The Incarnation as The Control Belief

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    The Incarnation as The Control Belief

    For a Christian, we accept that our beliefs as taught by scripture should inform and serve as a control for our philosophy. Being that the Incarnation is central to Christianity should this not be the main 'control belief' for our philosophical views? So, when we consider philosophical ideas such as a Maximal Being, maximal properties, etc., what is the framework around which we supplement our understanding with philosophy? (Please don't claim that your opinions are not attributable to any kind of philosophy(ies).)

    It seems to me that, being that the Incarnation is central to Christianity, it is THE INCARNATION which should be the main 'control belief' for our philosophical views as well as understanding other scripture. it is the Incarnation that should build the framework around which we supplement our understanding with philosophy. If our philosophy or interpretation of scripture violates the teaching of the Incarnation then it is the Incarnation that should be held onto and our seemingly contradictory philosophy and interpretation should be modified or abandoned accordingly.

    Would you disagree or offer modifications to this thought?
     
  2. MorseOp

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    Having the the Incarnation as the control belief of Christian philosophy seems to be too simplistic and too complicated all at the same time. The incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are inexorably linked with each one building on each other.

    Genesis 1:1 starts off with, "In the beginning, God..." Everything that follows reveals God. That seems like a pretty good philosophy.
     
  3. humblethinker

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    Gotcha.

    in·car·na·tion - The embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ

    So, when I refer to 'the incarnation' let me specify that I'm referring to the conception, birth, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension... that these qualities constitute the Incarnation as I am using the term here. Why is that too complicated to have as the main control belief?

    Yes, that's a good control belief, I agree. However, I think that a person can be saved while holding various views about 'the beginning', ie. creation, or even holding no views about creation. However, belief in the Incarnation seems to be much more instrumental in salvation than creation. So, to hold a philosophical belief that is contrary to the fact of the Incarnation should be held -if at all- very loosely, no?
     
  4. MorseOp

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    Had you qualified your OP by narrowing it to the covenant of redemption then you make a very good point.

    Gotcha back 'atcha! (just kidding)

    RE: the Incarnation. I understand what it is. However the incarnation exists as a separate event. Jesus' crucifixion is a separate event as is his burial, resurrection and ascension. Even His imminent return and judgment of the nations are separate events. They are all linked but occur separately. Because there are so many moving (but linked) parts, I am cautious about emphasizing one at the possible expense of the others.
     
  5. humblethinker

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    Okay, I think I see what you mean. All of these 'moving (but linked) parts' or events testify to him being incarnate, as I see that you agree. So, what I'm saying is the fact of the Son of God in human flesh as Jesus Christ should be our control belief. I am not referring to a single event while incarnate but the fact that He IS incarnate, this should be our control belief... does that help in being more agreeable to my proposition? (I wasn't trying to be disagreeable in pasting the definition of 'Incarnation'. I assumed that you would agree with the definition. I just like posting info and being clear for other readers and ourselves.)
     
  6. humblethinker

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    Welcome to the BaptistBoard, btw! Glad you're here!
     
  7. quantumfaith

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    HT, is it then that your proposal is the MOST ESSENTIAL doctrine required of a 'christian' is some acceptable doctrine of the incarnation?All other doctrines suborndinate to this one?
     
  8. OldRegular

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    Genesis 1:26, 27
    26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.


    Perhaps you are correct. If the above Scripture is not literally true, if man is the product of time and chance, then there is no reason to believe that God would redeem. Actually there is no reason to believe anything other than the grave is the end.

    As for the Incarnation, I would not say that it should be the controlling belief. I would say that far too little attention is given to the miracle of the Incarnation. Scripture tells us: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. [John 1:14, KJV]

    Many people who call themselves Christians frequently, perhaps more often than not, trivialize what actually occurred some 2000 years ago when the Christ Child was born to the Virgin Mary in a stable in the Judean town of Bethlehem. It is true that we celebrate that birth at Christmas and we may, amid the feasting and gift exchange, take a moment to reflect, even marvel, about the birth of the Christ Child. Yet do we comprehend in any way what the Incarnation cost God. God the Son for a time laid aside His Glory, but His Deity, His Holiness, He could not lay aside and yet for some 33 years Holy God lived as a man among sinful man and then He went to the Cross..

    We would do well to look beyond the “manger”and consider:

    No Incarnation, No Cross; No Cross, No Resurrection; No Resurrection, No Hope.
     
  9. MorseOp

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    Humblethinker,

    Just call me "Jello." Speaking only for myself, I'm not willing to be pinned down on the issue. I joyfully concur that the incarnation of Jesus Christ is one of the central beliefs of the Christian faith. I may be persuaded to state that the person of Jesus Christ is the fulcrum upon which the Christian faith rests. Even the patriarchs looked forward to His day and were glad (John 8:56)!

    I do commend you for focusing on Christ. There is no hope for mankind apart from Christ.
     
  10. humblethinker

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    I would say that all Christian philosophy should be congruent with the Incarnation. Regarding other scriptural doctrines, I don't know of any that would have to be incongruent with the Incarnation, do you? Since the Word made flesh is the revelation of God, it seems to me that if a theological belief or systematic theology does not have the Incarnation as it's guiding principle then it will necessarily lead to some other false conclusion in the interpretation of other doctrine and philosophy. What other scriptural principle would be the guiding principle? If the Incarnation is just an exception and our doctrine does not flow from the Incarnation then why should it be regarded more highly than philosophy? If God the Son, Jesus Christ is what the Bible says he is, then why should my proposal not be valid?

    Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,...

    John 1 ...and the Word was God... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

    Collosians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form...

    If God Incarnate is Jesus Christ and scripture teaches what it appears to above, then why should we hold any doctrinal or philosophical belief that would be inconsistent, incongruous, disparate, contrary or at variance with the scriptural description of the Incarnation?
     
  11. humblethinker

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    haha, I don't mean to pin you down. You can be Jello :). I would be suspicious of someone who has it all figured out. Right now I'm looking for someone else to give me good reason as to why my proposal is wrong and what they suggest I believe. I agree with your other thoughts on the matter. Thanks for your input.
     
  12. humblethinker

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    Would you say that it may be adequate to have a single controlling belief for our philosophy but that the Incarnation is just not the one? Given that we have on record "the exact representation of His being", or "the express image of His person" or "the exact representation of His nature", then why would it be inadequate to have this as the controlling belief?
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    Push it back further, to having the main control belief the nature and person of God, Father/Son/Spirit!

    Miss up that, all other things are screwed up!
     
  14. OldRegular

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    I would say this: If we could have one single controlling belief for our philosophy it would have to be the Incarnation. I believe the Incarnation validates the history of creation ex nihilo, the garden, the fall, and the initial promise of the a Redeemer {the Incarnation}.
     
  15. humblethinker

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    Finding common ground OldRegular... I agree with you.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    isn't the bedrock that "hear ole isreal, the Lord our God is One?"

    That the very nature of the Godhead being father/Son/and Holy Spirit though?
     

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