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August 15, 2005

Ch. XVI. Q. 96. The Taking of Our Nature

IN ITS stricter sense the doctrine of the Incarnation is concerned exclusively with the initial event in the Gospel drama. It declares that the second Person of the eternal Trinity, the Son of God, without change or loss of any of His eternal or divine attributes and opertions, and without division of His Person or Ego, took human nature, with all its proper elements, faculties, and necessary limitations, but without sinfulness, by being born of a pure Virgin and without earthly father, by a special operation of the Holy Ghost.1

2. Thus taken, the Incarnation is a mystery which inaugurates a fuller drama of human self- manifestation of the Word; and in a larger sense the term "Incarnation" is very widely employed to signify the whole drama, as thus regarded—i. e., as equivalent to a sound Christology. Such extension of meaning is due to the fact that the whole Gospel-drama is to be interpreted as determined in meaning by the mystery of the taking of our nature by the eternal Son, and as revealing the purpose of that mystery.2

3. The Nicene Creed declares the Catholic belief in "One Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God; begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; begotten not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things are made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end."

1 Isa. vii. 14; ix. 6: Mic. v. 2; St. Matt. i. 18-25; xxii. 45; St. Luke i. 26-38, 42-43; ii. 4-21; St. John i. 1, 14; iii. 13; Rom. i. 3; viii. 3; 2 Cor. viii. 9; Gal. iv. 4; Phil. ii. 6-7; Col. ii. 9; 1 Tim. iii. 16; Heb. i. 6; ii. 9-18; 1 St. John i. 1. Cf. Incarnation, ch. iii; K. Theory, ch. i; A.P. Forbes, Nicene Creed, pp. 162 et seq.

2 W. Mulligan, Resurrection of our Lord, pp. 129-135; and Ascension, pp. 27-35.

Posted by AKMA at August 15, 2005 03:20 AM