In addressing this issue, it is good to note that I have previously written a document of almost 34 pages (I hope the reader can have access to this document.) However, this article is a summary of the essential points contained therein. The reader should therefore note the points and clarifications made here. I hereby state also that my views here are not final or binding on all.

Some of the things I will say here may sound novel, but let everyone think through these issues. We should not always be eager to hold a body of beliefs but, more than that, we should be careful as to where the natural and logical conclusion of our beliefs do lead.

Some hold the belief that Christ’s finished works on Calvary only saved us from our sins and our souls; and nothing more; that the poverty Christ saved us from is spiritual poverty only (2Cor.8:9). Some proponents of this view have also stated that:
” Jesus had a dual personality when he was here on earth. He was fully man and fully God… Jesus did not lose his personality of being the Son of God so He could have done all those works you stated…” (Pastor Oluyale, 2021).

My opinion is that this is false; rather, Christ’s Redemption affects the total man; otherwise, how come a spiritually poor Saviour raised the dead, fasted for 40 days without food, cleanse lepers, or even preached the Sermon on the Mount.

Two ideas are clear from the quoted statement above:

  1. That Jesus when He on earth was a dual personality with both the personality of God and personality of man.
  2. That Jesus could operate and use either of the power inherent in this personality as it suited him ( “Jesus could have done those works…”). Like a dual carriageway that could go either front or backwards.

In essence, he says that Jesus operated as full God and also as full man on earth. This is the logical conclusion from his ideas. THIS IS WHAT I OPPOSE.


I have done these preliminaries so that everyone can see what we are saying and also that everyone’s view is fairly presented and represented. It is indeed wisdom to be fair to each other. Part of being fair is to understand what the other person is saying and not impute wrong motives or construction that they didn’t imply.

No one has said Jesus is not God or Son of God. None has also denied His divinity or immortality or that he is the Second Person of the Godhead. No school of thought including mine has denied His humanity or divinity. This is important and it is part of being fair to the other person. In one of his responses to me he implied that I deny Jesus as the Son of God – which is false.

What I question is did Jesus operate on earth as God? True He was the Son of God, born with the nature of God through the Holy Spirit by a Virgin, but did He exercise the power, the privileges and rights as God on earth. Did He operate as God and also Man at the same time? This is what our pastor insisted on which I opposed.
I have stated this so that we may see where we are in agreement and where we may never agree or agree to disagree.


  1. There is an article from Matt Perman titled, How Can Jesus Be God and Man, which I read. Perman based his entire thoughts on the declarative statement by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. In the process he made some useful points and also took some liberty by making several statements very objectionable. Since Chalcedon was his starting point and thesis I will address it later.
  2. The proponent of this view gave his own thoughts on the subject and this is commendable, because he did not just simply regurgitate another person’s view. Although his argument in my opinion is very weak. Moreover, another professional colleague of his refuted him even using their common medical knowledge.
  3. Another person who was part of this discuss also stated his position which is based on the same Chalcedon. He gave an historical background of Chalcedon. A brief overview of this is that the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon was summoned by Leo. Bishop of Rome to address the issues raised by Nestorius, Eutyches, etc


Since all the respondents based their argument on this document I will say certain things about it. Chalcedon was not definitive, but it represents the best effort that the Greek Church could proffer as at that time based on the issues facing her and how she understood those issues. Chalcedon declaration did not stop the controversy as all church historians know, it only extended it to different formats and platforms. That was why Justinian in 553 AD had to summon another Ecumenical Council in Constantinople and another Ecumenical Council in 680AD to address the same issues as a result of shortcomings observable from Chalcedonic Declaration of 451. In fact, both Leontius of Byzantius and John of Damascus made what has been considered a better improvement of the Council of Chalcedon.


As I have mentioned this document was a great work and those 500 bishops should be commended. But as Africans especially, we must know that although this document contains a lot of useful points it also has notable shortcomings. The entire declaration of Chalcedon; and also the shortcomings are contained in my 34-page paper referred to at the beginning of this article.

The aspects that I agree with:

“…Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and also truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation…”

I agree with all these and no one will disagree and be properly called a Christian.
The problem is with the second part and how a person understands it. This is why further controversy arose.
Hear the second part:

“… to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably, the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved and concurring in one person and one subsistence not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son…”

If by this the Council means that Jesus being born of the Holy Ghost has the nature of God and also the nature of man being born of Mary, a woman and human being I HAVE NO OBJECTIONS. If this is what they are saying by their lengthy statement, I do not object. But if by that they meant that Jesus operated on earth with the full potentials of God and man ( dual personality) then I seriously disconcur.
To be fair to those fathers, however, since they wrote in Greek or Latin, and not in English: it is possible that certain thoughts could be have been lost in translation.

Here are shortcomings which others have made about Chalcedon, with my own observations too:

  • If the natures are distinct and permanent; then the properties of both natures may be attributed to the One Person e.g Omniscience, limited power, Omnipresence. But Christ’s actual experience contradicts this as clearly expressed in Scriptures.
  • The suffering of the God- man can be regarded as truly and really infinite, while yet the divine nature is impassible.
  • The root and basis of the Personality of Christ centres on the divinity of Christ, instead of his humanity. This contradicts Scriptures.
  • The Logos did not unite with a distinct human individual but with a human nature. In other words the association of the Godhead was not with an individual man but with the substance of humanity in the womb of Mary.
    ( cf. Berkhof pp. 107,108)
  • If the “properties of each nature is preserved and concurring in one person and one substance not parted or divided into two persons but one” – then how could Jesus have done what the scriptures say He did while He was on earth; such as :-
    Learn obedience through the things He suffered,
    Grow in wisdom and favour with God and man and waxed strong in Spirit,
    Wait for 30 years to receive the Holy Spirit before He could perform even a single miracle….

We can stretch the Logic even further but this is enough to show that even Chalcedon was good but it has its shortcomings, very serious ones.

What I have done so far is to respond to issues raised. Since virtually all the serious responses cited or based their logic on Chalcedon I have addressed this to show that even Chalcedon is imperfect, and many in those days saw the imperfections. I also disagree with the view that it is the most orthodox statement. It is not !!!
The Reformation gave what I consider the most Orthodox so far titled the Second Helvetic Confession in 1566. This is an improvement on Chalcedon.

I pray to Almighty God to help us in this discussion so that we may be able to understand His being without error. No one can have a full understanding of the Divine unless He reveals Himself to the person. I pray to God in this moment to reveal Himself to us.

The Chalcedonian Definition of A.D.431.
In order to attempt to solve the problems raised by the controversies over the person of Christ, a large Church council was convened in the city of Chalcedon near Constantinople (modern Istanbul) from October 8 to November 1, A.D. 451. The resulting statement, called the Chalcedonian Definition, guarded against Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, and Eutychianism. It has been taken as the standard, Orthodox definition of the biblical teaching on the person of Christ since that day by Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox branches of Christianity alike. See Wayne Grudem, 2007. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, pp.556.
However, it should be noted that three localized groups of ancient Churches rejected the Chalcedonian definition and still endorse monophysitism till this day: the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church (in Egypt), and the Syrian Jacobite Church. See H.D. McDonald, “Monophysitism”, in NDT, pp.442-43.
There are three Inadequate views of the Person of Christ, and they are: –

a. Apollinarianism: Apollinaris, who became bishop of Laodicea about A.D.361, taught that one person of Christ had a human body but not a human mind or spirit, and that the mind and spirit of Christ were from the divine nature of the Son of God.
But the view of Apollinaris was rejected by the church leaders of the church at that time, who realized that it was not just our human body that needed to be represented by Christ in his redemptive work, but our human minds and spirits (or souls) as well. Christ had to be fully and truly man if He was to save us (Heb. 2:17) Apolinarianism was rejected by several church councils from the Council of Alexandria in A.D. 362 to the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381.

b. Nestorianism: Nestorianism is the doctrine that there were two separate persons in Christ, a human person and a divine person, a teaching that is distinct from the biblical view that sees Jesus as one person.
Nestorius was a popular preacher at Antioch and was bishop of Constantinople from A.D. 428. Although, Nestorius himself probably never taught the heretical view that goes by his name, (the idea that Christ was two persons in one body, rather than one person,) through a combination of several personal conflicts and a good deal of ecclesiastical politics, he was removed from the office of bishop and his teachings were condemned.

The Church aimed to insist that Jesus was one person, although possessing both a human and divine nature.
c. Monophysitism (Eutychianism): Monophysitism is a view that Christ had one nature only. The primary advocate of this view in the early church was Eutyches ( A.D.378-454) who was the leader of a monastery at Constantinople. Eutyches taught the opposite error from Nestorianism, for he denied that the human nature and divine nature in Christ remained fully human and fully divine. He held rather that the human nature of Christ was taken up and absorbed into the divine nature, so that both natures were changed somewhat and a third kind of nature resulted.
A variant form of Eutychianism held that the human nature was simply lost in the divine, so that the resulting single nature was the divine nature only.

This doctrine affirms that, whether we can understand it or not Christ has two natures.
When the Chalcedonian definition says that the two natures of Christ occur together “in one Person and one Subsistence”, the Greek word translated as “Subsistence” is the word hypostasis, “being”. Hence the union of Christ’s human and divine natures in one person is sometimes called the hypostatic union. This phrase simply means the union of Christ’s human and divine natures in one being.
Let me further explain that, the definition presented by these 500 bishops actually did a great deal to help us understand the biblical teaching correctly. It taught that Christ definitely has two natures, a human nature and a divine nature. It taught that his divine nature is exactly the same as that of the Father (“Consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead”) And it maintained that human nature is exactly like our human nature, yet without sin (“consubstantial with the Father according to the Manhood, in all things like unto us, without sin”). Moreover, it affirmed that in the person of Christ the human nature retains its distinctive characteristics and the divine nature retains its distinctive characteristics (“the distinction of the two natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved”). I hope my explanation here could be of help to understand the Chalcedonian Christology.

NOTE: There are many scriptural passages in the Bible to support this position the reader should please check them up in the Bible.
It is good to also note that undertaking a scholarly work in the Nigeria of today has its many challenges, such as lack of essential facilities like electricity and other basic infrastructures and amenities. We continue to trust God for divine intervention.
I thank all the brethren reading this article in the name of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ, our great God. May He take us to heaven to reign with Him at the end of our sojourn in this difficult world.

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