Sunday, March 07, 2010

John Hick and the Incarnation

In his book The Metaphor of God Incarnate (p. 69-71), John Hick quotes Frank Weston (1871-1924), a Trinitarian bishop who served in Africa. Weston asks: "How can the Logos as self-limited be the subject of the passion, the agony, the desolation and death upon the cross, and yet at the same moment be the living and life-giving Son of God?"

Weston's own answer is: "No one has answered the question, no one can answer it."

Why did Weston continue to affirm the Incarnation in light of his own admission? He writes that those who believe in the Incarnation of Christ "wisely refuse to limit the divine power by the measure of what is possible to man. And with them we may well pause; fortifying our faith by the contemplation of the Father's love and omnipotence, in the face of the supreme mystery of redemption."

In other words, Weston appeals to divine mystery rather than try to understand the Incarnation in the light of unaided or natural reason. Admittedly, he does try to set forth analogies that may show the plausibility of the divine mystery; nevertheless, Weston faithfully adhered to his view that the Incarnation is a divine mystery. Hick points out that Weston is not alone in this regard.

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