“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The Word, being Christ, thus assumed human form. However, well into the 18th and 19th centuries, the radical idea was proposed that Christ assumed not only human nature, but specifically the fallen, sinful human nature.
The question of the nature of Christ’s humanity and how it relates to his divinity finds its roots in the hypostatic union and perichoresis. The concept of the hypostatic union refers to the co-existence of two natures (i.e., the divine and the human) in perfect union within one body, however without confusion of substance or commingling of the natures. The doctrine of perichoresis asserts that the two natures of Christ and the three persons of the Trinity (likewise united in perfect union without confusion) somehow mutually interpenetrate each other and yet remain distinct and separate from one another (Crisp, 2007, p.1).
It is the implications that are brought about by these converging yet separate natures that has drawn interest to the implications of Christ’s human nature on the mystery of salvation. This brief discussion will delve into the implications of the fallen nature theory espoused by Edward Irving in the 19th century, juxtaposed with the unfallen nature argued by Oliver Crisp in the present day.