Sunday, July 27, 2008

Owen Thomas on the Incarnation

Note what systematic theologian Owen Thomas writes regarding the Incarnation or hypostatic union. The following is taken from his _Introduction to Theology_ (page 150):

"H.W. Montefiore has indicated an even more
fundamental problem in the Chalcedonian definition.
The formula asserts of Christ, 'the same perfect in
Godhead and the same perfect in manhood, truly God and
truly man . . .' The implication is that apart from
Christ we know what perfect godhead [sic] and perfect
humanity are, and that on the basis of the New
Testament testimony we are affirming that Jesus
possessed both. But in fact the Christian faith is
that it is precisely in Christ and nowhere else that
we see what perfect godhead and perfect humanity are.
Now Middle Platonist philosophy involved a doctrine of
God as impassible, completely transcendent and
immutable. Thus on these terms it is extremely
difficult to understand how God and humanity could be
united in one person. But the fundamental thing we
know from Christ is that God can be perfectly united
with humanity. This is where we begin in speaking
about God and humanity. The problem is not how a union
of God and humanity in one person is possible, but
given the union manifest in Christ what perfect
godhead and humanity are."

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