Why the Incarnation Is Incompatible With An Atemporal Concept of God

Abstract

In this essay, I argue that the Incarnation of the Son of God, understood in a traditionally orthodox way, is incompatible with an atemporalist concept of God. First, I explain what I mean by atemporalism, namely the idea that God exists outside time. I also show the main corollaries of that doctrine, most notably that all of God’s life occurs eternally simultaneously. Second, based on New Testament teaching and widely accepted creeds, I spell out philosophically what I mean by the Incarnation. In short, I take it to be the doctrine that the Second Person of the Trinity at some point in time took on a human body as part of a fully human nature. I then proceed to my central argument, which derives a contradiction from the definitions of the Incarnation and of atemporalism, respectively. In the last section, I shall treat some possible objections to my argument and show that they do not solve the problem satisfactorily.

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Alin C. Cucu
University of Lausanne

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References found in this work

Summa Theologica.Thomasn D. Aquinas - 1273 - Hayes Barton Press. Edited by Steven M. Cahn.
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The Coherence of Theism (revised edition).Richard Swinburne - 1977 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Summa Theologica (1273).Thomas Aquinas - 1947 - New York: Benziger Bros..
Time and Eternity.Brian Leftow - 2018 - Cornell University Press.

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