Advent Series – Christological Heresies (1)

The Hypostatic Union of Christ is one of Christianity’s most important, and most complicated, doctrines. Without it, Christianity as it is described in the Bible simply doesn’t work. As we approach the celebration of Christ’s incarnation with the season of Advent, I figured it would be a good time to discuss some of the Christological heresies that cropped up in the early Church, and in what ways they impact Christian faith on a systematic level.


Today will serve as a bit of an overview. However, my hope is to post an article each Sunday in Advent. There are more than 4 Christological heresies, so I’m going to focus on the big four, but the series may extend past Christmas to cover the others. This week I will post one on Thursday to catch up, and then on Sunday from that point forward.

Broadly speaking, there are two main ways to be wrong in your Christology, and each of those can go wrong in two ways.

The first way that you can be wrong is in your understanding of what Jesus is. That is to say, you can be wrong in understanding the fundamental constitution of the 2nd person of the Trinity. As we’ll see in some detail this week, one can be wrong by thinking that the Son is not really God. Next week we will see that one can be wrong by thinking that the Son is not really human.

The second way that you can be wrong is in your understanding of how Jesus is what he is. Again, there are two permutations of this. First, you can think that Jesus has only one nature, which we will discuss following next week. Finally, in our concluding week we will see that it is possible to believe that although Jesus has two natures, that these natures are so radically separated that they constitute two distinct persons.

I look forward to this series, and I do hope you will join me in loving our Lord with our minds as we explore these important theological errors together.


Week 1 – Arianism
Week 2 – Apollinariansm
Week 3 – Nestorianism
Week 4 – Eutychianism