Originally Posted by kangamitroo
I would like suggestions for a theology text that could help me better understand the idea of the Incarnation—that is, the idea that God put God's self into human form, as a special blessing to humanity, in the form of Jesus.
I am especially interested in catholic, episcopal, or orthodox views on this, but am open to other perspectives as well. (I was raised catholic, but am not now christian.)
I'm afraid it sounds like an incredibly broad question, but I am not yet sure how to narrow it.
any suggestions are welcome.
This is EXACTLY the one you want.
On the Incarnation - by St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria. This edition actually has an intro by CS Lewis. The text itself is in modern English, although it was translated in the first half of the 20th Century.
I've read it multiple times. It's fab. A relatively easy read, but there's much to it. Athanasius wrote this before he was 20!! :)
St. Athanasius wrote, in On the Incarnation, "God became man so that man might become god." This ties into the Orthodox doctrine of deification.
I'm actually in the midst of a local program to become a catechist (I'm Orthodox), and am in the middle of my Dogmatic Theology class, so ask if you have any questions. I was just reading some stuff on this last night. I read On the Incarnation in my Patristics class last semester.
It wasn't just God putting God's self into human form. It was the only-Begotten Son of the Father, the Second person of the Holy Trinity, who willed to become incarnate. Fully God and fully Man.
From the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalecedon, 451:
"In conformity with the tradition of the Fathers, we unanimously proclaim that we should confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in deity and perfect in humanity, true God and true man, composed of a reasonable soul and body, being consubstantial with the Father through the divinity and consubstantial with us through the humanity, alike to us in all, save sin, born of the Father before all the worlds in His deity, born in these last times of Mary the Virgin, Mother of God, in His humanity, for us and for our salvation; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-Begotten, who was made known in two natures without being mingled, without change, indivisibly, inseparably, in such a way that the union does not destroy the difference of the two natures, but on the contrary the properties of each nature only remain the more firm since they are found united in one person or hypostasis which is neither separated nor divided into two persons, being the one and the same person of the Son, only-Begotten, God and Word, Lord Jesus Christ."