(thanks to Kristina Doernte, fall 2003 rs20 student, for the illustrations)
Jesus is a man chosen for special divine sonship (like David).
Jesus is created, not begotten; not God made human, but an inspired prophet.
Contemporary schools: Islam, early Unitarianism.
A church merely stressing Jesus as teacher or example is functionally Ebionite.
|III. Jesus as Overachiever: Adoptionism
Jesus becomes divine during his life (at his baptism?).
Jesus is chosen for his prior human virtue.
Sonship is reduced to obedience; Jesus' relationship with God is just moral.
Jesus' righteous example shows the way to our salvation (cf. Roger Bannister).
Contemporary school: Mormonism?
A legalistic church is functionally adoptionist.
|IV. Jesus as Alter Ego: Nestorianism
Christ's two persons are united morally, with adoptionistic consequences.
Contemporary school: Churches of the East.
A Jesus struggling between divine and human is functionally Nestorian.
|V. Jesus as Poseur: Docetism (cf. 1 John 4:1-3a)
Some Gnostics: the body of Christ wasn't real, but a mere appearance.
Respect for God's transcendence and Christ's divinity excludes his commonality with us.
Jesus is like Clark Kent, or Jake Sully in Avatar.
Contemporary school: Hindus, some New Age Gnostics.
Christians who concentrate on Jesus' divinity are functionally Docetic.
The Borg, or a business acquisition, or an alloy (cf. patristic 'hot iron').
Infinity plus finity: Unity comes at the cost of humanity (and perhaps divinity).
Contemporary schools: Sufism; some Buddhisms?
Spiritualistic or transcendentalist Christian attitudes are often monophysite.
|VII. Jesus as the Terminator: Apollinarianism
Apollinarianius: The logos was a divine mind or soul in Jesus' human body.
Jesus' humanity is partial; is he tempted? did he suffer? has Jesus really redeemed humanity?
Churches where Jesus' mind or intelligence is not human are Apollinarian.
Contemporary school: some evangelicals?
VIII. Jesus as Dilbert: Arianism
1. Christmas celebrates "Emmanuel" (Isa 7:14 and 8:8-10, Matt 1:23), affirming all three affirmations.
2. Respect for Mary honors her role in Jesus' incarnation.