Category Archives: Incarnation of the Word

On the Incarnation of the Word 57 – An Honourable Life Is Needed

Read the closing section of Athanasius’ treatise for his final doxology. I’m going to reflect on his opening in this section, though. But for the searching of the Scriptures and true knowledge of them, an honourable life is needed, and a pure soul, and that virtue which is according to Christ; so that the intellect […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 56 – When Christ Appears Again

This penultimate section looks forward to the “appearing” of Christ in glory. And you will also learn about His second glorious and truly divine appearing to us, when no longer in lowliness, but in His own glory,—no longer in humble guise, but in His own magnificence,—He is to come, no more to suffer, but thenceforth […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 55 – Idolatry Diminishing?

I read Athanasius’ summation of much that he has already written and my first reaction on this reading, probably shaped by my earlier reflections on my pluralist formation, is almost one of confusion. This, then, after what we have so far said, it is right for you to realize, and to take as the sum […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 54 – He Was Made Man That We Might Be Made God

In this next section, Athanasius makes one of the more profound statements. It captures the process and goal of salvation and our union with Christ in one phrase. It’s the sort of thing that packs an enormous amount into just a few words. Read and reflect on the whole section. For He was made man […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 53 – Pagan Gods Routed by the Sign of the Cross

In this section, Athanasius continues to describe the rout of the pagan gods by Christ. I found this particularly interesting living, as we do, in a place and an age where some form (though certainly a milder form) of ancient paganism is experiencing a revival. And to mention one proof of the divinity of the […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 52 – United In Peace

I’ve spent no small amount of time reflecting on the Christianity Athanasius describes in today’s section of his treatise. The things he takes for granted are more difficult to see among Christians today. Who then is He that has done this, or who is He that has united in peace men that hated one another, […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 51 – No Longer Mind the Things of War

Now Athanasius is stressing the point that Christ is passing among all people everywhere, crossing all national and cultural boundaries, and drawing people away from their former gods. Moreover, he notes that the savagery of war and murders that has always reigned among people is being ended by Christ. Here is his closing statement in […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 50 – Greeks and Resurrection

In this section, Athanasius continues to refute pagan perspectives. His comment against the sophists is probably difficult to understand without some understanding of their development in ancient and classical Greece. This history is interesting if you want to look it up, but by Athanasius’ time sophists were regarded as teachers of rhetoric rather than actual […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 49 – Christ Conquers All Gods

As always, read the whole section by Athanasius. But I want to focus on his last thought in it. Or why, if Christ is, as they say, a man, and not God the Word, is not His worship prevented by the gods they have from passing into the same land where they are? Or why […]

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On the Incarnation of the Word 48 – The True Son of God

Athanasius continues his argument against the Greek pagans, and it’s worth reading the entire section. There are certainly parts of it that echo strongly in today’s environment. But I want to focus on one thought. Then, if the Saviour is neither a man simply, nor a magician, nor some demon, but has by His own […]

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