As we have been using the Definition of Chalcedon for our creed during Advent, we have been considering different ways the Definition is foundational for understanding our Christian faith. The Definition of Chalcedon focuses on the person of Christ, being both God and man, united in one person, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation. The divine nature and the human nature are not blended together into a soup, but rather the distinction between the two natures is preserved in the one person, Jesus Christ.
Part of what is at stake in this definition is the nature of knowledge. If humanism is the attempt to deify human nature, mysticism is the attempt of man to at least bridge the human-divine chasm by knowledge. But part of the claim of Chalcedon is that the chasm between Creator and creature is completely unbridgeable by man. Fallen man cannot think his way to God. Fallen man cannot reason his way to God, any more than the builders of Babel had a chance of actually reaching heaven. So how can anyone know God? God must bridge the gap. God must cross the chasm. No man can find God, but God can and does find man.
Knowledge really is power. God’s omniscience goes together with His omnipotence. He knows all things, and He is all powerful. And therefore, men have always sought out forms of mystical knowledge, trying to trick the world into delivering blessing apart from God. We might call it wizardry or witchcraft or divination or science or technology or theology or liturgy or medicine or nutrition, but all attempts to live in this world apart from God while enjoying the gifts of God are attempts at mysticism.
Mysticism assumes that there is some secret knowledge, some hidden access to power somewhere apart from Christ that is the key to success. But what Chalcedon insists is that God has revealed Himself fully in the person of Jesus Christ and in His word in the Bible. There is no other secret source of knowledge. There is no other more direct access to the power of God. In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. His word is more precious than silver or gold or rubies, and nothing you could desire can be compared with it. The message of the cross is the wisdom and power of God.