Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Refutation Of Monothelitism

The issue of the historical heresy of monothelitism has been giving me issues for the past few weeks. Specifically as to why should it be rejected given that I did not know the basis of such a rejection and along with this lack of knowledge, how/why could we attribute a single person(Christ) with two wills. With the help of Nate and the information in Michael Horton's prolegomena lectures I came to the conclusion that it is something that is clearly rejected by scripture.

A key verse in this is Hebrews 2:17 which states :

"Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."

This verse seems pretty straight forward in informing the audience that Christ's experience on earth was that fully of a human(apart from sin). This also would seem to mean that Christ's will was like that a human's also. A question that stems from this is: is the 'will' of a divine person different from that of a human person so as to require the possession of two wills within the person of Christ? The answer to the question seems to be yes given a qualitative difference between the human and divine. A proof of such a thing can be seen in texts such as Isaiah 40:25 and 46:5 which state:

"To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One."

"To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike?"

If the divine is so different it then seems to follow that His will would also embody this difference. Thus for the verse in Hebrews 2 to be correct a human will must have also been assumed. This argument may be formally written as:

1. If no difference between the human and the divine will can be found then monothelitism.
2. A qualitative difference between the human and the divine will exists.
Therefore, monothelitism is not the case

I will happily take critiques of this argument or any suggestions you may have.


  1. look, it's all about leveling up.

    God and all other divine beings have a higher sense of will.

    Humans a certain sense of will, such that there there is a sensible gap between human and divine.

    Jesus was the transition, the in-between.

  2. Before deleting this post, I want to remind everyone that this blog has officially moved to Wordpress. Here is the new address:


    This post has been re-posted here: Please leave your comments there, and the author will respond soon.

    Thanks everyone!