The Self‐Emptying of Love: Some Thoughts on Kenotic Christology

C. Stephen Evans

in The Incarnation

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780199248452
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600524 | DOI:
 The Self‐Emptying of Love: Some Thoughts on Kenotic Christology

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Stephen Evans defends as religiously powerful and theologically legitimate, a ‘kenotic’ theory of the incarnation, arguing that some kind of divine ‘self‐emptying’ or ‘self‐limitation’ does justice to the NT accounts of Jesus and the claims of Chalcedonian orthodoxy. In particular, the chapter defends recent work by Stephen Davis and Ronald Feenstra, who hold that Jesus may be fully divine even if he divests himself, perhaps only temporarily, of such qualities as omnipotence and omniscience. The possibility of such divesting is implied by a plausible account of the nature of omnipotence developed by Richard Swinburne. Evans also proposes that a decision by God to become incarnated, literally embodied, is best understood as a decision to assume such limitations. In conclusion, the chapter discusses the implications of a kenotic theory for the exalted and glorified Christ, and the question as to whether Jesus, understood kenotically as the incarnate Word, can be personally identical with the pre‐existent second person of the Trinity.

Keywords: kenotic theory; self‐emptying; Evans; Feenstra; omnipotence; omniscience

Chapter.  11847 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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