reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Incarnation people

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
This Christmas I spent more time than ever before actually thinking about the incarnation. One would think after 27 of them I might have got round to that before...but what can I say? I'm slow.

The incarnation has become much more important for evangelicals recently, because of the fevered rantings of Rev Chalke et al about penal substitution. As has been said many times his criticisms are undermined if one has a strong doctrine of the Trinity etc etc etc.

Well not wanting to rehash that whole argument, but I wonder if our weak doctrine of the Trinity, coupled with a very strong doctrine of the atonement has negative effects, at least on me. I am rubbish at spending time with non-Christians (I am going somewhere with this) and I am rubbish at having compassion and getting down into the mess with people who have messed everything up. I would love to be better, but my first reaction to non-Christians is to either shut up or think self righteous thoughts. And my first reaction instinctively (although I am working hard to control and develop my character) to people who have messed up is often irritation not compassion. I hate that about myself, and I have been really convicted about it seeing a female colleague at my church do her work so kindly....

But anyway. I wonder if my problem is/was a weak doctrine of the incarnation. (as`well as that of my own sin, but that's another story) I had a wrong view of God, which I was trying to copy of JUST being the one in heaven judging. But God is also the one on earth taking the judgement, the one rescuing us by being in the mess, the one compassionately stooping to help
the one taking the pain of my sin on himself. I wonder if a weak doctrine of the incarnation - not seeing that Jesus really was human - is what led the evangelicals of yesteryear to become to pietistic and withdrawn from society (despite all of their strengths). Well I don't know about them, but as always, believing things or not believing things in this case, was not turning me into a very nice person. Belief and behaviour people - they are totally linked. I want to be an incarnation person.


Blogger Goodo said...

I agree! Charles Wesley wrote a famous verse once upon a time:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

How can it be that thou my God should die for me?

1:49 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Thanks for this. I see a lot of myself in what you have said there. I wish I was more ready to get my hands dirty (and keep them clean at the same time).

6:09 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Cheers for the honesty Mo, tis very refreshing

5:59 AM  
Blogger Jonny:) said...

"after 27 of them"... what is that like Incarnations? am i missing a chapter in Grudem

7:40 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Thanks Mo. I found this by the internet monk. He raises the same basic issue, and asks lots of awkward questions.

9:23 AM  

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