April 10, 2018
Recently, it has come to light that William Lane Craig, professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, propagates an unorthodox view of Christology. Craig has explicitly stated that "the soul of the human nature of Christ is the second person of the Trinity, the Logos. The human nature of Christ is composed of the Logos and a human body." Craig states,
"If you have a rational soul and a humanoid body, you have a human person. That is all it takes. So if you say that Christ had a merely human soul and a human body then why wasn't there a human person, Jesus? Yet orthodoxy denies that. Orthodoxy says there is only one person in Christ (or who is Christ), and that person is divine. There is no human person, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is a divine person with two natures. I can't make sense of that if we say that Christ had, in addition to his divine person, a merely human soul conjoined with a human body. That seems to me to be sufficient for another person in which case you have two Sons - one the divine Son and the other a human Son."1
Craig's proposal opposes the orthodox Chalcedonian statements about Christology-- including that later doctrinal articulation of the Westminster Shorter Catechism that "Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin."
Rather than avoiding the Appolinarian heresy, Craig embraces a form of it which he personally calls, "Neo-Appolinarianism." How very sad that we are re-living the early church heresies in our own day. Instead of staying with the orthodox notion that Christ is fully God and fully man--two natures in one person, "without confusion, without change, without division, without separation"--Craig amalgamates into the human nature of Christ a divine soul. With regard to how easily men may fall into unorthodox errors in Christology, Geerhardus Vos has aptly noted:
"Church doctrine holds to the middle between extremes, because here it is also true that there is no effective heresy that does not derive its strength for exercising influence from an element of the truth, which it attempts to develop one-sidedly and elevate at the cost of all other truths. Especially in a doctrine like this, where the middle way is so narrow and one is continually in danger of slipping to the right or to the left, it is not sufficient to know the truth positively."2
1. See the post, "Does Dr. Craig Have an Orthodox Christology?"
2. Geerhardus Vos. (2012-2016). Reformed Dogmatics. (R. B. Gaffin, Ed., A. Godbehere, R. van Ijken, D. van der Kraan, H. Boonstra, J. Pater, A. Janssen, ... K. Batteau, Trans.) (Vol. 3, p. 30). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.