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By Oliver D. Crisp

The doctrine of the Incarnation lies on the center of Christianity. however the concept that 'God was once in Christ' has develop into a much-debated subject in sleek theology. Oliver Crisp addresses six key matters within the Incarnation protecting a powerful model of the doctrine, in response to classical Christology. He explores perichoresis, or interpenetration, almost about either the Incarnation and Trinity. Over chapters Crisp offers with the human nature of Christ after which offers an issue opposed to the view, universal among a few modern theologians, that Christ had a fallen human nature. He considers the suggestion of divine kenosis or self-emptying, and discusses non-Incarnational Christology, targeting the paintings of John Hick. This view denies Christ is God Incarnate, concerning him as essentially an ethical exemplar to be imitated. Crisp rejects this replacement account of the character of Christology.

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But in deference to the tradition, I shall continue to speak of this as perichoresis, although this may be a rather attenuated use of the term. 24 problems with perichoresis difference of degree, is, nevertheless, a significant degree of difference. For instance, Christ’s consciousness of the (penetrative) presence of God would appear to have been significantly greater than most human beings. I am not consciously aware of God upholding and penetrating every fibre of my being at each moment of my existence.

Problems with perichoresis Alternatively, this conception of the communication of attributes could mean that some but not all of the divine attributes are transferred from the divine to the human nature in the hypostatic union, but not vice versa. Some theologians, perhaps seeing the problems inherent in such ambiguity, have opted for this more parsimonious claim. In scholastic theology, this is often done by dividing the divine attributes into two groups. The first group comprises the socalled operative attributes of God, such as omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience; the second group, the so-called quiescent attributes, such as infinity and eternity.

Even if I were disposed to reject the notion that an essential property of human beings is that any human is located in a particular space at a particular time, so that I could claim that Christ’s omnipresent flesh is a strange but not necessarily metaphysically impossible sort of physicality, this would still have consequences so monumentally counter-intuitive that the 28 29 But, perhaps this property-transfer means that omnipresence is only an accidental property of Christ’s human nature. Even if this is so, provided Christ’s human nature retains this property at all moments subsequent to its transfer, the same objection applies.

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