A Straightforward Engagement Of St. Athanasius 's Book On The Incarnation

703 Words Apr 15th, 2016 3 Pages
In this essay, the author gives a straightforward engagement of St. Athanasius’s book On the Incarnation. This book, as noted by Athanasius, was to be an “elementary sketch and paradigm of the faith of Christ and his divine manifestation to us” (Inc. 56). In light of these minor remarks, this engagement will include three areas: 1) sketch Athanasius’s book, 2) offer critical reflection, and 3) suggest a constructive way to bolster the argument. Before beginning one additional remark, CS Lewis was correct that this small work is a “masterpiece” and that reading old books like this one soothes our mind, guiding us through the ocean of theology. A succinct thesis of On the Incarnation can go something like this: As a continuation of Against the Gentiles, Athanasius argues that on account of humanity’s wickedness the Incarnate Word overturns “the illusion of idols” by the “apparent degradation through the cross” (Inc. 1). This constructed thesis focuses on the major focus of Athanasius work: the Passion of the Incarnate Word to rescue humanity. What Athanasius means by “apparent degradation” is that the cross, to quote Scripture, is “to the Jews a stumbling block” and “to the Gentiles foolishness,” (1 Cor. 1:23, NKJV) yet this cross is fitting for the Incarnate Word to save humanity, thus being what the lovers of the faith venerate. Athanasius answers this question of the Incarnate Word’s overturning of idolatry by going backwards to give an account on the creation of the…

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