01 October 2010

That We Might Live

Athanasius (298-373) on the incarnation:
He descended that he might raise us up, he went down to corruption, that corruption might put on immortality, he became weak for us, that we might rise with power, he descended to death, that he might bestow on us immortality, and give life to the dead. Finally, he became man, that we who die as men might live again, and that death should no more reign over us.
--'Festal Letter,' 10:8; quoted in Thomas G. Weinandy, Athanasius: A Theological Introduction (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 96

Such grace defies our categories, does it not? 'The Word became flesh.' Not 'created' flesh, though that's true. 'Became' flesh. Moderate grace would have said: I’ll meet you halfway. I’ll grant you a ladder and give you strength to climb it. I’ll help you become what you were meant to be.

Defiant grace said: I’ll become what you were meant to be.

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