Some incarnation questions

Hey all so I have a series of questions with regard to Gods incarnation with us.

We rightly call Jesús Christ God; we don’t presume to divide him into human and divine so we can avoid worshipping a creature. This seems to imply that Christ’s humanity is itself divine and his divinity is human or else Christ would either be two and not one (a condemned heresy) or we are commiting idolatry (obviously heresy).

At one moment we could rightly say that God is not a man and in the next we could say that God is a man. Yet God does not change. In one moment God is not subject to his creatures and in the next. I have always heard the hypóstasis union used to excuse contradictions like “Christ is man| Christ learned| Christ is God| Christ did not learn” or the same thing with regard to his omnipotence or mortality. Now I obviously believe in the hypostatic union and I know that these “contradictions” are better termed “Mysteries”. But it Would be helpful to have the apparent contradictions resolved.

Here’s my best crack at it but I’m 100% sure there is error here (or else it wouldn’t be a mystery). Jesus is God and therefore God is Jesus. Therefore, In some sense Jesus does not change though he may appear to act in time from our perspective (the same can be said of Father and Holy Spirit). So Jesus Christ did not take on a human identity when he became man; he must have always had a human identity. What he did do is enter time just like he did on mount Sinai or in Egypt. God went through absolutely no ontological change. Maybe then “humanity” is a term to describe with near perfect precision what the Logos is if the Logos were not divine. This has implications about what it means that he became sin for us and died and had his glorified body again but I’d cautiously say that those implications are consistent with current church doctrine.

Ok so whatever is heretical of what I just wrote I denounce please help point me in the right direction here.

Long one I know. God bless everyone and thanks for your help. I’m meditating with st Thomas’s answer to see how that helps.

I think you understand this better than I, but I will give it some thought.

This may be the key. In the Incarnation, God condescended to share in our humanity, and also elevated humanity to share in his divinity. Or so I speculate.

I think I am pretty confused lol. I hope some theology expert can offer some insight. There are church fathers who said something like “Christs humanity is divine and his divinity human”.

My issue though is that God cannot change in nature and his nature certainly cannot be humbled without violating one of the divine attributes like omnipotence. Its perfectly consistent to say that his nature was always human and divine and that humanity is not inconsistent with omnipotence and the like. If that’s the case Christs death is an action he took(/takes) or an experience he had(/has) but not a change in his nature at all. This actually makes some sense because Adam shared some parts of his nature with God (he was made in God’s image). God does not create negative attributes so why would he have made humanity inconsistent with his nature. I think thats valid idk lol :slight_smile: .

Read about Low Christology and High Christology, They refer to the humanity and divinity of Jesus.

Will do! Do you have a favorite author or piece to recommend?

I really like the series on Jesus of Nazareth by Pope emeritus Benedict

You may want to rid your vocabulary of the word, “contradiction”. If you want to get a better grip on this matter, you may want to think more in terms of “paradox”.

First, remember that with God, all things are possible.
Second, remember that God is transcendant.

In other words, if you look at your fingernail, it is one part of your body. But, the entirety of God is there. And yet, God can’t be contained by the entire universe.

Do you see what I mean?

Third, which is possibly related to second. God is not constrained by time and space.

Soooo, what does the hypostasis mean.

“Marvelous is the mystery proclaimed today: man’s nature is made new as God becomes man; he remains what he was and becomes what he was not. Yet each nature stays distinct and for ever undivided.”

A. The Second Person of the Trinity, the Divine Logos, was (and is) God from all eternity.

B. In the Incarnation, he entered space and time as Jesus of Nazareth.

C. While preserving his Divinity whole and intact, he humbled himself by taking on our humanity. This meant creating a human body and also a human soul for himself.

  1. Jesus wasn’t simply a mask the Logos wore, or an avatar, or anything of the sort. Rather, the Man Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, and vice versa. The Second Person of the Trinity united his human soul perfectly to his Divine Self. In doing so, he bridged the gulf created by sin between God and man. This is one of the reasons that we refer to Jesus by the titles “Son of Man” and “Son of God” without any tension: he’s the perfect God-Man (see Matthew 26:63-64, in which the two titles are used interchangably).

All that is word for word from the Word on Fire link I provided. I just broke it down into its parts, like an outline. Anyway, don’t fret too much about it. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that God became man and that Man transubstantiated bread and wine into His Flesh and Blood.

God bless you!

Off the rails here. The hypostatic union is a complete and total mystery. Those who try to define it also attempt to limit it by their definition. Defining the union, as it is with separating the two natures, is impossible.

One tragedy of our society and culture is our tendency to over-think and complicate matters. God is utter simplicity. Allow that to roll off your tongue a few times. And even that “definition” does no justice. Conversely, the devil personifies complexity and over-thinking. He does not inspire, he incites.

Complexity introduces confusion and doubt. Both trace back to the serpent - the most subtle of creatures. If you cannot define the hypostatic union, you are in excellent company!

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OP , i think your getting confused .

Jesus is the incarnation of the Son of God. The Son of God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit are eternal. In scripture it says that Jesus is the ‘Firstborn of all creation’ … which means that in the mind of God from all eternity He willed the birth of his incarnate Son first and all of creation was to be subject to Him. What was first in Gods intention , didn’t come until later (chronologically) in execution.

So when the time had come for His incarnation , the divine spirit of the Son simply assumed a human nature . The Son of God didn’t change or alter one bit during the incarnation, he retained the fullness of his divinity and took humanity upon Himself in the person of Jesus Christ . Jesus therefore is not a creature , he is not a human person … but a divine person with a human nature. By the mystery of the hypostatic union he is both fully God and fully man in his divine person.

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