Boyd steps off the edge — Part 2

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We need one more post to respond a bit to Greg Boyd’s kenoticism, and we’ll assume our readers are somewhat familiar with the term (from Phil. 2.6-8) and the debates surrounding the idea that the Son “being in the form of God…emptied himself, taking the form of a servant…became obedient to the point of death on a cross.” Kenotic Christologies, as they are called, variously understand the “emptying” Paul speaks of as a reference to the Son’s emptying himself of the possession or exercise of certain divine attributes for the sake of incarnation. The debate has a long and involved history and we couldn’t possibly canvas them here.

It’s our view that kenotic Christologies are unorthodox because they all involve a denial of the confession of the Council of Chalcedonian (451 CE), that is, they all deny that throughout his earthly career the divine person of the Son remained his Father’s Logos, sustaining the universe personally and in fellowship with the Father as ever he was prior to his incarnation—all of this in addition to taking a human nature to himself. We’re not sure what understanding of “orthodox” Greg is working with, but it’s no secret that Greg’s understanding isn’t orthodox in any historical or creedal sense.

Greg believes the person of the Son was reduced without remainder to the constraints of his human nature throughout his earthly career. Thus, when Christ was on earth (from conception onward) there was no divine person of the Son to speak of outside the constraints of Jesus’ embodied existence and subjective experience, for the Son “emptied” himself of all attributes incompatible with such human being. This view is part of Greg’s larger assertion that the Father and the Son suffer the cessation of their mutual enjoyment of each other on the Cross. Kenosis, for Greg, is just equivalent to incarnation. It’s how the divine Son becomes the human Jesus. Kenotic Christologies assert an incarnation by subtraction. Orthodoxy on the other hand affirms incarnation by addition.

What makes Jesus divine then? Only one thing in Greg’s view: Jesus loved unconditionally and unfailingly. “God is love,” so love is all Jesus needed to be divine. That’s it. It’s a very popular position to be sure. We suspect it’s the reigning Evangelical view, and many well-known Evangelical thinkers hold to it.

We thought we’d express what our issues are with the idea that the incarnation involved a reduction without remainder of the divine person of the Son to the constraints of the human nature of Jesus. We agree that we’re dealing with deep mysteries here. After we lay out our thoughts we hope to follow up with a Part 3 in which we’ll describe why this debate is not an insignificant relic of speculative philosophy.

(1) As we just mentioned, kenoticism at least affirms that the presence, knowledge and capacities which the uncreated Son naturally possesses as divine become limited to the context of his human nature. Many kenoticists concede that the Son still possesses these attributes (all-present, all-knowing, etc.) but forgoes the exercise of them during his earthly career. But either way, it remains the case that immediately after the conception of Jesus in Mary by the Spirit, the presence, power, and knowledge of the uncreated Son were reduced without remainder to the human limitations of Jesus’s human context and subjective experience. There simply is no divine Son to speak of outside of, or transcendent of, Jesus.

(2) It would follow, then, that immediately post-incarnation, the only location, power, and knowledge constitutive of the uncreated Son would be that of a human zygote in Mary’s womb. The uncreated Son would not exercise any power of self-referential rationality or volition not inherently and naturally available to that human zygote. Think about the consequences of this for the Trinity. Given Orthodoxy (and TP), the Father’s own personal existence is defined by his own self-relation, and the Father’s Logos (the Son) constitutes the content of that self-relation. Were the Father and the Son to suffer the cessation of this relation, the Father would cease to be a self-perceiving subject. That’s what Greg is content to let go of now.

(3) There is no way a human zygote has the capacities for continuing the uncreated, conscious, interpersonal love exchange/communication with God the Father in the Holy Spirit that had eternally been his experience prior to the incarnation. Even if one wanted to say that a developed baby can give and receive love to some measure, it’s impossible to see how Jesus as a zygot in Mary’s womb could consciously reciprocate God the Father’s communicated nature and love in the Holy Spirit definitive of God essentially. What do we do? Greg is now suggesting that we no longer understand such conscious reciprocation to be necessary to God.

(4) Given the above, not only is Greg now advocating that on the Cross the experience of loving relation between Father and Son ceased, his kenoticism also commits him to saying that their relationship was equally not experienced in Mary’s womb, indeed from the conception of Jesus until such a time as the personal identity of the divine Son re-emerges in the mature Jesus. However long this may be, this still posits a time period where there are effectively only two divine persons who commune with one another, the Father and the Spirit.

(5) We have reason to believe that Greg will concede 1-4 above and simply apply his thinking from the Cross here. He will doubtless propose his distinction between God’s essential experience of mutual love (on the one hand) from God’s essential existence (on the other) as mutual love, such that even though the experience is contingent (because it fails on occasion to obtain), God mysteriously exists as triune.

(Picture from here.)

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21 comments on “Boyd steps off the edge — Part 2

  1. T. C. says:

    This quote seems to negate your concern:

    “If God’s eternal essence is the perfect love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as I believe, then any suggestion that this perfect love was severed, even for a moment, would, by definition, entail that God ceased to exist. Such a conclusion is, to my way of thinking, a logical impossibility.”

    http://reknew.org/2013/05/does-jesus-abandonment-on-the-cross-destroy-the-trinity/

    It appears Greg is working with more nuance than you are giving him credit for.

    Like

    • tgbelt says:

      TC: It appears Greg is working with more nuance than you are giving him credit for.

      Tom: Greg does nuance things, TC. You’re right. But we gave him credit for it. In fact, it was what our two responses were all about. Greg’s nuance is the distinction he makes between God’s *experience* and God’s *existence*, between the perichoretic experience of the persons to/with/for each other (on the one hand) and God’s “loving unity of the persons” (on the other). Greg says the latter is necessary and the former is contingent. Are people really hearing this and thinking through what it means to say there what defines God MOST essentially/necessarily is something UNEXPERIENCED (or not-experience)? And does this nuancing actually work? That’s the question. Greg posits it but doesn’t unpack it. We’re talking about a Being who is unembodied mind/spirit. What would constitute an “unexperienced divine reality” at all? But more crucially, what would constitute an unexperienced reality as this One’s essential unity?

      Greg’s analogy for this nuance is the loving husband and wife who plan and temporary cessation of their enjoyment of mutual love to win their son back. But this analogy is (given its context) polytheistic at heart. Greg would need to work off stuff he’s already said in TP. For example, to be a truer reflection of the case with God, we’d need to think of a Father who loved us so much he divorced himself from his own subjectivity, that is, voided his own subjectivity of all self-defining content (for the Logos IS the Father’s own personal image). Is that imaginable in the case of God?

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  2. yieldedone says:

    This may help. In the follow quote, an objection to kenoticism is proposed and rejoined. All emphasis Greg’s.

    “1. This view undermines the divinity of Jesus.

    The most frequent objection raised against kenotic Christology is that it undermines Jesus’ divine nature. While this objection applies to the view of certain liberal kenotic theologians who argued that Jesus actually *extinguished” his divine attributes, it does not apply to the evangelical kenotic theory, which simply asserts that Jesus willingly gave up the *use* of those attributes that would have conflicted with his human nature.”

    Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy
    Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology
    Chapter 6: The Christology Debate
    Subsection: Christ Relinquished His Divine Prerogatives (The Kenotic View)
    Pages 121-122

    ——————-

    This is where Tom and I think many evangelical kenoticists get it mixed up. They assume that the major issue of preserving Jesus’ divinity is in his retaining his omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence in principle. They believe that if the Uncreated Son continually possesses his divine attributes–just doesn’t USE them to their full extent–that everything’s peachy keen. The unfortunate thing is that it seemed that nobody really thought about what this would mean for the Son **at the point of the Immaculate Conception!** All the kenoticists Tom and I have spoken to seemed to only focus on Jesus as adult or child, but NOT as an embryo in Mary’s womb. Talk about a glaring oversight! 😉

    Given everything Tom and I have articulated in this blogpost, it seems impossible to see how the uncreated/divine personhood of the Son is continuous between pre-incarnation and the moment immediately following the Immaculate Conception. At that point, the only divine Persons in perichoretic loving relation are the Father and the Spirit–while the Son, as a participant in the divine dance of the Trinity, is effectively **non-existent**. Saying such implies that triune perichoretic experience is contingent for God, not necessary.

    This is, we believe, a nail in the coffin for evangelical kenotic theory.

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  3. Matt Parkins says:

    I thought Kenosis was about Jesus emptying himself of his reputation, recognisability, and any obvious sign of divine glory (except at the transfiguration, naturally), in order that he might be freely rejected and crucified (I mean, who would knowingly crucify God?)

    Like

    • tgbelt says:

      Hi Matt. There is a ‘kenoticism’ that admits with respect to his human nature and experience, the Son foregoes the experience of his glory and the exercise of other attributes. But with respect to his divine nature and experience he remains perichoretically present to the Father and Spirit. That’s what the “One person two natures” expresses. This isn’t what Greg understands by kenosis.

      Like

      • CarolJean says:

        Isn’t the kenoticism you speak of contradictory in that one divine person could experience two natures simultaneously and “know and not know (the time of his second coming)” at the same time or “will and not will (to go to the cross)” at the same time? And that is why Boyd rejects it?

        Like

    • CarolJean, if the Son were a “being” within the cosmos, then it probably would be contradictory to say that he could be simultaneously be the subject of a divine and human consciousness: wouldn’t the divine push aside the human–or vice versa? But God is not a being within the cosmos; he transcends the cosmos. Even ascribing consciousness to him is problematic, because divine consciousness is infinitely different from any form of creaturely consciousness. He does not experience the world as we do; he experiences it as the creative act that sustains the world in being. We ascribe consciousness to God qua God because the denial of consciousness would create even more problems for us; but there is a problem here. We really do not know what we are talking about. It is precisely because God is radically transcendent to the world–and thus radically different from the world–that permits him to appropriate human nature, including human mind and consciousness, and make it a mode of his divine existence.

      I believe that all forms of kenotic christology are ultimately grounded in an inadequate understanding of divine transcendence and thus in an inadequate understanding of what it means for God to be Creator. So while I have not read Boyd’s writings, and am thus relying completely on Tom’s presentation, I have to presume that he has seriously departed from the credal Christian understanding of the Holy Trinity.

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  4. Jason says:

    You keep using the phrase “Immaculate Conception” regarding the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb; but isn’t “Immaculate Conception” regarded by Roman Catholics and Orthodox as the conception of Mary herself so that she would be sinless and thus be able to conceive a “sinless” Jesus. It is my understanding that it is the “Immaculate Conception” of Mary that assures that Jesus is born with a sinless human nature, which is crucial for the RC hierarchical, mediatorial “priesthood” system that they have installed to separate the laypeople from God.

    I disagree with this RC position. I agree with Torrance and other Trinitarian Theologians (following the early Church Fathers) that Christ was born in our darkness, with our cursed, sin-diseased human nature in order to heal us. The “unassumed” is the “unhealed”–right?

    Anyway, as you are discussing the issue of Jesus as a human zygote, I’m now a little confused about how you see this when you use the phrase “Immaculate Conception” which is concerned with Mary’s conception.

    Am I making sense?

    Like

    • yieldedone says:

      Oops. You are absolutely right, Jason. I apologize for the confusing language. Must of had that on the brain from something else. I simply mean the Holy Spirit conception of Jesus. Thanks for that! 🙂

      Like

  5. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    I am reminded of the famous judgment of Archbishop William Temple:

    “The difficulties are intolerable. What was happening to the rest of the universe during the period of our Lord’s earthly life? To say that the Infant Jesus was from His cradle exercising providential government over it all is certainly monstrous; but to deny this, and yet to say that the Creative Wkord was so self-emptied as to have no being except in the Infant Jesus, is to assert that for a certain period the world was let loose from the control of the creative Word, and ‘apart from Him’ very nearly everything happened that happened at all during thirty odd years, both on this planet, and throughout the immensities of space.” (Christus Veritas, p. 142)

    Perhaps Boyd’s version of kenotic christology differs from the kenotic christology that Temple was criticizing (Boyd seems to be focusing on the conscious mutual awareness of the trinitarian persons), yet it seems apropos nonetheless.

    Needless to say, the Chalcedonian two natures framework inevitably forces us to employ paradox. Traditionally orthodox theologians have covered themselves with the phrase “in his human nature.” God was born (in his human nature). God suffered (in his human nature). God died (in his human nature). This qualification allowed them to make bold statements about the depth of the divine involvement in the Incarnation, while at the same time avoiding the extreme claims made by Moltmann and Boyd. As a preacher I understand the temptation to engage in Boyd’s rhetoric about the death of Christ. When I was immersed in the theology of Robert Jenson I know that I said similar things from the pulpit. But preachers can get away with saying things that systematic theologians cannot.

    Any suggestions or intimation that in the crucifixion and death of Christ the mutual consciousness of the divine persons, within their immanent trinitarian life, was broken is simply unacceptable. Temple’s words immediately come into play. I immediately admit that I have no idea what consciousness means for God in his inner life. The danger of anthropomorphism is acute. Surely God does not experience himself as we experience finite beings. A healthy dose of Eastern apophaticism, as well as Herbert McCabe, would be salutary here. As tempting as it might be to collapse the immanent Trinity into the economic Trinity, the temptation must be resisted.

    One throwaway observation: once one embraces open theism, the kind of christological extremes displayed by Boyd seem inevitable. The orthodox trinitarian theology that you invoke here, Tom, to criticize Boyd resists the crucial move that open theists make the omniscience of the eternal God. Open theism is at its strongest when it remains, if you will, within the biblical narrative. Within that narrative it might perhaps make sense to say that God does not truly know the future because the future hasn’t happened. But the crucial 4th and 5th century trinitarian and christological developments are precisely developments that distinguish between the economic and immanent Trinities, and once they are distinguished (though not separated), then it no longer becomes permissible to import temporality (and our creaturely understandings of “experience,” “consciousness,” “suffering,” etc.) into the eternity of God. Chalcedon is designed to protect us from that kind of theological speculation.

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    • tgbelt says:

      Always a pleasure to have you, Fr Aidan. Thanks for the comments. I completely agree of course that any suggestion that in the crucifixion and death of Christ the mutual consciousness of the divine persons within their immanent trinitarian life was broken is unacceptable. On this score Evangelicalism is pretty much theologically bankrupt. However, we don’t think open theism is inherently committed to kenoticism. We admit we’re not admissibly Orthodox. We’re what you might call “ecclectic”!

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      • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

        Haha!

        At some point in the near or far future I hope you will return to my throwaway observation, namely, that open theism requires a collapse of the immanent Trinity into the economic Trinity. I may be wrong about this, but I need to be convinced that I am. It’s not just a question of kenoticism. It’s a question of how one moves from the narrative to the inner life of the Godhead. Is that not one reason why the new evangelicals are having so much trouble with the creatio ex nihilo? Yet once one denies the creatio ex nihilo (presumably on the grounds that the Bible does not explicitly teach it), it becomes impossible to conceive of the transcendence and radical difference of the divine Creator in the way that orthodox Christianity has always conceived it: God becomes a being within the cosmos.

        Anyway, that is a discussion for the future. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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    • yieldedone says:

      Hello, Fr. Kimel! Thanks for the Temple quote. With that in mind, I think you will love this…

      ——————————

      “4. Who ran the universe during the incarnation? The Bible tells us that Christ holds all things today (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). However, if Christ relinquished the exercise of his omnipresence and omniscience while on earth, there is no way he could have continued to perform this role.

      In reply, the passages that celebrate Christ’s role as Creator and Sustainer of the universe describe Christ’s customary role. They do not rule out the possibility that Christ, for a season, set aside this function. The doctrine of the Trinity allows us to assert that God exists in three distinct ways at the same time. According to kenotic theorists, the second way God is God–The Second Person of the Trinity–emptied himself and became a full human. But (thankfully) the universe was not thereby vacated. The Father and Spirit continued to exercise their omnipotent and omniscient capacities.”

      Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy
      Across The Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology
      Chapter 6: The Christology Debate
      Subsection: “Christ Relinquished His Divine Prerogatives (The Kenotic View)
      Pages 121-122

      ——————————–

      Now, Fr. Kimel. Is it just me…or does this quote basically assert that the Son passes of his “Word-ness” to the Father and/or the Spirit while He incarnates as human? This right here seems to be tacit evidence of tritheistic assumptions, does it not?

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      • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

        Did Boyd (and Eddy) actually say this? Egads! The trinitarian persons are defined by their mutual relationships and coinherent activity: the Father creates and sustains the universe through the Son in the Spirit. To suggest that he might sustain the world without the Son is … yes … tritheism. It is treating the divine persons as individuals and perhaps as three centers of consciousness. But perhaps Boyd doesn’t mean what he appears to be saying.

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      • yieldedone says:

        I’m afraid that Boyd (and other evangelical kenoticists) is saying what you think he is, Fr. Kimel. Let me post the WHOLE thing…

        —————

        “1. This view undermines the divinity of Jesus.

        The most frequent objection raised against kenotic Christology is that it undermines Jesus’ divine nature. While this objection applies to the view of certain liberal kenotic theologians who argued that Jesus actually *extinguished” his divine attributes, it does not apply to the evangelical kenotic theory, which simply asserts that Jesus willingly gave up the *use* of those attributes that would have conflicted with his human nature.

        ***If it were exegetically necessary, we could argue that Christ still held all things together even while he was incarnate. Consider this example: The owner fo a company who goes on a vacation may nevertheless be credited with ‘holding the company together’ if he has responsibly arranged for things to carry on a certain way while he is gone. So long as Christ’s wisdom and power lie behind the sustaining of the universe, it can be said that he held all things together even after he temporarily surrendered the use of his infinite wisdom and power to become a man.**”

        Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy
        Across The Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology
        Chapter 6: The Christology Debate
        Subsection: “Christ Relinquished His Divine Prerogatives (The Kenotic View)
        Pages 121-122

        ——————–

        As you can see, evangelical kenoticism is willing to make exegetical gymnastics to make the point. Even the example Greg uses treats the divine persons as individuals. Thoughts?

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  6. 1. So, what about those scriptures where Jesus doesn’t know, or grows in wisdom?
    2. Why did He need to be anoited with Spirit and power to do good and heal?

    I understand, that maybe Jesus needed that anointing in His human nature, but why was that so, if all the powers of the uncreated Son were available to Him? And don’t we practice the same exegetical gymnastics when we try to make Jesus know, where it clearly says that He doesn’t?

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    • yieldedone says:

      Vladimir,

      Let’s start with the 4th-6th Ecumenical Councils. The councils confirm that…

      1) The Incarnate Son has both uncreated/divine and created/human natures.

      2) The Incarnate Son has activities of will corresponsive to the two natural operations within him.

      3) In the Incarnate Son, the created/human will freely co-operated to the uncreated/divine will.

      Quote from the 6th Ecumenical Council… emphasis mine
      http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiii.x.html

      ——————-

      Following the five holy Ecumenical Councils and the holy and approved Fathers, with one voice defining that our Lord Jesus Christ must be confessed to be very God and very man, one of the holy and consubstantial and life-giving Trinity, perfect in Deity and perfect in humanity, very God and very man, of a reasonable soul and human body subsisting; consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood; in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of his Father before all ages according to his Godhead, but in these last days for us men and for our salvation made man of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, strictly and properly the Mother of God according to the flesh; one and the same Christ our Lord the only-begotten Son of two natures un-confusedly, unchangeably, inseparably indivisibly to be recognized, the peculiarities of neither nature being lost by the union but rather the proprieties of each nature being preserved, concurring in one Person and in one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons but one and the same only-begotten Son of God, the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, according as the Prophets of old have taught us and as our Lord Jesus Christ himself hath instructed us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers hath delivered to us; ****defining all this we likewise declare that in him are two natural wills and two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly, according to the teaching of the holy Fathers. And these two natural wills are not contrary the one to the other (God forbid!) as the impious heretics assert, but his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will.****

      We glorify two natural operations indivisibly, immutably, inconfusedly, inseparably in the same our Lord Jesus Christ our true God, that is to say a divine operation and a human operation, according to the divine preacher Leo, who most distinctly asserts as follows: ***”For each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to it, the Word, namely, doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which pertains to the flesh.”***

      ——————–

      So…

      The Incarnate Son, being the Uncreated Word of God the Father, performed the task of sustaining all Creation while he simultaneously, being the son of Mary, lived ordinary “daily life” of a human being who freely relates to God. This idea requires that Christ had two realms of consciousness corresponsive to these two natural operations. It is conceivable that there is an assymetrical relationship between the two realms of consciousness such that the unlimited, boundless, uncreated consciousness has unlimited access to the created consciousness…while the created consciousness had limited access to the uncreated consciousness. In this way, the Person of the Son experiences BOTH the created mental activity of Jesus (which can grow from ignorance to knowledge) AND the uncreated omniscience and omnipresence (by which he holds all Creation in existence at all times.) All of the powers of the uncreated consciousness were *NOT* immediately available to the human mind of Jesus…which is why we see what we do in Scripture.

      Does this help?

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      • I am not sure it helps. )) maybe I am slow to understand, but if I were the disciple of Jesus, and asked Him: when is the time of your coming? And He told me: I don’t know. Wouldn’t that mean a limitation for the Person of incarnate Son? This Person wouldn’t be able to say “I don’t know” in preincarnate state! Only after assuming human nature for this Person the “I don’t know” became possible. So doesn’t this means that there was some kind of limitation? I also don’t clearly understand the idea about two realms of consciousness. Are you saying, that the Person of the Son knows and doesn’t know at the same time? I understand that humans have consiousness and subconsciousness. I can have knowlege in my subconsciousness, it is there, but my accsess to this knowlege is limited. So, in a sence I know, and at the same time I don’t know. Can it be something similar in the case of Jesus?

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      • yieldedone says:

        Vladimir:
        This Person wouldn’t be able to say “I don’t know” in preincarnate state! Only after assuming human nature for this Person the “I don’t know” became possible. So doesn’t this means that there was some kind of limitation?

        Dwayne:
        Yes, it was only after incarnation that the Son had limitation of knowledge, via his assumed created nature.

        ——————-

        Vladimir:
        Are you saying, that the Person of the Son knows and doesn’t know at the same time?

        Dwayne:
        Yes.

        ——————–

        Vladimir:
        I understand that humans have consiousness and subconsciousness. I can have knowlege in my subconsciousness, it is there, but my accsess to this knowlege is limited. So, in a sence I know, and at the same time I don’t know. Can it be something similar in the case of Jesus?

        Dwayne:
        VERY good analogy! Yes, it is quite similar to that. You’ve got it. 🙂

        Like

      • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

        Perhaps we need to clarify what it means to speak of the Incarnation as limiting the divine Son. On the basis of the quotations Boyd seems to be saying that the Incarnation required the divine Son to in fact put aside temporarily his divine prerogatives, including his work of preserving the universe. It is this “limitation” to which I object. Of course the divine Son does not cease in any way to do *everything* that the Father and the Spirit do, for the persons of the Trinity are perfectly united in their activities.

        If, on the other hand, “limitation” means that the divine Son assumes a finite (i.e., limited) human nature, then this, of course, means that God accepts and embraces the limits of living as a human being, yet in doing so, his divine existence and activity is in no way constrained.

        Vladimir writes: “Only after assuming human nature for this Person the ‘I don’t know’ became possible.”

        I think this is an interesting way to put the matter. Perhaps we may wish to say that the Incarnation opens up new possibilities for God (I’m sure that lots of qualifications need to be made here). By the Son’s assumption of human nature it becomes possible for the Son to say, quite literally, “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired,” “I’m walking,” “I’m touching a table,” “I’m in agony,” and so on. But all of this is only true for God *in his human nature*, i.e., in his existence as the man Jesus. The limitations of human existence are “added” to God, if you will, without in any way limiting God.

        We, of course, want to know how this all works; but the doctrine of the Incarnation wasn’t formulated in order to explain the mystery but to protect and state the mystery. Boyd’s theory asserts a mechanism for the Incarnation: God needs to put aside his divine prerogatives in order to live within the finite conditions of human life. Perhaps this would be true *if* God were a “god,” i.e., an inhabitant within the cosmos. Hence we are brought back to an inadequate understanding of what it means for the God of Jesus Christ to be the radically transcendent Creator of the world. If we do not first grasp the transcendence of God, we cannot grasp Incarnation. Robert Sokolowski makes this point in his book *The God of Faith and Reason*, which I heartily recommend.

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      • yieldedone says:

        Thanks for the helpful clarifications, Fr. Kimel. 🙂

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