Thursday, November 18, 2010

David Chrytraeus on the Rationale for the Incarnation

From David Chrytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith, trans. Richard Dinda (Malone, Tx: Repristination Press, 2000), 37-8.  

Echoing Luther's theologic, (and also Athanasius and Anselm's), Chrytraeus writes: 

"Why was it necessary that there be a unity between the two natures, divine and human, in Christ our Mediator? . . . First, it was necessary that He be a man because man had sinned and the course of justice would demand that he pay the penalty.  He had to be a man to be able to suffer and die on behalf of man.  Again that was necessary in order for Him to show His love for people to people with the assumption of human nature, and to glorify that love for people (which the devil had terribly torn apart and crushed) by His being taken up and placed at the right hand of God the Father.  Second, he had to be God to provide a ransom or payment for sins and to be a merit sufficient for new righteousness and life.  He had to be God to be able to sustain the burden of the wrath of God and its punishments, to overcome death and the devil, and to restore righteousness and life.  Again, He had to be God in order to enter into the Holy of Holies, to look into the heart of the Father, to be present to the hearts of those who call upon Him and everywhere in the Church, to listen to those who call upon Him and defend and preserve them, and to give the wisdom of God and His Holy Spirit to those who ask for such gifts.  Because at the first creation the Logos, the Son of God, had given to people the life and light which was the image of God; it was fitting for divine wisdom that the image of God which had been corrupted be restored in us with the same Word with which it had been created."


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  2. Suppose we consider the idea "Christ our Mediator" a mere symbolic entity and not a final grandiose absolute truth in itself. I can truly perceive we are symbolic animals but I cannot assume from the outset a supernatural world the way your Rationale does. As you said, this is a "Rationale for Incarnation", being a product of human mind and not a God decree. So, it is barely a theology even though the beauty of it! For the majority of Christianity this Rationale implicates that Mary had not ever had a physical conjunction with Joseph in order to give Jesus to light: Jesus had to partake both natures: human and divine. There is an Existential Principle of Relativity which guaranties that "There is no preferred Existential". So I have to decide if like the Hindus I believe "Self is Bramam" or go by the ways of self-denying Buddha. So, there is no intrinsic difference between myself and Jesus if not a symbolic one!! The Christian Rationale allows for a weird view of facts - being from there, supernatural facts - a theological view can then be made true. Also the accounts of Jesus´s resurrection add some more supernatural content in order to provide a consistent Christian theology: there one finds an empty tomb!! I wish to know at this point whether or not Jesus, prophets and theologians partake with me what Freud called the Unconscious? If the Existential Principle of Relativity can be made kind of an axiom, then they do partake an unconscious mind with me, and the Resurrected Body of Christ is clearly a theological misunderstanding!!