Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Incarnation and Redemption

Just heard on "Our Life in Christ", an Eastern Orthodox podcast, the following quote, "The Incarnation changes everything."

In OT typology, the servant could go free after, I believe, 7 years of service. However, if he marries and has children during that time, he can't take them with him when he goes. If he wants to be with them, he must stay as a servant. This is a picture of Christ who came into the world and purchased a family for himself (the Church). He could have lived the perfect life and not endured the Cross and gone home, and he wouldn't have known the pain of separation from God. But He didn't. He shed His blood for us, and in so doing paid the price for our ransom. Paul makes much of the Cross. Probably more than he does of the Incarnation.

"Our Life in Christ" is big on Incarnational, Sacramental theology, where, since God became Matter (not to mention also becoming Man), Matter now has a new meaning, or at least a new potential meaning. (In the East, this leads to icons and prayer ropes, and in the West it leads to Rosaries and Scapulars, but this is beside the point.)

They're big on some of the essentials of the faith--Trinitarian Theology and Christology--for which we thank God. But where is Soteriology? Seems to take a back seat, much like it did in the early Church until Augustine (who, as it seems to me, never really hit it big in the East).

I must conclude that the above quote misses the mark. The Incarnation only changes at most half of everything. Redemption changes the other half.

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