“The Crypto-Kenotic Controversy, 1619-1627” (Loc. 6772)
In the early 17th century a question of “how Christ executed His royal office in the state of humiliation” was arising (Loc. 6776). The two sides were roughly aligned with the faculty at Tuebingen and Giessen. The Tuebingen faculty, led by Theodor Thummius, articulated a crypticist position, saying that Jesus retained his omnipotence but hid it so it was not perceptible. Pieper points out, “The language of Tuebingen, which puts Christ at the right hand of God in the state of exinanition, was not Scriptural. It confused their thinking and even more so that of others” (Loc. 6789). On the other side of the debate, the Giessen faculty refused Christ’s omnipresence and tended to remove his human nature from ruling the world. “Since the humanity was received into the Person of the Son of God, it is eo ipso at every place where t he Son of God is” (Loc. 6798). To make this separation divides the Son of God into two persons. Jesus showed himself all-powerful in his human nature at various points. “Chemnitz rightly teaches that everything given to Christ through the will of God or through his exaltation does not come ‘from elsewhere and outside,’ . . . but only through the unio personalis” (Loc. 6818). Pieper concludes that on both sides of the controversy there were errors. “-Kenotic Controversy should never have taken place. It occurred only because both parties temporarily forgot the Lutheran principle so earnestly inculcated by the Formula of Concord (Trigl. 1033, Sol. Decl. VIII, 52-53) that we must not go beyond the ‘clear, certain testimonies in the Scriptures’” (Loc. 6830). Pieper further thinks both sides of the dispute finally contradicted what they believed to be true (Loc. 6838). This controversy did, however, bring criticism upon the Lutherans from both Reformed and Roman camps (Loc. 6843).