Hi Friends —
Since the 4th century, the Christian church has held that Jesus Christ—the second person of the Trinity—was one person of two natures—fully God and fully human. What the church has never explained, and still cannot explain, is how that came to be.
How is it that a Divine Being could enter the world? As the author writes, “Is it possible for the Infinite God to become expressed in human form? Is not the idea self-contradictory?”
The reason the Catholic church and the Evangelical church has got away with this unaddressed question is that it really doesn’t matter as long as the expression of God in humanity is restricted to Jesus. No one cares as long as it was a one-time event, a miraculous occurrence that we can safely ignore.
But it can’t be ignored when the claim is made that “we behold the Christ in you.” When a church and its people raise their hands in a blessing and say such things, then it is fair to ask, “If there is a Christ in me, how did it get there?”
Orthodox Christianity has no answer, except that Mary is the mother of God. While the nativity stories are warm and inspiring, they really don’t provide an adequate answer.
And the reason orthodox Christianity has no answer is because the whole idea of an Incarnation of God in Christ is really something that came out of metaphysical ideas from the Greek culture in which Christian theology evolved. When Paul wrote, “Christ in you, your hope of glory” he was speaking to gentile (Greek) Christians whose worldview was Stoic and Platonic. He was describing what western culture calls Truth—the belief that there is a world of unchanging, eternal Reality from which all things are expressed.
So if we want to know how it is so that there is a Christ in me, we must look to Christian Metaphysics, not Christian Theology, for the answer. And that is what we have in this text.
This text is “The Mode of the Incarnation” from W.L. Walker’s 1910 book The True Christ and Other Studies in “Whatsoever Things Are True.” It is a book, not of Catholic Christian theology, nor Evangelical Christian theology, but rather of Metaphysical Christian theology. It’s author does exactly what Jesus, Paul, John, Augustine, Eckhart, Erasmus, Emerson and Fillmore did—convey the eternal Truths of Christian theology using concepts taken from Greek metaphysics.
Rather than comment on the text, I have placed highlighting in places that seem to be especially insightful, at least to me. I hope they help explain why it is that Christ in you is your hope of glory.
Sunday, July 15, 2018