This post isn’t ready for prime time. It’s not even half baked. It’s still fluid.
- I want to write about Advent because it’s coming.
- I want to write about Advent because it implies the incarnation, which is my all-time favorite doctrine.
- Incarnation is important because it is God the creator entering creation in order to be in community with us.
- Incarnation is the transcendent becoming immanent.
How can a transcendent, eternal God enter a temporal world that they created? What is incarnation? If we reject dualism, what does it mean that the divine spirit inhabits a material body? It’s not even a logical notion in light of contemporary science and theology. If incarnation makes no sense factually, at least as it was understood in the first centry, then what is scripture telling us? I’d say metaphor is a good first approximation.
I’m thinking of 1st century notions of life force, soul, and spirit vs. flesh or material. Greek notions weren’t as simple as a dualistic body and soul. Even then, the incarnation was described as the perfect melding of God & humanity—the hypostatic union, to be exact. There were two natures that were one nature, distinct and yet inseparable. Finding words to describe it is an exercise in oxymoron. It’s a bundle of paradoxes tied up in red Christmas ribbons.
I have no answers. I have lots of questions. It is a lifelong fascination. There will be more to come.