Saturday, 20 November 2010

Verbum Domini

The Kenotic theory developed in Lux Mundi is almost universally presupposed within the Anglo-Catholicism that the Church is now seeking to ingest as a body, and it remains astonishingly popular within the Theology Departments that increasingly admit undergraduates largely from Catholic schools because that is where the A-level RE still is. Graduates of those Departments will be, and increasingly are, many or most of our priests and most or all of our RE teachers.

But Kenoticism represents a full concession to the rationalist fallacies and liberal presuppositions of Biblical criticism, in surrender to which the Divine Attributes are made separable from the Divine Essence, and all meaning is thus emptied out of the Chalcedonian Definition. From there, it is a very short step to believing that the teachings of Jesus might just be wrong or outdated: somehow, Jesus could be God without being Omniscient, or indeed Omnipotent (among other things). Since this necessitates the existence of attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and so forth separable from the Divine Essence, theism becomes logically untenable. This concession of the ground, if and when translated into pastoral or evangelistic practice, would and does cause ecclesial life to collapse.

Furthermore, the Apologists’ unanswerable repudiation of Pythogorean reincarnation, employed wherever such ideas have been and are held, is also applicable to the view of the Logos held by Kenoticists, and assumed in most of Anglo-Catholicism and much of academia to be the only way of reconciling the (actually irreconcilable) claims of Chalcedonian orthodoxy and Biblical criticism. It is in fact necessary to confound Biblical criticism by reference to Chalcedonian orthodoxy and to all that it represents. The Authorship of God’s Written Word is, like the Person of His Incarnate Word, both fully human and fully divine, so that its canonical and ecclesial, allegorical and typological, tropological and moral, anagogical and eschatological senses are integral to its literal (i.e., authorial) sense.

Likewise, just as Jesus of Nazareth must be a factual historical figure, so also the Salvation History recorded in and as Scripture must be no less historically factual than it is doctrinally, morally and eschatologically significant. Anything else is no less a ‘faith position’, but it is not the ‘faith position’ that defined the Canon of Scripture in the first place.

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