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Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Miracle of the Incarnation

One of the familiar Biblical texts that will have been read many times over the past week or so, is John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father."   This is a simple statement of the miracle that lies at the heart of the Christian faith.  As we move, inexorably, towards the end of this calendar year, it is my intention to share a little about it, in three posts, starting with this one.

In this post, I wish to make the point that the possibility of the incarnation must be admitted.  In other words, no-one has the right to say, dogmatically, that it could not have happened.  It is impossible to deny in the light of the limitations of man's knowledge.  We simply do not know everything that there is to know.  That is why billions of pounds are spent, each year, on research of one kind or another.  It is part of our human DNA to constantly seek to learn.  If we knew everything, then there would be nothing left for us to discover!   Ray Comfort, in his book "God doesn't believe in atheists" makes the very point that even if I can claim, honestly, to have 80% of the sum total of the knowledge available in the universe, that would still leave 20% that I did not know.  In that 20% could well be the particular piece of information that I seek.  If I claim, categorically, that the incarnation is an impossibility, I am claiming that I have complete knowledge of the whole of the created universe - and no person has that!

However, not only is the Incarnation - the Creator of all that is, taking upon Himself the very human flesh that He had created, and entering the time-space continuum in which we live out our mortal lives, and which He also created - impossible to deny in the light of the limitations of man's knowledge; it is also impossible to deny on the grounds of the basis of man's knowledge.  All of our knowledge is, initially, revealed knowledge.  By that, I mean that it is revealed through both my perceptive, and receptive, senses.   I depend on them to come to the conclusions that I reach.   I am incapable of 'manufacturing' knowledge; only of discovering what is already there!  Christianity also claims that spiritual knowledge is based upon revelation - in which man is, again, the recipient.

So, however we may look at it; whether, or not, we believe it; the possibility of the incarnation must, by any right-thinking, and fair-minded, person, be admitted!

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