Sermon Illustrations

1000's of quotes and illustrations

Kenosis is God Minus

Bruce MilneAt a theological level kenosis appears to move in the wrong direction. Its basic equation is: incarnation = God minus. The biblical equation is rather: incarnation = God plus. In becoming incarnate the divine Word did not relinquish his deity; he added to it, if one may so speak, by taking a full human nature into hypostatic union
with the Word. Further. if the incarnate Son lacked any essential divine attribute, he immediately fails us at three quite fundamental points: revelation (being less than God he cannot truly reveal God), redemption (being less than God he can no longer reconcile us to God) and intercession (if union with human nature necessarily diminishes the divine nature, the ascended Lord could not ‘take to heaven a human brow’; his high-priestly intercession is immediately invalidated). Finally, Archbishop William Temple asked: ‘What was happening to the rest of the universe during the period of our Lord’searthly life?’ If the second person of the Trinity was wholly enclosed in the babe of Bethlehem, who was performing the role of the upholding Word in the universe? Appeal to the notion of the co-inherence of the persons of the Trinity does not help, since it is precisely a separation of the persons which the kenotic theory requires.

Bruce Milne

Click to Tweet