Monday, January 14, 2008

Ongoing Incarnation

Would Christmas have come even if we had not sinned?
Philip Yancey posted 1/10/2008 08:52AM

More than two centuries before the Reformation, a theological debate broke out that pitted theologian Thomas Aquinas against an upstart from Britain, John Duns Scotus. In essence, the debate circled around the question, "Would Christmas have occurred if humanity had not sinned?"

Whereas Aquinas viewed the Incarnation as God's remedy for a fallen planet, his contemporary saw much more at stake. For Duns Scotus, the Word becoming flesh as described in the prologue to John's Gospel must surely represent the Creator's primary design, not some kind of afterthought or Plan B. Aquinas pointed to passages emphasizing the Cross as God's redemptive response to a broken relationship. Duns Scotus cited passages from Ephesians and Colossians on the cosmic Christ, in whom all things have their origin, hold together, and move toward consummation.

Did Jesus visit this planet as an accommodation to human failure or as the center point of all creation? Duns Scotus and his school suggested that Incarnation was the underlying motive for Creation, not merely a correction to it. Perhaps God spun off this vast universe for the singular purpose of sharing life and love, intending all along to join its very substance. "Eternity is in love with the inventions of time," wrote the poet William Blake.

read complete article here

There may be more to Teihard de Chaidin's theology of the Cosmic Christ and the Omega Point.


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Blogger Tia Lynn said...

very interesting debate. I'm not sure where I fall on this one. I know Jesus is eternal, therefore existed before "christmas," I just wonder if we would know him in a different capacity...

2:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

hi tia lynn,

welcome. Could it be conceivable that if we have not sinnned, we will know Jesus as builder and perfector of our faith rather than now as saviour?

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but then again, one could say that sin and fallenness and 'cosmic warfare' existed before Eve ate the durian (smile)...i mean, the serpent was already around, wasn't it/he?

and if we understand God's missional purpose as overcoming evil, and the Incarnation as the central act, then it would seem that EVEN IF A&E had not sinned, Jesus would still've come...because the Devil needs to be thrashed...but yeah it's not a straight-fwd issue

7:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

hi alwyn,

Yes, I agree with you that is is not a straight forward issue. As you have rightly pointed out, sin is already there outside the world. Adam and Eve brought it into our world.

Somehow I am not too comfortable with the idea that God's mission and Jesus' coming is a sort of plan B because Adam and Eve sinned.

Would the concept be acceptable that God want to create a perfect creation, one in which He can dwell in?

6:14 PM  

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