CHRISTOLOGICAL CONFUSION & CHINA'S REFORMING CHURCHES
POSTED BY BRUCE BAUGUS
Christological confusion has sunk a root into the rich soil of China’s emerging Reformed community. At present, some pastors and others on the mainland believe Christ’s human nature is uncreated and eternal. What is more, some believe this view represents orthodox Reformed Christology.
Although it is unclear just how pervasive this view has become, the controversy is known throughout China’s reforming churches due to the prominence of a current proponent. Soliciting varying responses across East Asia, the vast majority of China’s Reformed believers, including many of those most concerned about this man’s Christology, highly regard him and his ministry. For this reason, most appear to be willing to overlook or even accommodate this odd opinion.
Largely unknown in the West, the scope, depth, and apparent persistence of this confusion in China’s vibrant but tender Reforming churches deserves some attention from the global Reformed community–which is not isolated from these developments. The humanity of Jesus Christ is created and finite, just as ours; the view that his human nature is, in any actual sense, uncreated and eternal is problematic and potentially dangerous to the faith.
Preview of Series
This post is the first in a twelve-part series on the current Christological confusion in East Asia. In the next post I briefly describe the cause and context of this confusion within China’s emerging Reformed community. Posts 3 and 4 briefly present the traditional, orthodox understanding of the biblical teaching on the origin of Christ’s human nature as codified in the ecumenical creeds (post 3) and Reformed standards (post 4). In posts 5-11 I inspect seven statements (one per post) about the human nature of Christ contributing to the current confusion, before concluding the series in post 12.
Context & Cause of the Current Confusion
In one of the most fascinating developments in global Christianity today, many pastors and other believers in China are embracing Reformed theology and reforming their beliefs and practices. Though a few observers challenge the claim, a Reformed community in China (as opposed to isolated individuals and congregations) does exist, and not just online. The tendrils of this community often twine around the ministries of a relatively few widely recognized ministers. As such, these individuals, whose ministries are often based outside of China, exercise remarkable influence on theological opinion within the still relatively secluded world of Reformed Christianity on the mainland.
For many years now, and at least as recently as 2013, one such influence with an international ministry and reputation has been saying some very confusing things about the human nature of Jesus Christ.  At times, he has attempted to clarify and defend his comments. One such attempt is found in a series of three recordings he made in 2012, which were subsequently transcribed and translated by others. Though these three recordings and a booklet he published in 1991 are the sources cited below, the primary source of the confusion in China’s Reformed community has been his oral statements to the same effect in sermons, lectures, and especially question and answer sessions.
Though this man’s public statements are the source of the current confusion, as one Reformed observer explains, “the belief that Christ’s humanity is uncreated actually has had a longstanding tradition among Chinese Christian leaders associated with Reformed theology, including Jia Yuming.”  This tradition appears to be reflected in the widely used Chinese translation of the Belgic Confession, which curiously drops the original’s explicit affirmation that the human nature of Christ is created.  All of this predates the current proponent of this view, whose statements may represent what he sees as an established, albeit eccentric, Eastern Christological tradition–a tradition that seemed certain to fade away without his advocacy.
虽然此君公开的讲述是目前错解的主要源头，一位改革宗观察者解释到，「对于基督人性为非受造的信仰是中国基督教中与改革宗神学有关之领袖长久以来的传统，包括贾玉铭（Jia Yuming）。」这个传统看起来也被反映在比利时信条的（the Belgic Confession）中文翻译之中。所有这一切原先就存有的，对于这个观点支持者的宣告可能使得他看见了一个根深柢固，非常古怪的，东方基督论传统－－一个无法获得支持而逐渐消亡的传统。
A Cautious Critique
Some of the church’s greatest fathers have occasionally said some odd things about Jesus Christ, things later generations viewed as ill-advised or just plain wrong. Take Athanasius of contra mundum fame for his stand against ascendant Arians. Once, while trying to show how his adversaries mangled Hebrews 3:2 about Jesus’ becoming or being made or appointed high priest, he drew this analogy of the incarnation:
What the Savior did on His coming, this Aaron shadowed out according to the Law. As then Aaron was the same and did not change by putting on the high-priestly dress, but remaining the same was only robed, . . . in the same way it is possible in the Lord’s instance also to understand aright, that He did not become other than Himself on taking the flesh, but, being the same as before, He was robed in it; and the expressions ‘He became’ and ‘He was made,’ must not be understood as if the Word, considered as the Word, were made, but that the Word, being Framer of all, afterwards was made High Priest, by putting on a body which was originate and made, and such as He can offer for us; wherefore He is said to be made. 
救主在祂的来临中所做的，就是这个亚伦根据律法所预表的。亚伦并没有因为披上了大祭司的衣袍而有任何的改变，披上衣袍的他仍是一样。。。同样的，在主的身上，我们也当正确的领会，他并没有因为取了肉身而变得不一样；「祂成为（He became）」和「祂被造（He was made）」不能被理解为好像道被造，而使道，作为万有的塑造者，随后因着披上了一个有起源并被造的肉身被造为大祭司，祂也以这个方式为我们献上自己；有鉴于此，祂被称作是被造的。
Comments like these continue to fuel sometimes uncharitable suspicions that Athanasius operated with a deficient view of Christ’s humanity–that the Son assumed something less than a fully human nature complete with intellect and will.  Even if Athanasius was not confused about the humanity of Christ, this analogy and some of his other remarks confuse readers and obscure his orthodoxy as much as they disclose it.
Elsewhere, Athanasius affirms the union of the divine Word with a fully human nature, body and soul.  So, we should not conclude too much from an odd analogy here or argument there. Whether the one above is helpful or confusing is a different question than any we might ask about Athanasius’s Christology. We may conclude, that is, that this analogy is very confusing or that argument not at all helpful while taking no position on or even defending the source’s overall view of Christ’s humanity.
Similarly, the following critique centers on the cause of the current Christological confusion within China’s emerging Reformed community. The immediate cause is found in certain public statements. I take no position on whether these statements are being understood correctly or if they accurately represent this brother’s views; I only conclude that his statements are the cause of some confusion that deserves at least this much attention.
1. For several good reasons I need not explain here, I am not going to name the current source of this apparently confused and certainly confusing teaching. Those most likely to benefit from me doing so will already know who it is; those who do not know probably do not need to know.
2. Jia (1880-1964, formerly known as Chia Yu-ming) had strong ties to prewar Presbyterian mission work in China, teaching at both Nanjing Jinling Seminary and North China Theological Seminary. He gained an international reputation and became vice-chairman of the Committee of the Chinese Church Three-Self Patriotic Movement in 1954. Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, (http://www.bdcconline.net/en/stories/j/jia-yuming.php; accessed July 22, 2015)
3. This edition of the Belgic Confession was translated by Charles Chao, published by Reformation Translation Fellowship, and is now available online at https://www.ccel.org/contrib/cn/creeds/belgic.html.
4. Athanasius, Against the Arians, 2.8.
5. See, for example, Christopher Beeley, The Unity of Christ: Continuity and Conflict in Patristic Tradition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 165. Beeley’s harsh interpretation of Athanasius includes accusations that he invented the Arian controversy and died a bitter controversialist defending his narrow Word-flesh Christology.
6. In Letter to Epictetus, 7, he writes this: “But truly our salvation . . . does not extend to the body only, but the whole man, body and soul alike, has truly obtained salvation in the Word Himself. That then which was born of Mary was according to the divine Scriptures human by nature.”
In his own words, the question is “whether Christ’s human nature and his physical body were created or pre-existent before the creation of the world.”  The orthodox answer, which the Reformed tradition maintains, is that the human nature of the incarnate Son, body and soul, is finite and created just as ours and is assumed by him in the conception that occurs by the power of the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb. By the means of this conception the Son becomes fully human without ceasing to be fully divine.
As Paul writes to the Galatians, “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal 4:4). Clearly, the fullness of time came at a particular historical moment. Prior to this moment, from an historical perspective, the Son was not human; after this moment he is. That moment marks the unique event of the incarnation when the Son “became man” and has consistently been identified as the moment of the mysterious conception in the virgin’s womb.
Christ’s humanity does not exist abstracted from and independent of the particular man he became in the incarnation. On the contrary, the human nature he assumes and possesses today just is the humanity of the particular human being he is, body and soul, as conceived in Mary’s womb, born in Bethlehem, crucified, raised again, and ascended. The Son is now consubstantial with us because he became a particular man, Jesus of Nazareth, at a unique historical moment. While it is appropriate to speak of human nature abstractly, there is no actual sense in which the Son shared our nature prior to becoming incarnate in Jesus Christ.
This is what the church affirms in her ecumenical confessions. The Nicene Creed states that the divine person of the Word “came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man,” something he otherwise was not. He did not merely assume a physical body in the incarnation but actually became fully human without ceasing to be fully divine.
Likewise, Chalcedon asserts that Jesus Christ is,
Truly God and 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, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably.
The incarnation “in these latter days” made the Son, who remains “consubstantial with the Father” according to his divine nature, also “consubstantial with us” according to his human nature. Although neither symbol explicitly denies his human nature pre-existed the moment he became incarnate, neither one seems to permit such a view. To assert he possessed a human nature in any actual sense prior to becoming incarnate would appear to deny the orthodox understanding of the incarnation itself, that the divine Son assumed a fully human nature, body and soul, at a specific point in time.
道成肉身「在这末后的日子」使得根据其神性仍然「与父同质（consubstantial with the Father）」子，根据祂的人性也「与我们同质（consubstantial with us）」。虽然没有一个说法特别的否认祂的人性先存于祂的成为肉身，但是也没有任何说法否定那样的观点。在任何实际的意义上肯定祂在成为肉身前拥有人性似乎就是否定正统教义对于道成肉身本身的理解，就是神圣的子在时间的某一点中取了一个完整的人性，身体与魂。
As we shall see in the next post, what appears to be the case in the ecumenical creeds is made explicit in the Reformed standards.
1. All quotes of the author are from reliable translations of Chinese originals, consisting of both published literature and transcriptions of sound recordings of the source of these remarks. I am gratefully indebted to three individuals who translated and edited the English transcripts I cite, with only incidental modifications, in this essay. As mentioned before, I have decided not to identify the speaker by name in this series.
Reformed Standards on the Human Nature of Christ
The Reformed confess the same orthodox Christology. Here, for example, are Q&As 36 and 37 of the Westminster Larger Catechism:
Q. 36. Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
问.36．谁是恩典之约的中保？A. The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father, in the fullness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever.
Q. 37. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
问.37.基督作为神的儿子，如何成为人？A. Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without sin.
The Belgic Confession, written while the Anabaptist error of the supposed heavenly origin of Christ’s flesh was still fresh, is even more assertive on the origin of Christ’s humanity:
Article 18: Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ
第18条：论耶稣基督的道成肉身We confess, therefore, that God . . . sent into the world, at the time appointed by him, his own only-begotten and eternal Son, who took upon him the form of a servant, and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, sin excepted, being conceived in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, without the means of man; and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that he might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that he should take both upon him, to save both. Therefore we confess . . . that Christ is become a partaker of the flesh and blood of the children . . . and became like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted, so that in truth he is our Immanuel, that is to say, God with us.
Article 19: Of the Union and Distinction of the Two Natures in the Person of Christ
第19条：论在基督位格中二性的联合与不同We believe that by this conception, the person of the Son is inseparably united and connected with the human nature; so that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in one single person: yet, that each nature retains its own distinct properties. As then the divine nature has always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life, filling heaven and earth: so also has the human nature not lost its properties, but remained a creature, having beginning of days, being a finite nature, and retaining all the properties of a real body. And though he has by his resurrection given immortality to the same, nevertheless he has not changed the reality of his human nature; forasmuch as our salvation and resurrection also depend on the reality of his body. But these two natures are so closely united in one person, that they were not separated even by his death. Therefore that which he, when dying, commended into the hands of his Father, was a real human spirit, departing from his body. But in the meantime the divine nature always remained united with the human, even when he lay in the grave. And the Godhead did not cease to be in him, any more than it did when he was an infant, though it did not so clearly manifest itself for a while. Wherefore we confess, that he is very God, and very Man: very God by his power to conquer death; and very man that he might die for us according to the infirmity of his flesh.
Echoes of Nicea and Chalcedon are clear in these Reformed standards and their elaborations on the origin of Christ’s humanity are explicit. The divine Son “became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul.” His humanity originates with the supernatural conception by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb and is “of her substance.” Christ’s human nature is consubstantial with us, and though at the time of the conception in Mary’s womb it was inseparably united to the divine nature in the person of the Word, it “remained a creature, having beginning of days [and] being a finite nature” just as he “remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life, filling heaven and earth” in his divine nature.
So, the Reformed standards maintain, without deviation, the much-repeated formula of Gregory of Nazianzus: “What [the Son of God] was he continued to be; what he was not he took to himself.”  Views that posit an eternal human nature united with the Son do not–at least not the sense Gregory intended.
 Orations, 29.19.
Confusing Claims About Christ’s Humanity
Turning to the confusion in East Asia, our brother affirms “the Son came into the world to be a human being” and “truly became human.” Becoming human, he explains, is unique to the Son “since the Father and the Spirit never came into the world to be incarnate.” Also, “the Son who became human was originally the Logos, and this Logos became Logos ensarkos, Word-in-flesh.”
It is difficult to know just what becoming human amounts to, however, since he also “claims . . . first, that Christ’s human nature and Christ’s body are uncreated and, second, that Christ’s human nature has existed from all eternity.” On the surface, these two assertions seem impossible to square with the Christology of the ecumenical and Reformed standards cited above (see parts 3 and 4). In defending these statements, he admits they “completely contradict” views held by “the so-called ancient catholic church” and “many of the so-called great Reformers.” Yet, he also suggests “this great controversy is a matter of terminology and definitions” and claims “my terminology is different from the terminology and definitions that others use.”
First Statement: Human Nature & Humanness
Idiosyncratic uses of long-established theological terms do tend to complicate matters. He attempts to redefine a standard Chinese term for human nature (人性, rénxìng), for example, in order to distinguish between human nature (or humanity) in some broad sense and a special sort of human nature he calls, in English, “man-ness” (and for clarity’s sake I will call humanness).
Humanness, he explains, “is different from the [concept of] human nature . . . inherited from the history of theology and from ancient church tradition;” it is the “formal cause” or “original form of human nature.” As such, humanness refers to the uncreated and eternal “prototype” of humanity that, “before the creation of the world, . . . was already within God.” This original form, he concludes, is the image of God who is Jesus Christ.
他解释到，Humanness「与承袭自教义史和古教会传统之人性（的观念）不同」；它乃是「正式的起因（formal cause）」或「人性的起源（original form of human nature）」。（6）Humanness指的是一种非受造并永恒的人性的「原型（prototype）」，「在创造世界之前。。。就已经在神的里面。」（7）他结论到，这个原始的形式就是神的形像，就是耶稣基督。
Human nature, on the other hand, is what individual humans possess by being created in the likeness of the prototype–in the image of God. Prior to creation, he states, “Christ was already in possession of an original and eternal form of human nature [that is, humanness], and then after he came into the world, he came to possess an incarnate human nature, the nature of a human body.” The Son, then, who is eternally human in one sense (humanness), apparently became human in another sense in the incarnation by assuming a physical human body.
在另一方面，人性乃是各人根据在原型的样式中被创造而拥有的－在神的形像中。在创造之前，他宣称，「基督已经拥有一种原始并永恒的人性形式（就是Humanness），在祂来到世界后，祂的到了一个道所成为的人性（an incarnate human nature），人类身体的性质。」（8）接着，子在一种意义上乃是永远的人，在另一种意义上看起来（apparently）在道成肉身中，藉由取得一个物质的人类身体而成为人。
This vaguely sounds like Origen’s broadly platonic view of the incarnation, which is the subject of the next post.
 First Recording.
 Second Recording.
 Second Recording.
 First Recording. He returns to this point to open the Third Recording.
 First Recording. Since he is obviously speaking about something that pertains to humanity, male and female, rendering his peculiar sense of 人性 (rénxìng) as humanness seems better.
 Original form could also be translated as formal cause. The speaker uses 因 (yīn), which is often translated as cause, but here has the sense of formal cause.
 Third Recording.
 Third Recording.
Second Statement: Platonic Dualism
As noted at the end of the previous post (see part 5), his discussion of the incarnation under the distinction between human nature and humanness vaguely sounds like Origen (or Isaac Watts). Origin believed in the pre-existence of human souls and taught a two-stage incarnation of the Son, the first consisting of his union with the un-fallen human soul of Jesus from the beginning of creation and the second a union with a human body in Mary’s womb. The prior union of the Son with a human soul is why, he reasons, “throughout the whole of Scripture, not only is the divine nature spoken of in human words, but the human nature is adorned by appellations of divine dignity.”
如同我们在前一篇博文末尾所注意到的，他含糊不清的在人性与humanness 得分别下对于道成肉身的讨论听起来跟俄列根差不多（或如同Issac Watts）。俄列根相信基督魂的先存性并教导子的成为肉身由两个步骤，第一个步骤包括祂在创造万有前与耶稣未堕落的魂的联合，第二个步骤则是在马里亚的腹中与一个人类的身体联合。子与一个人类魂的联合就是他争辩到「圣经从始至终不仅仅是神性在人类的话语中说话，也是人性获得神性的尊荣为装饰。
Our speaker makes similar claims, drawing the same conclusion about the biblical witness to humanity’s “dignity and glory” prior to the incarnation. Though he does not endorse the pre-existence of the human soul, his notion of humanness as the original, pre-existing form of the humanity later embodied in Jesus of Nazareth and prototype of all created humans comes close. Traditionally, the human soul (anima) is conceived as the form of the human body (forma corporis). Most Reformed theologians adopted a broadly Aristotelian interpretation of this, in which the form (soul, in this case) only properly exists in the particular thing formed (the embodied human). Like Origen, however, our speaker embraces a version of Platonic dualism in which forms really exist independent of the thing formed:
我们的讲员也作出了类似的宣告，得出了圣经见证人类在道成肉身前的「尊荣与荣耀」同样的结论。虽然他并没有采取人类魂先存的说法，他认为humanness 作为人性原始，并先存的形式，之后才附身于拿撒勒人耶稣中，并作为接下来所有被造人类之原型的观点。跟传统，人类魂（anima）被认为是人类身体（forma corporis）的形式。大部分的改革宗学者采取了亚里士多德式的诠释，就是唯有当某种事物被形成后（被附身的身体），形式（在这里指得是魂）才得以存在。然而，我们的讲者就像俄列根一样，采取了柏拉图式的二元论观点，形式得以独立的存在于形成的事物之外：
Humanness is the essence within human beings, the essence by virtue of which human beings are human. This human essence has existed from all eternity, and is something within God’s being that he intended to use as the gene for his creation of humankind. It is the image of God; it is the ontological being of Christ 
In other words, the original, pre-existing form of humanity (humanness) is not just an idea in God’s mind but an actually existing thing, which he, unlike Origen, declares eternal and locates within God’s being.
The implication of this for understanding the unique moment of the incarnation in Mary’s womb is taken up in the next post.
 Origen, De Principiis, 2.6.3-5. See also Isaac Watts, “The Glory of Christ as God-man” in The Works of the Rev. Isaac Watts, vol. 6 (Leeds: Edward Baines, 1813), pp. 484-670, and the discussion of this work in Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968), pp. 423-28.
 First Recording
 Ordinarily, form and matter are considered inseparable in this tradition. The separation of soul from body in death is a temporary, abnormal state.
 First Recording
Third Statement: Incarnation as the Assumption of a Body (Alone?)
Despite his apparent anthropological dualism, our brother does not actually affirm a two-stage incarnation (or refer to humanness as his soul). Origen believed Christ’s human soul was un-fallen and pre-existent but also created and assumed by the Son at the beginning of creation. But here, Christ’s humanness is said to be uncreated and eternal, not something assumed but “something within God’s being.”
So, there is only one incarnational moment, which involves the assumption of a physical human body by the one who is already human without the incarnation. Thus, in explaining the meaning of “Logos ensarkos, Word-in-flesh,” he declares this:
About this “flesh”, the Bible has made three important statements: (1) “the Father has prepared a body for me”; (2) the Son Himself took the form of a slave, thus inheriting a physical body from Mary; (3) the Virgin conceived and gave birth by the Holy Spirit, so God came to dwell among us–Immanuel.
He proceeds to explain from these three points why he is unwilling to call Christ’s body (or flesh) created, which we will return to in part 10. The point here is to observe the apparent reduction of the incarnation to just the assumption of a physical human body. Again, in his words, “Christ was already in possession of an original and eternal form of human nature, and then after he came into the world, he came to possess an incarnate human nature, the nature of a human body.”
他继续根据这三个点解释为什么他不愿意称基督的身体（或肉身）为被造的，我们会在第10部分回到这个点。此处的重点是察觉字面上将道成肉身减低为仅仅取了一个物质的人类身体。再次，他说的，‘基督已经拥有一个元素并永恒的人性形式（an original and eternal form of human nature)，在祂来到世界之后，他拥有一个道成肉身的人性，人类身体的性质。’
This statement could be read as reducing not just the incarnation, but created human nature to possessing a human body or some property we acquire “by virtue of having a body.” He denies this, however, and prefers to say “a human being is human because there is human nature [in the sense of humanness] within him or her.” As already observed (see part 5), “humanness is the essence within human beings, the essence by virtue of which human beings are human.” But, according to him, the Son already possessed this from eternity and thus was a human being in precisely this sense. So, the Son did not assume human nature in the sense of humanness or become fully human when conceived in Mary’s womb, but acquired just “the nature of a human body.”
By insisting on the pre-existence of Christ’s humanness, he arrests this view from collapsing into a Word-flesh or Apollinarian Christology. Although these statements suggest a broadly Apollinarian view of what the Son assumed in the incarnation, the speaker insists that the incarnate Son “has a [human] body, a soul, affection, reason, and a will just like us.” It is unclear whether his human soul is identical with his humanness prior to the incarnation (asarkos) or only as embodied (ensarkos), but humanness seems to refer to the spiritual (intellectual and volitional) aspect of Christ’s human nature, and thus his humanity includes both body and soul, including the intellectual aspect denied by Apollinarians.
Avoiding Apollinarianism, however, is little consolation.
 Third Recording. Also worth noting, the speaker identifies flesh with body and contrasts it to both the soul and what Jesus possessed prior to the incarnation.
 First Recording
 First Recording
 Second Recording
 Hodge, Systematic Theology, pp. 421-23, interprets Emanuel Swedenborg’s extensive but scattered comments on the incarnation as positing an eternal humanness in God that becomes materially manifest in time by the God’s assumption of a physical body. Hodge is followed by Donald G. Bloesch, Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1997), p. 137.
Hodge, Systematic Theology, pp. 421-23,诠释Emannuel Swedenborg对于道成肉身支离破碎的解释，他视其为一种在神里面的永恒humanness，透过神取了一个物质的身体而以物质的方式彰显在时间中。Hodges的跟随者是Donald G. Bloesch, Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1997), p. 137.
Fourth Statement: The Recast Image of God
Recast by the concept of Christ’s eternal humanness (see part 5), the image of God is no longer just about the way humans were originally created in God’s likeness but now also about how humanity’s original form eternally exists “within God’s being.” He reasons that “the image of God is Christ and therefore Christ in eternity is the original form of human nature.” Turning the imago Dei on its head, he proceeds from the claim that “humanness is the essence of Christ and . . . Christ is the image of God” to the conclusion that “this image contains within it the original form of the essence of human nature. Perhaps,” he proposes, “this could be called the ‘Un-known humanity of God in Christ’.”
重新塑造基督永恒之humanness的观念（参考第五篇博文），神的形像不再是关于人性原来根据神的样式被造的方式，如今也与人性原有的形式如何永远的存在于‘神的存有（within God’s being）’中。他辩称“神的形像就是基督，因此基督在永恒中就是人性原始的形式。”回到imago Dei，他进一步宣称“humanness是基督的素质，并且。。。基督是神的形像”，并结论说，“这个形像内部包括人性素质的原始形式。或许，”他继续说，“就就能被称作在基督里，无法为人所知的神的人性（Unknown humanity of God in Christ）。”
Orthodox Reformed theologians sometimes speak of Christ as the essential image of God (imago essentialis) in the sense that, as the Son, he is co-essential with the Father. When they do, however, they carefully distinguish this sense of the divine image from the sense in which humans are created in God’s image (imago accidentalis), and deny that humans possess the essential image of God.
正统改革宗神学家有时候论到基督为神素质的形像（imago essentialis），在这个意义上，祂也与父同质。当他们这样说的时候，他们很小心的区分神的形像的意义，并在神的形像（imago accidentalis）中被造的人性，并否认人类永远神素质的形像。
As the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ in some sense makes the invisible God visible. Hence he is “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15) and “the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb 1:3) in a way that surpasses anything that could be said of mere humans. Only the incarnate Son bears the essential image and it cannot be transmitted, lost, or damaged anymore than he could be duplicated or fail to be the second person of the Trinity.
The image of God in mere humans, however, is a natural gift originally given to Adam at creation. From him, it has been passed on to the whole race and, in the fall, was also severely damaged and partly lost. The damage was done to the intrinsic aspect of the divine image, which is how humans are, like God, spiritual beings with intellect, will, and affections. Though damaged, these faculties survive the fall and in this sense humans continue to bear the divine image. The extrinsic aspect of the divine image, which is how Adam and Eve, also like God, were originally righteous, holy, and pure, was lost in the fall.
To confuse the Son’s essential image with the image of God given humanity is to confuse the divine and human natures. Our speaker is aware of the danger:
Here, I do not intend to confuse Christ’s human and divine natures. What I mean is that Christ’s human nature [or humanness], which is the original form by which human nature is created, is within him.
The statements on the image of God above, however, fail to maintain any distinction between the essential image of God in Christ as the divine Son and the divine image given to humanity as a gift. Consequently, they fail to prevent this kind of confusion between the divine and human natures. On the contrary, by tracing the imago Dei in humans back through “the ontological being of Christ” to “God’s being,” this sort of confusion seems unavoidable.
然而，上述对于神形像的描述并没有维持作为神的儿子之神在基督里素质的形像和作为恩典赐给人类的神圣形像间的分别。这就导致，它们无法避免混合神性与人性。相反的，将人类中的imago Dei从“基督本体的存有（the ontological being of Christ）”回朔自“神的存有（God’s being）”，无法避免这种混乱。
 First Recording
 Second Recording. The phrase “Unknown humanity of God in Christ” is originally given in English by the speaker and thus not translated, and for that reason offset here in quotation marks
第二段录音。“在基督里，无法为人所知的神的人性（Unknown humanity of God in Christ）”是讲者使用的英文句子，因此并没有被翻译，因着这缘故，在此做出解释。
 This sense of the imago essentialis should not be confused with, for example, G. C. Berkouwer’s use of that term in Man the Image of God: Studies in Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), pp. 38-41, to refer to the constitutive aspect of the image of God in humanity. Note also that Lutheran theologians draw a similar distinction between the substantial image of God (imago substantialis) uniquely in Christ as the divine Son and the accidental image (imago accidentalis) originally in Adam.
Imago essentialis的意思不应当被误解为，例如，G. C. Berkouwer对于在人中神的形像（in Man the Image of God）这个词的使用方式：Studies in Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), pp. 38-41，被用来意指神的形像在人性中的构成方面。我们要注意，路德会的神学家也在唯有在作为神儿子之基督中才有的，神素质的形像（imago substantialis）与原先出现在亚当里面的那个意外性的形像（accidental image，imago accidentalis）间做出类似的分别
 Second Recording
Fifth Statement: Merely Functional Likeness
Ironically, holding a univocal view of God’s image (see part 8) leads our speaker to insist that Christ’s human nature “is fundamentally different from us who have been created.” This is a startling departure from the Chalcedonian tradition’s confession that the incarnate Son is “consubstantial with us according to the manhood [and] in all things like unto us, without sin” (see part 3)
讽刺的是，我们的讲员因为坚持神形像只具有单一意义的观点（参考第八部分），使得他坚称基督的人性‘从根本上与我们这些被造的人不同（is fundamentally different from us who have been created）’。这是令人吃惊的脱离迦克顿传统的信仰宣告，就是成为肉身的子“根据人性，与我们同质，[并]在各方面与我们一样，除了罪以外”（参考第三部分。）
If there is only one kind of divine image and that image is the eternal Son and is also the essence of humanity then it follows that the eternal Son must be eternally human in some sense–the sense of his eternal humanness. As he puts it,
Jesus Christ possesses God’s image, [while] we were created after God’s image. Therefore, Christ himself is the image, which is the gene of human nature. Well, within Christ is the original form of human nature, or original human nature. This is something that is not created. This is what I mean. So, I believe that Christ’s human nature is uncreated and pre-existent within God.
Since humankind was created in this image, humankind is said to have been created in the image of God, that is, created in Christ’s likeness. Now, since humankind was created in Christ’s likeness, Christ must have pre-existed before the creation of all human beings. The “humanness in Christ” has always pre-existed within Christ. This is what I mean to express.
So, Christ is the original human, we are the copies created in the likeness of his humanness: “we reflect Him, he is the prototype.”
Because his human nature is uncreated and pre-existent we cannot say he is like us in every way except sin–or conversely, that we are just like him. We must instead conclude that his “humanness is not very similar to what is traditionally referred to as humanity or human nature” and that, even as incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, he is only “like unto us in many things.” Even “his body is entirely different from ours.”
Directly addressing the Chalcedonian claim Christ is like us in every way except sin, he asks,
Is he like unto us in all these things? He is a human being, so, just like us, he could grow hungry, thirsty, and physically weary; he would sleep; he experienced many of the things that we experience.
But the many ways he is like us may relate only to a range of bodily functions and corresponding experiences:
His body is entirely different from ours, because our bodies have been created. . . . Jesus Christ’s body was neither created from dust, nor from the union of a man and a woman, . . . so his body is certainly different from ours. Different, yet, he truly became human, and he had to possess all the functions of the kind of bodies that we have, so he would sleep, he would be tired, he would grow hungry, he would be thirsty, etc. The functions of his body were “like unto us in all things.”
Although Jesus is necessarily like us in his bodily functions, embodied experience alone falls short of being consubstantial with the rest of humanity. Functional somatic similarity, if you will, is not enough to secure the kind of identification with humanity the Chalcedonian tradition, not to mention author of Hebrews, maintains is necessary “for our salvation.” As the maxim laid down by Gregory of Nazianzus declares, “that which was not assumed is not healed.”
虽然，耶稣必须在祂身体的功用上与我们一样，仅仅只有身体的经验根本不足以成为与其他的人类同质（consubstantial ）。如果你原因，肉体功用的相似根本不足以保证迦克顿传统中那种与人类的相同，更别说希伯来书的作者坚称“为了我们的救恩”的需要。就如同拿先斯的贵格利所宣称的，“祂所没有取得的就不会被医治。（that which was not assumed is not healed.）”
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 Letter to Cledonius (Ep. 101), p. 5
Sixth Statement: An Uncreated Body
The Belgic Confession insists the eternal Son became fully human and that “the human nature” he assumed did not lose “its properties, but remained a creature, having beginning of days, being a finite nature, and retaining all the properties of a real body” (see part 4) Our brother in Asia, however, denies that the human nature of Jesus is created. We have already observed his peculiar claims regarding the eternal humanness of the Son (see part 5), but he also denies the body of Christ was created.
Suggesting that there are only two biblical accounts of how a human being may be created–either from the dust as Adam and Eve or through sexual intercourse as the rest of the race–he concludes that since neither applies to Jesus we cannot say that his body has been created:
Is it permissible or appropriate for us to apply the word “created” to matters relating to the Son’s body? Personally, I think I am not very willing to use this word, because the Son is the Creator–the Son’s origin has existed from all eternity, eternity past, and what it means for the Son to have “become” flesh upon the incarnation is a mystery
More strongly, he writes that the claim that “the Lord Jesus is not only the Creator but is also created and partakes in that which is created” is “greatly problematic.”
Jesus is [the Creator]. If his body is created, then his whole body is self-created, and he entered into that which he himself created. Then, in the final analysis, is a portion of him a partaker of creation or does a portion of creation partake of him? You have turned him upside down! . . . The Bible never mentions Jesus having a created portion; this is the heresy of Arianism, the heresy of Gnosticism, the heresy of Witness Lee that has come to harm the church.
Within Jesus Christ there is no created portion. He is the Creator, he is worthy to receive worship and eternal praise. . . . Jesus Christ is not created; in the person of Christ, there is no created portion, even within his human nature and flesh, he is still God revealing himself to man by his boundless power within the scope of flesh, and is [thereby] our savior
The Chalcedonian tradition, however, is not in danger of slipping into Arian, Gnostic, or any other error by insisting the human nature of Christ is finite and created.
The mention of Witness Lee, Watchman Nee’s disciple and successor, may be telling. Still living in 1991, when these last comments were first published, our speaker may have been distancing himself from Lee’s teachings. Any allowance one might make for polemical overstatement, however, is undermined by his continued defense of this same position over twenty years later:
Now, was Jesus’ body created or not? I say No. What I mean is that His body is entirely different from ours, because our bodies have been created . . . Jesus Christ’s body was neither created from dust, nor from the union of a man and a woman. His body was not created in either of these two ways, so His body is certainly different from ours
His commitment to this peculiar view–that Christ’s body is uncreated–is entrenched, but perhaps not incorrigibly so.
Importantly, our speaker does not claim Christ’s body is eternal or has a heavenly origin. It is not clear what other options exist, but he does not explicitly advocate the sort of heavenly flesh Christology we encounter in the radical reformer Casper Schwenckfeld, whose view took root among the Melchiorites and Mennonites, or the contemporary theologian Stephen Webb. Yet he takes exception to the very idea that there is any “created portion” within Jesus Christ, the Creator, and this seems to leave no other option but an eternal and in that sense heavenly source of Christ’s body. Rather than affirm as much, however, he prefers to declare the origin of Christ’s body an impenetrable mystery.
重要的是，我们的讲员并没有宣称基督的身体是永远的，或有一种属天的起源。我们并不清楚是否还有别的选项，但是他么并没有刻意提出某种具有属天肉身的基督论，如同我们在极端改革者士闵克非（Casper Schwenckfeld）身上看见的意义，他的观点根植在Melchiorites与门诺派（Mennonites）间，已经近代神学家Stephen Webb。但是他提到了在耶稣基督，创造者里面是否有任何“被造的部分（created portion）”的观念，
In an apparent effort to protect the glory of Christ as the Creator he guts the incarnation of the greater glory of God’s gracious condescension to sinners in Jesus Christ. The incarnation is an offense to humanity’s fallen and constantly overreaching reason, Kierkegaard observed. Every Christological heresy can be understood as an attempt to dodge this offense–the apparent absurdity of the incarnation to finite reason. Offended by the creatureliness of the eternal Son incarnate, our speaker may be in real danger of denying the reality of the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim 2:5-6).
 First Recording.
 This is translated from Q&A XIII of his 1991 booklet on Christology, published in Chinese by his ministry organization.
 Booklet, Q&AXIII, 1991. Arianism broadly refers to a family of Christologies that view the Son as a created being, denying he is consubstantial with the Father (and also with humanity, ordinarily). Gnostic Christologies are often docetic–one way or another God only seemed to be human. Here, however, the speaker almost certainly has in mind the common gnostic belief that creation is the work of a lesser being–a demiurge–which may or may not be associated with the Son. As for Witness Lee, the allusion is more difficult to identify, but a summary of his unusual view of the incarnation is given in his booklet, All-Inclusive Spirit of Christ (Los Angeles: Living Stream Ministry,1969):
1991基督论小册，问答XIII。亚流主义普遍被用来指一个种类的基督论，视子为一个被造之物，否定祂与父同质（包括常人）。诺斯底基督论往往是幻影说—不管怎样，神仅仅看起来是人。在此，讲员肯定想的是诺斯底普遍所相信的，就是被造之物是一种较为低等的作品—a demiurge—可能会，也可能不会被当做子。对于李常受，我们较难分辨他暗示的，但是真道他的小册子，基督保罗万有的灵 (Los Angeles: Living Stream Ministry,1969)中关于道成肉身观点的总结：
Take a cup of plain water and mix it with tea. Now the water is more than just water. Originally, it was water, but now it is water mingled with tea. Before Christ was incarnated, He was God alone, but after His incarnation He is God mingled with man. In Him is not only the divine nature but also the human nature, the human essence, the human element. He is God, He is the Father, He is the Son, He is the Spirit, and He is man. He is so rich!
Note both the mingling metaphor and incarnation of both Father and Spirit with the Son in Jesus Christ. Whether these are Lee’s actual views or just imprecise and confusing ways of expressing himself is debated.
 Booklet, Q&A XIII, 1991.
 Third Recording, in which he also says “I have examined the Christology that I have taught, namely, the printed book Christology that I mentioned, as well as my recently published book, The Eternal Christ and Jesus of History. As I carefully examined them, I believe that my basic view remains unchanged.”
 Schwenkfeld eventually published his views in the Great Confession of the Glory of Christ (1541). Webb’s work, Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter (Oxford, 2012), is intended to be a theological bridge between Christianity and Mormonism, but to my knowledge has not been used by any supporters by orthodox believers on either bank of that divide.
Schwenkfeld 最终在对基督荣耀的伟大认信（the Great Confession of the Glory of Christ）(1541)中出版了他的观点。Webb的作品，耶稣基督，永远的神：属天的肉身和物质的形而上学（Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter）（Oxford, 2012），尝试建构一座在基督教与摩门主义间的神学桥梁，但是就我所知道的，正统信徒从未引用过他，分割线那边的人也一样。
Seventh Statement: The “Unknown Humanity of God in Christ”
“Until recent times,” Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen observes, “the idea of the pre-existence of the human nature [of Christ] was not only not affirmed but at times considered to be dangerous or even heretical.” This did not prevent the ever-provocative Karl Barth from contriving such a Christology, however. First hinted at in his Church Dogmatics, he later argued before the Swiss Reformed Ministers’ Association that the humanity of God in Christ must have a central place in evangelical theology. Admitting that he and his cobelligerents had “moved [this perspective on God] from the center to the periphery, from the emphasized principle clause to the less emphasized subordinate clause” in their polemic against theological liberalism, he now considered its recovery an urgent task. Since then a number of other theologians have played suit. Among them are Wilhelm Vischer, Donald Bloesch, Robert Jenson, Thomas Senor, and the already noted Webb. Apparently, our brother in Asia should be added to this list.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen观察到，“直到近期，[基督]人性先存的观念不仅仅被否定，也被认为是危险的，甚至异端性的。”这并无法阻止极具挑衅性的巴特发明那样的基督论。他首先在他的教会教义（Church Dogmatics）中暗示这个观念，随后又在瑞士改革宗教牧协会（the Swiss Reformed Ministers’ Association）前辩称神在基督里的人性必须在福音派神学中占有中央的地位。他承认在他们与神学上的自由主义争辩的时候，他与他的交战国都“将[这种神观]从中央移到外围，从主要强调的条款辩称较为不强调的次要条款”，他如今认为恢复原有的观点乃是重中之重。从那个时候开始，有许多其他的神学家都在玩弄这个把戏。包括Wilhelm Vischer, Donald Bloesch, Robert Jenson, Thomas Senor，以及已经提过的Webb。看起来，我们在亚洲的弟兄也应当被加到这个清单中。
Although he does not cite any sources for his statements (other than a few dubiously translated or interpreted places in Scripture), his language sometimes seems lifted right out of Barth’s several discussions, including his claim that the eternal humanness of Christ is the uncreated “prototype” of humanity and “could be called the ‘Un-known humanity of God in Christ’.” Here, for example, is Barth’s discussing the creation of humans:
There is a real pre-existence of man… namely, a pre-existence in the counsel of God, and to that extent, in God Himself, i.e., in the Son of God, in so far as the Son is the uncreated prototype of the humanity which is to be linked with God… As God Himself is mirrored in this image, He creates man 
On the humanity of God, Barth declares “it is precisely God’s deity which, rightly understood, includes his humanity” and that “His deity encloses humanity in itself.” Humanity, he argues, is hidden within the divine being but revealed through Jesus Christ: “In Him the fact is once for all established that God does not exist without man.” Again, “in the mirror of this humanity of Jesus Christ the humanity of God enclosed in His deity reveals itself.” 
Barth understands that “the statement regarding God’s humanity, the Immanuel, to which we have advanced… from the Christological center, cannot but have the most far-reaching consequences.” But the consequences are determined by the details of the particular view one advances. Despite the similarity of language, Barth and our brother in Asia arrive at their respective views on the pre-existence of Christ’s humanity from distinct starting points and, in the end, hold distinct positions–the latter’s even more exotic than the former’s.
This is not the place to enter into a comparative study of Barth’s view of Christ’s pre-existent humanity and the variety of this species taking root in China today. But, as Barth correctly notes, any statement regarding the humanity of God in Christ will have profound consequences, some of which, as Kärkkäinen observes, have long been considered dangerous to the understanding of Scripture captured in the Chalcedonian definition set down in 451.
 Kärkkäinen, Christ and Reconciliation: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), pp. 184-85.
Kärkkäinen，基督与和好：一个对对多元化世界具有建设性的基督教神(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), pp. 184-85
 His 1956 address to the Swiss Reformed Ministers’ Association was entitled “The Humanity of God” and subsequently translated into English and published in Karl Barth, The Humanity of God (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1960), pp. 37-65. See also Barth’s Christocentric discussion of election in Church Dogmatics II/2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1957), pp. 95-194 (especially p. 145), and of the creation of “real man” in Church Dogmatics III/2 (1960), p. 155.
他在1956年对瑞士改革宗教牧协会（the Swiss Reformed Ministers’ Association）的演讲题目是“神的人性”，随后被翻译为英文，并在巴特的神的人性中被出版(Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1960), pp. 37-65。参考巴特对于以基督为中心的讨论，教会教义 II/2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1957), pp. 95-194(特别是 p. 145)，已经在教会教义III/2 中关于“真正之人（real man）的创造，(1960), p. 155。
 See, for example, Wilhelm Vischer, The Witness of the Old Testament to Christ, trans. A. B. Crabtree (London: Lutterworth, 1949); Donald G. Bloesch, Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1997), pp. 132-43; Robert W. Jenson, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), especially pp. 125-45; and Thomas D. Senor, “Incarnation and Trinity” in Reason for the Hope Within, ed. by Michael Murray (Grad Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), pp. 238-59, especially 241-52. Bloesch also names Klaas Runia and Ray Anderson as proponents, p. 137. Like Matt Slick, President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, who states “Jesus is uncreated” several times in his article on “Jesus” available at https://carm.org/cut-jesus, it is difficult to know Runia and Anderson intended to assert the uncreated humanity of Christ or were just speaking loosely about his pre-existence as the Son. After Barth, Jenson’s views have attracted the most attention, including sharp critiques by Simon Gathercole, “Pre-existence and the Freedom of the Son in Creation and Redemption: An Exposition in Dialogue with Robert Jenson,” International Journal of Systematic Theology, 7.1 (January 2005), pp. 38-51, and Oliver D. Crisp, “Robert Jensen on the Pre-existence of Christ,” Modern Theology 23:1 (January 2007), pp. 27-45, the latter concluding Jenson’s view is “simply incoherent,” p. 42.
参考，例如，Wilhelm Vischer, 旧约对基督的见证（The Witness of the Old Testament to Christ），A. B. Crabtree译 (London: Lutterworth, 1949)；Donald G. Bloesch, 耶稣基督：救主与主（Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord） (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1997), pp. 132-43；Robert W. Jenson, 系统神学卷一（Systematic Theology, vol. 1） (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 特别是pp. 125-45;并Thomas D. Senor, “道成肉身与三位一体（Incarnation and Trinity）”，希望的缘由（Reason for the Hope Within）, Michael Murray编辑 (Grad Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), pp. 238-59,特别是241-52。Bloesch也点名Klaas Runia和Ray Anderson为先行者, p. 137。就像Matt Slick，基督教护教并研究职事总裁与创立人，他在一篇名为“耶稣”（https://carm.org/cut-jesus）的文章中多次提到“耶稣是非受造的”，很难知道Runia和Anderson是否想要坚称基督非受造的人性，亦或是以不严格的方式论到祂作为子的先存。Jenson跟随巴特的观点，而变得非常引人注目，包括Simon Gathercole对他的尖锐批判, “子在创造并救赎中的先存与自由：阐述与Robert Jenson的对话（Pre-existence and the Freedom of the Son in Creation and Redemption: An Exposition in Dialogue with Robert Jenson）,” International Journal of Systematic Theology, 7.1 (January 2005), pp.38-51, and Oliver D. Crisp, “Robert Jenson论基督的先存（Robert Jensen on the Pre-existence of Christ）,” Modern Theology 23:1 (January 2007), pp. 27-45,后者结论到Jenson的观点“仅仅是语无伦次”，p. 42.
 Second Recording.
 Church Dogmatics III/2, p. 155.
 Barth, Humanity of God, pp. 46, 49, 50, and 51, respectively (emphasis original). It is worth noting that the Barth’s language regarding the humanity of God has spread far beyond just those who affirm Christ’s humanity is pre-existent. Take, for example, the title to James Torrance’s festschrift, Christ in our Place: The Humanity of God in Christ for the Reconciliation of the World: Essays presented to James Torrance (Eugene: Pickwick, 1989) or the language of Jürgen Moltmann in many passages of The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993).
巴特，神的人性, pp. 46, 49, 50, and 5。我们要注意巴特关于神人性的语言已经超越了肯定基督的人性为先存。例如，James Torrance的纪念文集，在我们立场的基督：神在基督里为了与世界和好的人性：献给James Torrance的论文（ Christ in our Place: The Humanity of God in Christ for the Reconciliation of the World: Essays presented to James Torrance）(Eugene: Pickwick, 1989)，或莫特曼许多在被钉死的神：基督的十字架作为基督教神学的基础与批判（The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology）(Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993)中许多段落的用语。
 Barth, Humanity of God, p. 52.
There may be ways to construe the supposed pre-existent humanity of Christ without transgressing Chalcedonian orthodoxy–Klaas Runia certainly thought Barth achieved this. For this reason, among others, Reformed theologians have generally treated this view as objectionable but not, by itself, heretical. Even though some of the statements reviewed in this essay are difficult to square with Chalcedon and obviously incompatible with the Reformed standards cited above, my concern here is not assessing this man’s views but addressing the Christological confusion his statements are causing within Reformed circles on the mainland of China (and beyond).
Perhaps these statements do not accurately represent his views. They are imprecisely stated, somewhat speculative, and not clearly argued from Scripture. There are also layers of language involved here and at least two years has passed since these recordings were made–enough time for him to have already changed his mind.
Whatever the case may be, these statements are circulating throughout mainland China, influencing believers who are just discovering the Reformed tradition, and causing enough Christological confusion to warrant our concern. Anyone who develops their Christological views around these “two claims, . . . first, that Christ’s human nature and Christ’s body are uncreated; and, second, that Christ’s human nature has existed from all eternity,” seems certain to stray from the Chalcedonian Christology the orthodox Reformed standards consistently maintain. Jesus Christ is not a bodily manifestation of an eternal humanness hidden within God; God-incarnate is not just similar to us with respect to a range of bodily functions but consubstantial with us–just like us in every way except sin; and there is no such thing as an uncreated physical body.
Though the divine and eternal Son assuming a fully human nature, body and soul, created and finite just like ours, is a scandal, it is the glorious scandal of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ, necessary for us and our salvation.
 Klaas Runia, The Present-Day Christological Debate (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1984), pp. 16-21.
 An interesting example of this is Hodge, Systematic Theology, pp. 421-28, who treats the views of Swendenborg and Watts on this point as merely objectionable and describes the latter as undoubtedly “a devout worshiper of our Lord Jesus Christ,” p. 423.
一个有意思的例子是Hodge的系统神学, pp. 421-28，他在这个题目上仅仅将Swendenborg和Watts视为当被反对，并将毫不犹豫的后者描述为“委身于我们主耶稣基督的敬拜者（a devout worshiper of our Lord Jesus Christ）”，-See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/02/christological-confusion-china-11.php#sthash.kXtj0ga3.dpuf