Reflection Of St. Athanasius's On The Incarnation

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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 …show more content…
1). This brings into view two pivotal sections for Athanasius’s work that can be understood as the two divine dilemmas toward humanity. A piece of great theological enquiry, Athanasius wonders about the internal mind of God. Hence, the two questions the sections answer respectively, are: should God allow his creation to be ruled by death and should humanity live in ignorance toward God. So, these ideas of death and ignorance are important because they are motifs that give shape for the cause of the Word becoming incarnate. Additionally, the ideas of death and ignorance are not framed, by Athanasius, as traits a person possesses; instead, these traits are privations of what should be the case, in a word life and knowledge. At this point, it is important to note that the term “incarnate” is used very broadly for Athanasius encompassing the whole life of Jesus Christ, not simply the infancy narratives found within the Gospels. This leads God to bring back to order the life for humanity and knowledge of God to displaced humanity through the incarnation of the …show more content…
According to Athanasius, the work of Christ, as the Incarnate Word, was his necessary death to deliver humanity from death, “in order to make all not liable and free from the ancient transgression, and to show himself superior to death” (Inc. 20). The basis for this assertion on the deliverance of humanity from death comes from the reference of Hebrews 2:14–15. In that passage, the author of Hebrews states that “[Jesus Christ] might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil…” Therefore, Athanasius identifies this passage as the basis for humanity being under the bondage of the devil. After Christ’s resurrection or his “trampling over death,” Athanasius goes on to examine the way this act of God has transformed the life of those who believe in Christ that they themselves trample over death and rush to death than deny their faith in Christ (Inc. 27–30). Additionally, the cross of the Incarnate Word has become the trophy for all who might believe on the fact that God took what shows humanity’s frailty and made it life for humanity and knowledge of God. Coming to the conclusion of the book, Athanasius gives an apology to unbelieving Jews and Gentiles who would scorn, mock and slander the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word. These refutations take the shape of expounding the Hebrew Scriptures for the Jews and giving

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