Would Christ Have Come Even If Man Had Not Sinned?

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

“[T]he primary purpose of the Incarnation, according to the Christian creeds, was ‘for us and for our salvation.’  However, philosophically minded theologians have given some thought to the wider implications of that ‘for us.’  One way of doing so is to ask, as Austin Farrer did, whether Christ would have come even if the human race had never sinned.  Farrer’s answer was a categorical yes.

Christ would still have come to transform human hope, and to bring men into a more privileged association with their Creator than they could otherwise enjoy.  For it is by the descent of God into man that the life of God takes on a form with which we have a direct sympathy and personal union.

. . . [Richard] Swinburne expresses some doubt as to whether there are strong arguments allowing us ‘to say what God would have done under certain unrealized circumstances,’ but he does consider a number of reasons, over and above the soteriological ones, why God might well become incarnate.  Incarnation would manifest divine solidarity with God’s creatures; it would demonstrate the dignity of human nature; it would reveal the nature and extent of God’s love for his personal creatures; it would exemplify an ideal human life; and it would provide uniquely authoritative teaching.  A sixth reason, based on God’s willingness to subject himself to suffering and evil, spells out the themes of solidarity and love . . . ”

— Brian Hebblethwaite, Philosophical Theology and Christian Doctrine, 70-71.

[tweetmeme only_single=”false”]
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Would Christ Have Come Even If Man Had Not Sinned?

  1. Hi Brian,
    You make a good point. I agree. I thought Swinburne’s list of reasons was convincing, and they reflect God’s deep love and concern for humanity.
    By the way, your (and your friends’) blog is interesting. If you’d be interested in doing a guest post for Cloud of Witnesses, just let me know.
    Take care,
    Chris

  2. Pingback: Week in Review: 06.11.10 « Near Emmaus

  3. I appreciate the subject of this post. I agree. I think Christ would have come. If anything it would have been through the God-man that humanity would have served the great purpose of being the image and glory of God to creation to the utmost.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s