The Incarnation -- By: John A. Reubelt

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 028:109 (Jan 1871)
Article: The Incarnation
Author: John A. Reubelt


The Incarnation

Prof. John A. Reubelt

Our former Article on the Incarnation closed with these words: “Many subjects legitimately connected with the Christological question, as that of the Trinity, the mutual relation of the three Persons of the Trinity, whether aseity must be ascribed to each of them, or to the Father alone; whether the incarnation of the Logos introduced no disharmony into the trinitarian relation and the government of the world,— these and some other important subjects we can here not even touch upon; God willing, we may give our views on them at a future time.”1 This promise we shall now try to fulfil.

Dr. Whedon2 noticed our Article respectfully, but urged the following objections against the views advanced there, viz. “As the doctrine must necessarily be that the Logos became truly and intrinsically a human soul (otherwise Christ was not a perfect man), it seems to follow that during the period of the hypostatical union there is no divine Logos and there is no Trinity; only a dunity.” (Why does he not coin the more analogous word binity?) “Whenever we are told that the Infinite can become finite, can annihilate an infinity of power, and so even annihilate himself, we beg to be excused from surrendering all our previous views of the necessary existence of God, and approaching the Awful confines of atheism. Surrender the doctrine of the necessary existence of God, and you surrender one stronghold of theism. God exists in the fulness of his nec-

essary omnipotence, omnipresence, and eternity. These attributes he may veil, may withhold their display in specific acts, but how can he abdicate or diminish their existence? The Professor’s first proof-text is: ‘The Word became flesh’; which he transforms into: ‘the Word became man’! Thereupon, he insists, that the eternal Logos ceased to be God, and commenced to be man! But if ἐγένετο is to receive so literal a rendering, we must literalize σάρξ also; and then we shall have it that the eternal Logos ceased to be God and became a portion of fleshly matter. The Professor’s argument from Mark 13:32, we think he will find amply answered in our commentary on the passage.”

To this wholesale criticism we must demur for a variety of reasons: we certainly did not say, nor is it in keeping with our views, that the Logos ceased to be God. We translated σάρξ by man, because it means in the passage under consideration man. and nothing els...

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