of a logical exchange between Christ's humanity and human humanity; or was it, rather, relational, given by the good pleasure of God, as Colossians 1:19 seems to suggest? Another topic discussed with respect to Christ's humanity is whether Christ's humanity is in heaven after his ascension. The importance of valuing both the continuity between Christ's nature and person as well as the distinction between them was lifted up, in order to integrate both the Lutheran and the Reformed perspectives. Leading us through various arguments that have been offered through the ages regarding the humanity of Christ, Dr. Cha encouraged us to reconsider the relationship between Christ's nature and person rather than two natures and to critique assumptions without discarding them or choosing among them. Far better that we add ideas, combine them, acknowledge the tension, and keep affirming the mystery. This was all very apropos for the season of Advent, and we thank Dr. Cha for his challenging and intriguing presentation.
Coming this spring: two more Food-for-Thought Lunch Gatherings. Watch for dates to be announced. Everyone is invited.

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