Archive for January, 2010

Incarnation and Immortality

January 22, 2010

The problem of the necessity of the Incarnation is something I touched on before here. After thinking about it for awhile, I realized that there were weaknesses in my first account of why God needed to be incarnate to save us from death. It doesn’t analyze or answer the question “why does the source of life have to be intrinsic to human nature in order for us to be incapable of dying? why can’t God just will us to be incapable of dying without becoming incarnate?” This naturally has a lot more to do with my own misunderstanding than with St. Athanasius, who gave the answer to this question (though I didn’t understand it at first).[1]

In this post I offer a revised account of the Incarnation’s saving effects.  To understand this, we must first understand what the Incarnation changed, which requires making a lot of distinctions.  The incarnation did not change the fact that we partake of God’s energies as something intrinsic to human nature.  After all, we have the image of God, which is the logos of human nature.  Instead, the change is in the mode of participation–the way in which humanity partakes of the divine energies. Two initial distinctions are necessary. (more…)