I have come to the conclusion that how you view the incarnation impacts your sociological grid . It is the incarnation where we see God coming to “chill with us.” It is in the chill where the difference of perspectives starts to tease out the differences. Is his mere presence substantial enough?
John Murray writes,
“The Son of God did not become personal by incarnation. He became incarnate but there was no suspension of his divine self-identity.”
This is a well crafted thought but tends to lend itself to a disconnected Jesus-truly divine but not relational commitment. Yes, I understand Murray’s premise but I think the emphasis of dehumanizing Jesus for the sake of augmenting his divinity is problematic. Maybe my understanding of Murray is incorrect but his use of the term personal is a bit on the ambiguous side. The very essence of the incarnation celebrates the “personal” encounter with God. The need for a personal God is what makes Christianity such a fierce necessity for many in the black community. The thought that he came to see about me and stayed a while becomes the backdrop for the oppressed African that would be trapped in these yet to be united states. Without this “personal” encounter the presence of God- through incarnation- becomes no more than a hologram with perceived power. It is the personal encounter with a Jesus, who felt pain like me, that makes the incarnation such a thrust of love. Not only does he come but he comes and chills…
(Just a start as I work through this in my mind and in conversation.)
Part 2 The Incarnation- Incarnation, Perichoresis and Racism