An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


The teaching that Jesus was born an “ordinary man” who lived an exemplary life pleasing to God and was consequently “adopted” by God as the divine Son. The moment of adoption was usually considered to be his baptism. Jesus' resurrection was also considered by some the moment of his adoption. Adoptionism relaxes the paradoxical divine-human relationship in Jesus in the interest of emphasizing his independent humanity. The church has regularly found this teaching one-sided and heretical in its failure to give full expression to Jesus' divine nature. Anglican theology has characteristically avoided it. See Chalcedon, Council of.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.