Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Road to Chalcedon: A Review

The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel

The next section of Samuel’s book proceeds to the Council of Chalcedon.  But before coming to this, I would like to review the path thus far.  Something has been bubbling under my surface, and I think I can best express it by summarizing the events prior to Chalcedon.

Keep in mind a couple of points: disagreement regarding the conclusions at Chalcedon in 451 resulted in the first, long-lasting (until today) split in the Church (the more recent would be the split in 1054 between East and West, and the Reformation beginning in 1517). 

The non-Chalcedonian Churches include the Ethiopian, Coptic, Armenian, and others.  These represent a small portion of the Christian community (at least some of these have accepted the better-clarified doctrines on Christ’s nature in subsequent councils). 

Secondly, the disagreements leading up to Chalcedon centered on different views by Alexandria and Antioch regarding how to describe the nature of Christ.  The disagreement between these two sees would play out throughout the time leading to Chalcedon.

From the earliest days after Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the development of doctrine began its journey.  We see disputes even in the book of Acts, and disputes did not end with the writing of the book of Revelation. 

The disciples went to the four corners of the known world, even before they had any written New Testament letters or Gospels.  Teachings were passed on orally, each, no doubt carrying understandings that in some ways were unique to each disciples’ views.  I imagine that local custom and culture also influenced how the teaching was understood.

On a better understanding of the nature of Christ, while the question wasn’t somewhat settled until Chalcedon, the essence of the doctrine can be found in the Scriptures and in the earliest Church fathers.

Now, for a brief summary of the events leading to Chalcedon:

Nestorius presided over the see of Constantinople from 428 to 431.  He was condemned as a heretic by the Council of Ephesus in 431 for teaching the “foul doctrine” of two Sons.  Nestorius insisted this was not his teaching, instead using the term prosopon to describe his views.  The council, presided over by Cyril of Alexandria, was held before the Syrian (Antiochene) delegation could arrive.

On the Alexandrine and Antiochene positions: Those representing Antioch were not in full agreement with the positions taken in Ephesus in 431, and opposed to them were those from Alexandria.  Externally this problem was resolved by the reunion of Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch in 433.

But the reunion was understood differently by those in the two camps.  This different understanding would lead to further controversies and difficulties – especially after John’s death.  There is something worth noting here: the differences were so nuanced that even a written exchange between the leaders of these two centers of Christendom could be understood differently.

The extreme opposition to Nestorius exposed another heresy, that of Eutyches, an abbot in Constantinople, who maintained that Godhead and manhood were so united in Christ that after the union the manhood became absorbed in the Godhead. 

He was condemned in a synod held by Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople, in 448.  Eutyches, however, believed he would be creating new doctrine if he agreed to the statements offered by Flavian.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Natural Law or Chaos

I have started watching a video series entitled “Welcome to Negative World.”  That would be our world.  The speakers are Aaron Renn, Joe Rigney, and James Wood.  I am only into the second video of seven, so I cannot speak to the value of the entire series.  However, I am so far finding it of value.  I discovered the series via a video by Paul VanderKlay, where he examines the first video in the series.

The second video in the series is a talk given by Joe Rigney: The Three Worlds and the Tao.  He presents the case for natural law as what has been broken in our society – yes, there was always sin, but it is today where the sin is codified, celebrated, even mandated by the law.

Toward the end of the talk, he cites from a letter by CS Lewis to Clyde Kilby of Wheaton College (beginning here):

The Tao is the necessary expression in terms of our temporal existence of what God by His own righteous nature is.  One could even say of it that it was begotten, not made.  For is not the Tao simply the Word itself, considered from a particular point of view.  

It is a powerful statement.  Paraphrasing Rigney: The Tao is God’s nature in creation.  Behind the Tao is the Word, the logos – Jesus Himself.

Yes, natural law was there from the beginning; per Lewis, it was begotten as the Son was begotten.  As Doug Wilson often says: our choice is Christ or chaos.  While natural law doesn’t contain the salvific value that comes with Christ, one could also say – in this temporal world – our choice is natural law or chaos.


As I have written often, the search and struggle today is because we no longer hold that it is proper to act in accord with the Tao - objective reality, or, dare I (and CS Lewis and Joe Rigney) say, natural law.  This meaning crisis discussion, held by people like Jordan Peterson, Paul VanderKlay, John Vervaeke and Jonathan Pageau, among others, will come to realize and explore this point or it will never be more than a passing intellectual exercise in a little corner of the internet.

Yes, there has been positive impact on individual lives via this online discussion; this is not a small thing.  But this is only because the conversation is occasionally speaking to natural law ethics and objective reality without acknowledging it is doing so.

The search for solutions to both the meaning crisis and our loss of liberty will eventually come to the same place: the necessity of natural law ethics.  I outline this here, in two books.


Merry Christmas to you all.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Government or State?

Ryan McMaken and Tho Bishop, in conversation with Derek Dobalian, ask the question: Should Christians Hate the State?  To which many Christians would reply with the first verse of Romans 13:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.

Of course, a more appropriate Christian reply would be based on the command that we are to love our enemies, but as most of us still haven’t successfully worked through the love God and love our neighbors part, this is much to ask at the moment.  But I digress.

The question raised was about the state, but the apostle Paul writes of governing authorities.  Setting aside the many various understandings of the term “governing” and the different interpretations of the passage in Romans (I have offered mine here and here and here and here), what are we to make of the term “state” and the term “government”?

I offer, and this is well grounded in the history of the Christian West: government is designed to enforce laws that come from a source higher than those governing.  This is true at every level of governance – from civil government down to family government.  This as opposed to a state, which enforces laws of its own making.

The transition can be seen in the outcome of the wars of state-building (wrongly called the wars of religion), and was certainly cemented by the end of the seventeenth century in much of western Europe.

So how does this effect an understanding of Romans 13?  Continuing with the passage:

3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.

Who is to define “good conduct”?  If the ruler is God’s servant for good, on what good basis would God have him rule?  If he is to carry out wrath against the wrongdoer, on what basis is wrongdoing understood?

In other words, does God allow the ruler to develop his own rules, to define what is good?  Is there any example of this Biblically in any of the history prior to Paul’s writing these words?

We know, from the beginning God gave the law.  God gave judges to judge according to God’s law – not to make law.  The various kings of Israel and Judah were considered as acting against God’s law – if not, how could any of these be described as bad kings (as many of these were)?  By definition, every king would be a just king if he is free to make decrees and then acts according to these decrees.

So, a proper governing authority governs according to good law which has come from God (I suggest natural law ethics captures this law).  A state is a governing authority that has usurped God’s authority in making the law.

But I am still not yet to the point of answering the question posed by Tho and Ryan.

Doug Wilson offers a blog post: Trump, NFTs, Fremdschämen, and More.  First, a brief explanation of the title, from Wilson:

·         Trump, well, you know that one.

·         NFTs stands for “Non-Fungible Tokens,” which is a cryptographic asset embedded in a block chain…

·         Fremdschämen is a German word for the embarrassment you feel for someone else who really ought to be embarrassed for himself, but somehow mysteriously isn’t.

Apparently, Trump has sold superhero digital images of himself…and these sold out.  There is plenty of embarrassment to go around here.  But this is a sideline to my focus. 

Wilson offers: “…lawless nations are in need of a Legislator.”

Friday, December 16, 2022

Your Serve

About seven weeks before the council met at Ephesus, Leo of Rome had sent his Tome to Constantinople where it had been well received by Flavian and the party opposed to Eutyches.

The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel

The referenced council was the Second Council of Ephesus in 449, attended by about one hundred fifty bishops.  The purpose was to settle the issue raised by the condemnation of Eutyches in 448 – condemned for not accepting the Antiochene view of the reunion of 433 even though the disagreement in understanding that reunion had not been resolved between the Alexandrines and Antiochenes.  Emperor Theodosius II convened the council, asking Dioscorus of Alexandria to exercise supreme authority over it as president.

In addition to investigating the condemnation of Eutyches, Dioscorus came to the council with his own understanding – the Alexandrine understanding.  This as opposed to the Antiochene understanding under which Eutyches was condemned – and despite the reality that no official reconciliation between these two positions had occurred via a formal council.

In this mix, Pope Leo sent his Tome, intending it (according to Samuel and supported with extensive endnotes) to be understood as the only possible expression of the Christian understanding of Christ’s person.  In other words, exercising Rome’s understanding as the supreme authority, Leo intended to make a statement after which no council would be necessary.

The council convened in any case.  Dioscorus made many statements regarding the proposal that the faith should be confirmed first.  To summarize: there was no need to clarify this, according to Dioscorus.  The faith was already clearly defined by the fathers (referring to Nicea as confirmed at Ephesus) – do you intend to question the fathers? 

This, of course, was the issue at hand – both sides claimed reliance on and harmony with the fathers, but understood the issue differently.  But this time, the council was led by an Alexandrine and not an Antiochene.  In other words, the faith is once again to be defined according to one side – the other side.

Eutyches was called in.  The creed of Nicea was incorporated, and it was submitted that Eutyches held to it, having been baptized accordingly.  This faith was confirmed at Ephesus, and Eutyches accepted it.  He anathematized the heretics such as Apollinarius and Nestorius. In all of this, he implied the Alexandrine view of the reunion.

Two significant sentences from Eutyches’ confession in this council were left out of the minutes incorporated at Chalcedon. 

‘For he who is the Word of God came down from heaven without flesh and was made flesh from the very flesh of the Virgin unchangeably and inconvertibly, in a way he himself knew and willed.  And he who is always perfect God before the ages was also made perfect man in the end of days for us and for our salvation.’

Samuel describes this statement as an orthodox answer to the issue. The statement affirms the Nicene understanding and Christ’s consubstantiality with us.  But it was not included in the minutes at Chalcedon.  Samuel sees this as a deliberate omission, one intended to ensure the pre-determined outcome at Chalcedon of condemning Eutyches as a heretic.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Irenic Dialogue

Irenic: tending to promote peace or reconciliation; peaceful or conciliatory.

Irenicism in Christian theology refers to attempts to unify Christian apologetical systems by using reason as an essential attribute. The word is derived from the Greek word ειρήνη (eirene) meaning peace.  Those who affiliate themselves with irenicism identify the importance of unity in the Christian Church and declare the common bond of all Christians under Christ.

This is different than reaching ecumenical agreement – in fact it is a necessary step before any such agreements are possible: do we understand each other?

I have been watching a series of videos by Dr. Gavin Ortlund via a playlist on his YouTube channel, entitled Catholic-Orthodox-Protestant Discussion.  The playlist has over sixty videos and counting.  Ortlund emphasizes his desire for Irenic dialogue: he is not after winning, he is after understanding – hence, he often describes the purpose and method of his dialogue and commentaries as “irenic.”

Something of Dr. Ortlund:

Gavin Ortlund is a pastor, author, speaker, and apologist for the Christian faith. He is a husband to Esther, and a father to Isaiah, Naomi, Elijah, Miriam, and Abigail (not pictured). He serves as the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Ojai in Ojai, California.

Gavin has a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary in historical theology, and an M.Div from Covenant Theological Seminary. He is the author of eight books as well as numerous academic and popular articles.

I was very pleased to find this channel and this effort.  I listen to many in the broad Christian world – Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant.  Maybe it’s just me, but there is significant content from Catholics and Orthodox regarding their doctrine, faith, etc.  I realize there is also much Protestant content, but I haven’t seen as much of it in the current conversation – in directly addressing the issues, stereotypes, misinformation, etc., regarding the world of Protestant thought and doctrine. 

I don’t at all appreciate when the conversation is dismissive or attacking, when the objective is to score points instead of to make points.  I have seen some that are downright nasty – this toward others who believe Jesus is divine, is the Son of God, that His death and Resurrection in some manner reconciles us once again with God the Father.  Unable to even love their neighbors (in the Mere Christianity house of C.S. Lewis), they even treat them worse than the enemies that they are also called to love.

What I have seen is that so much of the divisiveness is based on comparing the best of one’s doctrines to the worst of the other’s practice.  It only works to increase division unnecessarily.

What I have also seen is that when one understands the doctrines and history, many of what are considered major differences are nothing of the sort.  Not to say that there are no major issues, but clearing the field would bring focus.

Of course, this confusion is understandable when it is amateur publishers or commenters on YouTube videos.  But it is troubling when it comes from those who are well-educated in the doctrines and history.  I have seen it from all sides.

And this is why I appreciate Ortlund’s channel and methodology.  Not to say that I agree with all of it (from the little I have heard from him regarding social and cultural topics, he seems a mess), but his approach is irenic, and he is well-educated not only in Protestant history, he also points back to the earliest Church fathers (his Ph.D. is in historical theology, after all), finding value in many of them – and a common thread from these earliest fathers to many doctrines in Protestant denominations (yes, even Calvin-Reformed).

I offer a few of the comments made in his videos, dealing with some of the stereotypes of Protestant-Reformed theology.  First, a couple of the “solas”:

Friday, December 9, 2022

The Trial

Eutyches was an archimandrite and heretic who lived in the fifth century at a monastery near Constantinople.

-          Orthodox Wiki

[Eutyches], An heresiarch of the fifth century….

-          New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia

In the present context it should be noted that in the light of the opinion that Eutyches was not in fact a heretic….

The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel

One of these is not like the other.  The home Synod of Constantinople in 448 condemned Eutyches as a heretic.  The issues involved were directly relevant to subsequent councils at Chalcedon and beyond.

Eutyches was not a theologian of any standing.  He was a monk who held some standing in the monastic circles around Constantinople, having directed more than 300 monks over thirty years.  He was a friend of Cyril, and an indefatigable supporter of the Alexandrine cause at the capitol.  He had direct access to the emperor’s court.

Flavian (the president of this home synod) and Eusebius of Dorylaeum would leave no stone unturned during the synod, until Eutyches was finally crushed at Chalcedon.  But the story begins here, three years earlier in 448. 

This conflict, which led to Chalcedon, had a simple beginning.  It began in theological debate between Eusebius (“a bishop that was ruthless”) and Eutyches (“an old monk who could exert great influence at the court of Theodosius II but who could not be relied on for any consistent theological discussion”).

On 8 November 448, Eusebius presented to patriarch Flavian of Constantinople a libel against Eutyches.  Although no specific accusations were made nor details offered in the petition, he was accused of presenting ideas contrary to Nicea and Ephesus, demanding that the monk be called to defend himself.  Flavian advised that Eusebius take the matter up privately with Eutyches, however Eusebius persisted.

Thirty-two bishops took part in the proceedings, which lasted two weeks with several sittings.  In the first period, the monk refused to attend despite being summoned three times.  In the latter period and at the seventh sitting, he finally appeared, escorted by representatives of the emperor.  With this, his trial began.

The nature of the faith was first confirmed: Cyril’s second letter to Nestorius and the Formulary for Reunion were read.  The councils of Nicea and Ephesus were confirmed.  Then testimony given by Eutyches was relayed by Presbyter John and Deacon Andrew: the monk denied all charges of heresy; he considered Eusebius an old enemy; he accepted both Nicea and Ephesus; he laughed at the accusation that the flesh of our Lord came down from heaven.

The difficulties were around the subtle language that separated the Alexandrine position from the Antiochene, with Eutyches holding to the Alexandrine view.  After his testimony, he was charged with holding two heretical ideas:

…that he rejected a union of two natures and that he refused to admit that Christ was consubstantial with us.

Some of Eutyches’ testimony is offered:

‘After he became man,’ Eutyches is reported to have said, ‘that is after our Lord Jesus Christ was born, God the Word is worshipped as one nature, namely that of God who has become incarnate.’

‘In which scriptures,’ asked Eutyches, ‘is there the expression of two natures?  Or of the fathers, who has defined God the Word that he has two natures?’

At the same time, Eutyches said that Christ was perfect God and perfect man.

‘May it not happen to me to say that Christ is of two natures, or to argue about the nature of my God,’ said Eutyches.

Eutyches felt that he would be creating doctrine where none existed and where no agreement had been reached.  On this view, Samuel agrees.

In order to make his position clear, Eutyches had prepared a written statement of his faith.  But this was neither received nor read.  It is speculated that the reason it was not accepted was that it registered the monk’s acceptance of Nicea – requiring the synod to decide if the statement was orthodox. 

Flavian would have been forced into a no-win situation if the statement was read – either accepting Eutyches as orthodox (having agreed with Nicea), or concluding that Nicea was not (thus condemning Eutyches).  Per Samuel, this would have forced the synod to make a clear statement of accepting either the Alexandrine or Antiochene position.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

One Step at a Time

Mike Portnoy, former (and best) drummer for Dream Theater, due to his struggle with alcohol, went through the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  He decided to write lyrics that followed the 12-steps, what has become known as Dream Theater’s Twelve-step Suite.

The Suite is covered in five songs, each covering more than one of the steps, as follows:

·         The Glass Prison” contains the first three parts of the Suite (“Reflection,” “Restoration,” and “Revelation”). 

·         This Dying Soul" features parts four and five of the Suite ("Reflections of Reality (Revisited)" and "Release"). 

·         The Root of All Evil" consists of parts six and seven of the Suite ("Ready" and "Remove"). 

·         Repentance" features parts eight and nine of the Suite ("Regret" and "Restitution"). 

·         The Shattered Fortress" concludes the Suite, featuring the last three parts ("Restraint," “Receive," “Responsible").

These songs were released on five consecutive albums from 2002 – 2009, with the last album also being the last one on which Portnoy played with the band.  Sadly.

Below I capture each section of the twelve steps.  In bold and underlined is the title given to the section by Portnoy.  Below it follows the step as described by Alcoholics Anonymous.  Following in italics, I have captured a subset of the lyrics that (to me) best capture the spirit of the step.

It strikes me the steps and the lyrics are useful for dealing with any vice or harmful behavior in one’s life.

I think it is best to not comment further.



We admitted we were powerless over [pick your vice] — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Crawling to my glass prison

A place where no one knows

My secret lonely world begins

So much safer here

A place where I can go

To forget about my daily sins



Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Help me - I can't break out this prison all alone

Save me - I'm drowning and I'm hopeless on my own

Heal me - I can't restore my sanity alone



Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Way off in the distance I saw a door

I tried to open

I tried forcing with all of my will but still

The door wouldn't open

Fell down on my knees and prayed

"Thy will be done"

I turned around, saw a light shining through

The door was wide open


Reflections of Reality (Revisited)

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Hello, mirror – so glad to see you my friend, it's been a while

Searching, fearless, where do I begin to heal this wound of self-denial?


Now that you can see all you have done

It's time to take that step into the kingdom

All your sins will only make you strong

And help you break right through the prison wall



Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Your fearless admissions

Will help expel your destructive obsessions

With my help I know you can

Be at one with God and man


Hear me

Believe me

Take me

I'm ready to break through this prison wall

Monday, December 5, 2022

Foundations of Faith

If we take the most dramatic developments of the sexual revolution – say, the legitimation of transgenderism – it is interesting to ask what things wider society already needed to regard as normal in order for this first to be plausible and then normalized.

Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution, by Carl R. Trueman

Not too long ago, had the sentence “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body” been uttered to anyone – to a doctor, a friend, a relative – it would have been seen as a psychiatric problem in the one speaking the words.  Help, from a psychiatrist or a priest, would have been advised or encouraged.  Today, even to suggest any help or guidance is needed – let alone to provide such help or guidance – is criminal…even when the one saying such words is a child.

What has changed in our society and in the social imaginary to bring this new situation about?

Where we have arrived today is the position of granting decisive authority to inner feelings.  No longer do we grant normative authority to the physical body.  There is no “following the science” in this.  We need not rely on the reality that when God created man and woman, He did not differentiate biological sex from gender identity.  There is no place where the science has been settled for longer than the moment the midwife or doctor announces “it’s a girl.”

So, how did “inner feelings” take authority over the physical body?  The story, as Trueman says, is a long and complex one.  It isn’t that the idea of examining and understanding inner feelings is a new one.  The Psalms are full of introspection; Augustine’s Confessions are a reflection on his inner life. 

The Psalms and Paul look inward but then understand that inward life in terms of the prior authority of the external world as ordered by God.  …Augustine moves inward so that he can then move outward to God and to the reality that is prior to and greater than his own feelings and in light of which those feelings can be understood.

Is it just me, or does the death of God in the Enlightenment keep coming up in discussions of “how we got here”? 

The transgender person, by contrast, sees inward, psychological conviction as the nonnegotiable reality to which all external realities must be made to conform.

“External realities” to include how others see them, address them, treat them.  It isn’t just the desire to have their inner feelings dictate their reality; their inner feelings must also dictate your reality.

Trueman points to a few philosophers and thinkers of the Enlightenment era that offered ideas – whether intended for good or ill – that led to the social imaginary in which we live today in the western world.  First up is René Descartes, who lived in the first half of the seventeenth century.  While he made significant contributions to mathematics, his relevance to this topic is his contribution to philosophy.

He set himself to doubting everything.  In the end, his doubt ended with his famous “I think; therefore I am.”  This could not be doubted.  But this also placed human thought as the ground of certainty.  He posited a distinction between mind and body, giving fundamental importance to the former.  This gave runway for something Descartes could not have imagined: inner feelings, not physical reality, will dictate and control.

Next is Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  He lived in the eighteenth century, dying in 1778.  Self-taught, he was an inspiration for both the French Revolution and what has become known as Romanticism. 

He was also a rather obstinate, nasty, and at times paranoid man.

He also famously sent his five children to orphanage, which at the time meant near-certain death. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Reunion … Sort of ….

The removal of Nestorius did not solve the problem.

The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel

Condemning and removing Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus for holding to the ‘Word-man’ Christology of Antioch as opposed to the ‘Word-flesh’ Christology of Alexandria did not solve the dispute.  The emperor would exert himself to help establish peace.

Allow me a brief aside.  There are those who see Christianity under the emperor as an inherently negative development for the faith and for the Church.  I find it difficult to agree with such a view.

First of all – very pragmatically – the persecutions ended.  Christians today don’t even display the courage to hold Easter service for fear of the state.  Imagine the persecuted and fearful life for Christians before Constantine (or in many parts of the world today), then complain about the role of the emperor in the lives of Christians at the time.

Second, the several councils.  To my understanding, all were called by the emperor.  In terms of doctrine, where would the Church be today if not for these first several councils?  Yes, today we see fragmentation.  Imagine the fragmentation if those earliest disputes were not resolved in some reasonable manner.  Certainly, politics played a role in the emperor’s actions.  But if we cannot accept that the councils were acting under the Holy Spirit we might as well drop the entire game.

Returning to Samuel: the emperor’s efforts to resolve the issues resulted in John of Antioch writing to Cyril of Alexandria, including a profession of faith.  Cyril replied with his famous letter, Laetentur Caeli, incorporating in it a passage from John’s confession stressing the unity of Christ’s person and the unconfused continuance of the divine and human.

It said that ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ was at once ‘true God and true man’…

There were three main objections raised by the Antiochenes, not fully resolved, and, therefore, the reunion not fully embraced: first, that Cyril’s theological positions as reflected in the anathemas were heretical; second, that Nestorius was not a heretic; and third, that the Council of Ephesus was heretical.

There was one sentence in John’s letter that would have far-reaching consequences – a sentence worded in a way that would allow different individuals with different understandings to accept it, and, therefore, to allow John to get past the difficulties he had with the decisions of the council.  It is wordy, so perhaps read it a couple of times:

‘And with regard to the evangelistic and apostolic sayings concerning the Lord, we know that theologians make some common, as relating to one person, and distinguishing others, as relating to two natures, interpreting the God-befitting ones to be of the Godhead of Christ, and the lowly ones of his humanity.’

This sentence was intended to mitigate the difficulties of the Antiochenes while also not contradicting Cyril.  Theologians distinguish matters pertaining to the Lord – a very guarded statement.  It really doesn’t say anything about Christ existing in different centers of being and activity, merely that Christ’s actions can be differentiated in these ways.

Here it will be worthwhile to attempt to describe the two positions.  And I emphasize the word “attempt.”  I have written on the two positions coming out of Chalcedon before, for example, here.  Here follows Samuel’s explanation of the split as it came out of Ephesus: