By the way, that link that I have just given is to a review of O’Collin’s book by a chap from St Olaf’s in Minnesota whom I assume is a Lutheran. His comment is:
The chief difficulty with O’Collins’s position is its uneven relationship to modernity. O’Collins opens faith to historical confirmation but finds only good news there; he embraces modern autonomy but saves his program with an ancient notion of freedom; he claims the benefits of historical consciousness but retreats into an eternalizing, static doctrine of “person” and a Christ without a “human” personhood; he affirms many modern moral complaints but ignores the context of theology; he wants to avoid supernaturalism, yet persuade us of the traditional doctrine of sinlessness and virgin conception. This is a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too Christology.
Interesting in the light of the current discussion.
Here is some of the relevant section from O’Collins’ book (page 244 ff) and my comments:
It is one thing, to expound a contemporary version of the Chalcedonian doctrine about Jesus Christ as one (eternally pre-existent, divine) person in two natures. It is another thing, however, to deal with spin-off questions which inevitably arise here. Christ was/is not a human person. [A bold statement] What kind of a human nature is his if it lacks human personhood? [But this is the wrong question: the right question is “How can you say that Christ’s person has a human nature if Christ’s person is not also human?”] It would seem to be an essentially deficient humanity [or rather no humanity at all–since it makes humanity a thing or a substance rather than something that cannot exist apart from a human person–in fact that raises dangerous precedents: something or someone being truly human without being a human person…eek!]…
First, a reluctance to ascribe to Christ a humanity without human personhood, because it would seem radically deficient, leads some to speak of him as a divine-human person [This is what I am saying] or even to state that he was simply a human person [This is something completely different–it would make him deficient in his divine nature]….
The former view could, in principle, be understood as shorthand for ‘one person with divine and human natures’, just as the traditional phrase about Jesus as ‘God-man’ pointed to one subject (Jesus) who was/is both divine and human by nature [Yes, that is how I mean it]. However, those who champion a ‘divine-human personhood’ probably intend by this a double personhood through which Christ ‘has’ both human and divine personhood [Well, maybe, but that is not the argument of this little black duck.]. This position, so far from advancing the discussion, rests on a confusion between nature (which one ‘has’) and person (which one does not ‘have’ but ‘is’) [Yes, I agree. It is wrong to say Christ “has” a human person or that he “has” a divine person. I am saying that he IS a person, and that by nature his person is simultaneously both divine and human.].
No one has laid his finger better on the confusion than Daniel Helminiak:
“Current insistence that Christ was a human person generally does not appreciate the classical meaning of the term, person, and as a result does not really appreciate the change in that term’s meaning. To suggest that without being a human person Christ would not be fully human is to misunderstand the distinction between nature and person. Nature is what makes one human or not. Christ has a completely human nature. Therefore, Christ is completely human. [Okay. But if we follow Helminiak’s thinking to its conclusion we get: Christ is completely human. Christ is a Person. Thus the Person who is Christ is completely human.] One indication of the misunderstanding is reference to person, hypostasis, as something we have: ‘Did Christ have a human hypostasis? We do. [No. I do not “have” a human person any more than Christ “has” a divine person. I AM a human person. Christ IS a divine Person. AND a human person.] Then, if he did not, how can we ‘claim he is fully human?’ But hypostasis is not something someone has. The hypostasis is the someone who has whatever is had [Thought game: Imagine Jesus saying to himself: “I HAVE a human nature therefore I am human.” Would not the “I” who makes this statement be Jesus’ “person”, and therefore would not his “person” be human?] . If the divine hypostasis, the Word, has all the qualities that constitute someone as human—a human nature—then the Word, a divine hypostasis, is ‘a human being, and fully so, period.” [But if you say this divine hypostasis is “fully” human then are you not agreeing that the hypostasis of the Word is “human”?.].
Perhaps some of the trouble in accepting Christ as only divine person stems from the unarticulated sense that this would be to deny him a genuine human personality, if we agree to distinguish personality from personhood and person…
Well, we will leave him there, because that isn’t my problem. I know the difference between person and personality. But does everyone now see what I am getting at, and why to boldly state that the hypostasis of the Incarnate Logos was Divine and not human does not make sense of the claim that in Christ there was One Person with two natures?