After reading the Alexandrian clerics, I discovered the Greek word that transformed my thinking and my life: Miaphysite (which I have coined, The Jesus Paradox). Miaphysite means “one united dynamic nature” in Greek. This word Miaphysite embodies the holistic healing power of the Alexandrian Mystics. Its God-given power cures Christianity’s ills. This word can tear down walls and build awesome bridges.
When I came upon the word Miaphysite for the first time doors opened in my mind and heart, and light streamed in. The word reverberated in my soul for weeks following that first encounter. The word’s encyclopedic definition wasn’t revealing. But on some level, I knew the word was packed with God-given power. Its magnetic force unpacked Jesus’ mystic essence. In the wake of 9/11 this powerful word’s time has come.
The Alexandrian Mystics knew the word by heart. The word forms Oriental Orthodoxy’s core. Oriental orthodoxy is vital, yet virtually unknown to the West. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church takes its name from Miaphysite. Tewahedo means “one united dynamic nature” in Ge’ez, the liturgical language of Ethiopia. Miaphysite means precisely the same thing in Greek.
Because of the Miaphysite teachings of the Alexandrian Mystics I remain Christian today. Miaphysite, which I’ve coined “The Jesus Paradox,” restores my faith in the living Christ. In the aftermath of 9/11, this word cradled me in the night. In the face of religious extremism this word, properly understood, is the key to balance, integrity, and poise.
In essence what the word means is that we cannot refer to Jesus as God without qualifying that: God in human form. Also, if we are believers, we cannot refer to Jesus as human without qualifying that: the human incarnation of God (this is the unique testament of Christianity among the world religions). The two (Divinity and humanity) are always in creative tension. They form an indivisible dynamic unity, which is the core Mystery of Christian faith.
The Jesus Paradox (Miaphysite) is the non-dual essence of Christian tradition–Christianity’s Mystic Core. It restores wholeness and heals the divide. Instead of picking a side in the tug-of-war between Jesus’ Divinity and humanity, beholding the Jesus Paradox means letting go of one side or the rope or the other and beholding the tension in the middle of the rope! The Jesus Paradox rejects the binary either/or conundrum and sees Jesus as a moving target (a moving rope)!