Re: Was the Incarnation necessary?

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Thu Jul 04 2002 - 11:28:25 EDT

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    Hi, Michael,

         Sorry, but I shudder to imagine having some member of your royal family
    as a governor of each of our states. Given the scandals of the present
    generations of royals and their spouses (or ex-es), we could be awash in sex
    and paparazzi. "Clinton" again and again? Horrors!

         As for the doctrine of the Incarnation, I thank you for your historical
    comment. But I have always thought it a weakness of so much Protestant
    theology that the Atonement has been given such precedence over the
    Incarnation that the latter is hardly considered, at least popularly, as I
    found with so many of my conservative and fundamentalist students, some of
    whom seemed to have not heard of it (when I asked anyone in a class of
    twenty two to explain it, there was dead silence). I think the early Church
    Fathers, who devoted so much energy and effort to developing this doctrine,
    gave it much greater due than some of their Protestant descendents, and to
    the degree that contemporary Anglican theology seeks to recover that I'm all
    for it (that's aside from any judgment about the "vacuousness" of any
    theological use or expression of it). And, I would add, how are we to think
    about the Incarnation in an evolving universe? the Logos has a whole
    universe to relate to, not just intelligent, self-reflective life on our
    planet, and we need to put our anthropocentrism in perspective, whether our
    focus is on sin or not. Airy-fairy and speculative it may be, but I have no
    trouble imagining the Logos incarnating on many other planets, even with
    creatures who have evolved without a fall, even (Catholic bishops and other
    patriarchials, take notice!) in what would be the equivalent of the female
    of the species.

    Blessings to you, and a Happy Fourth to my fellow country men and women,
    Bob Schneider

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Roberts" <>
    To: "Robert Schneider" <>; <>; "Glenn
    Morton" <>
    Sent: Thursday, July 04, 2002 8:33 AM
    Subject: Re: Was the Incarnation necessary?

    > For Glenn
    > I should hope we don't celebrate 4/7 (and get that the right way round!) .
    > We did have something to celebrate last month if you remember and you got
    > two days off. Just think how much better life would be if some rebels had
    > not got the upper hand. You could have a member of the royal family as
    > governor of each state!
    > Last 3rd July I went to an Independence Day rodeo at Spearfish SD that
    > an education for me - and the Wheaton students! On a geological field trip
    > to Mt Rushmore I found another face - to the left of George Washington.
    > For Bob
    > I cannot think of any examples in prot theology where the incarnation is
    > not necissitated by sin. One could argue (entirely me here ) that had
    > been no sin then incarnation of the word would be spuerfluous as God was
    > total harmony and relationship with his Creation.
    > As a good non-liberal and non-catholic Anglican I feel a weakness of much
    > anglican incarnational theology is that it plays downs and weakens much
    > understanding of redemption atonement and thus of sin. This is based on a
    > wide familiarity of Anglican theology over the last 200 years so it is not
    > the knee-jerk reaction of a semi-fundamentalist Anglican.
    > This is a result of moving the centre of gravity of faith from atonement
    > incarnation. As it has worked out in some anglican theology we have ended
    > with a vacuous theology with nno redemption whatsoever and comes out
    > in ultra-liberal anglican theology. It is seen clearly in many recent
    > communion services in the Church of England and in the recent Common
    > rites (2000) several prayers of consecration play down the atonemnt to a
    > great extent - and I will not use them.
    > I am afraid I find Zach Hayes summary of the Scotian view so speculative
    > airy-fairy that it does nothing for me at all. It is a bit like trying to
    > specualte life based on silicon.
    > As I am totally non-speculative in my theology I cant see much point in
    > considering what might have been the case if things were different, so I
    > consider incarnation without sin as pointless as discussing whether God
    > created in an instant (he could have done) or over a few billion years.
    > A logical extension of an extreme incarnation is in my view the theology
    > Matthew Fox.
    > Michael

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