The Possibility of Incarnation

Richard Swinburne

in The Christian God

Published in print October 1994 | ISBN: 9780198235125
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598579 | DOI:
The Possibility of Incarnation

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The Council of Chalcedon declared that one individual, Jesus Christ, had two natures – divine and human. His divine nature must be regarded as consisting of the essential divine properties plus the specific properties essential to the second member of the Trinity. The human nature must be regarded not as a substance, but as the contingent properties analysed in Ch. 1 that make someone human. New Testament and later‐Christian doctrine require that we understand the two collections of properties as instantiated somewhat separately from each other, so that Christ has two minds, a divine one and a human one, the human one not being fully aware of the divine one. Although Christ could have done no wrong, he could – but (according to Christian doctrine) did not – yield to temptation to do less than the best.

Keywords: Aquinas; Council of Chalcedon; incarnation; Jesus Christ; John of Damascus; temptation

Chapter.  10775 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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