Monday, October 14, 2013

Increate Godhead

The atoning thing [of the Atonement] was not its amount or acuteness, but its obedience, its sanctity.

These pathetic ways of thinking about Christ regard him too much as a mere individual before God. They do not satisfy if Christ's relation with man was a racial one and he represented humanity. Especially they do not hold good if that relationship was no mere blood relationship, natural relationship, but a supernatural relationship - blood relationship only in the mystic Christian sense. We are blood relations of Christ, but not in the natural sense of that term, only in the supernatural sense, as those who are related to him in his blood, in his death, and his spirit. The value of Christ's unity and sympathy with us was not simply that he was continuous with the race at its head. It was not a relation of identity. The race was not prolonged into him. The value consists in that life-act of self-identification by which Christ the eternal Son of God became man. We hear much about Christ's essential identity with the human race. That is not true in the sense in which other great men, like Shakespeare, for instance, were identical with the human race, gathering up in consummation its natural genius. Christ's identity was not natural or created identity, but the self-identification of the Creator. Everything turns upon this - whether Christ was a created being, however grand, or whether he was of increate Godhead.

P T Forsyth in The Work of Christ, pages 135/6
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