I’ve known for a long time that Calvinists are Gnostics, not only in their belief in the three different levels of predestination taught by Gnosticism, but also in their Docetism. (I.e., to the Calvinist, Jesus had to take on a different type of flesh than ours because real flesh, our flesh, is tainted with original sin according to their Manichean doctrine.)
But now they actually dare to use the term “vicarious humanity of Christ.” I don’t think they could come up with a more heretical terminology if they tried (although I may be underestimating them in this regard).
I ran across this blog post called Book Review: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and the Reality of Salvation. I found from google books that the book is actually pretty old, published originally in 1986, but republished about 3 years ago (March 2011, according to amazon and the new publisher, Wipf and Stock Publishers).
I don’t need to read the book to know that this is nothing but the Gnostic heresy of Docetism — the title says it all — as I commented on the article mentioned (but the comment will never be approved).
“Vicarious Humanity”? You mean to say he wasn’t really human, but only experienced humanness vicariously? I could have sworn that was an ancient heresy called Docetism.
The purpose of this false and disgusting doctrine of theirs is explained in rather clear terms at another blog post on the same Calvinist site, called Theses on the Vicarious Humanity of Christ. The blogger there says:
5. The reality of the vicarious humanity of Christ stresses the inability of fallen humanity to know and respond to God.
In other words, they cannot allow Jesus Christ to assume a real humanity, because if they admitted that he had assumed a real humanity, they would have to admit that total disability/depravity is nonsense. So instead, they pretend that he only assumed a ‘vicarious’ humanity, and this enables them to continue preaching Satan’s doctrine of total disability/depravity.
What’s really funny is that so-called Evangelical Calvinists have thrown the name “Evangelical” in front of the word Calvinist and are pretending they are somehow different from “classical” Calvinists. I posted two comments on a post at that blog about this, The State of the Evangelical Calvinist, about a week ago, saying that there is no difference at all, which resulted in the Calvinist coming up with a new commenting policy (against “anonymous” posting, as if I’m anonymous). But he’s trying to argue, and I’ve seen this on some other blogs, that the concept of “the vicarious humanity of Christ” makes “Evangelical” Calvinism better than “classical” Calvinism. Haha. The only difference is that the”Evangelical” Calvinists have invented a pseudonym for the old Docetic heresy of Gnosticism, while the “classical” Calvinists teach it without naming it.
I found another blog trotting out the same claim, in an old post from September 2009, called Evangelical Calvinism’s Vicariousness, revisited. Its the same blogger, Bobby Grow (if that is his real name, who knows? he could be “anonymous.”) He quotes there from the originator (according to him) of the terminology, Thomas F. Torrence:
. . . However, it is still this emphasis upon the vicarious humanity of Christ which we lack. If the emphasis is upon the fact that God has acted for us in Christ, then our human response is by way of cooperation, because an act on the part of man is required in addition to and complementary to the act of God. Hence Protestantism often teaches, or tends to teach, that we are all co-workers and ‘co-redeemers’ with Christ and God! But for Calvin and Knox that error is obviated in their teaching about the vicarious and priestly nature of the human Jesus. It was in the Eucharist that their stress upon that came out most strongly. It was through union with Christ in his vicarious humanity nourished in sacramental communion that the concern of the Reformed Kirk with human and social care in the lives of people was grounded. (Thomas F. Torrance, “Scottish Theology: From John Knox to John McLeod Campbell, 45)
I made a comment there (which he will probably delete if he still pays any attention to his old blog):
Saying that Christ’s humanity was ‘vicarious’ is Docetism, Period. And as far as your hatred of the notion that we may be “co-workers and ‘co-redeemers’ with Christ and God!” have you never read this?
1 Corinthians 7:16
“For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”
Your theology is unbiblical and Gnostic to the core. And that goes for every form of Calvinism, whether you throw the meaningless “Evangelical” moniker in front or not.