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Kenosis Theology / Kenotic Christology

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  • Kenosis Theology / Kenotic Christology

    Sam Storms, charismatic Calvinist:

    "In becoming a man in what we call the incarnation the Second Person of the Trinity chose to willingly suspend the exercise of his divine attributes so that he might live a genuinely human life, subject to all the limitations and demands you and I commonly experience. That which he had (all the divine attributes), by virtue of what he was (deity), he willingly chose not to use. Thus we read the gospels and see a human being doing super-human things and ask “How?” The answer is: Not from the power of his own divine nature, but through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Thus the Son of God chose to experience the world through the limitations imposed by human consciousness and an authentic human nature. The attributes of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience were not lost or laid aside, but became latent and potential within the confines of his human nature. They are truly present in Jesus but no longer in conscious exercise. The incarnation thus means that Jesus 'actually thought and acted, viewed the world, and experienced time and space events strictly within the confines of a normally developing human person' (Gerald Hawthorne, The Presence and the Power, 210)."



    "It isn’t that God the Son ceased to be God while he walked and ministered on the earth. Rather he voluntarily and willingly suspended the independent exercise of those divine attributes that would have been incompatible with his living an authentic human life in dependence on the Holy Spirit.

    Jesus was fully human, and lived and ministered as a human being who drew on the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to preach with power and heal the sick and cleanse the lepers and raise the dead. He was also, simultaneously, fully God, fully divine. But it wasn’t by virtue of his divine nature as Second Person of the Triune Godhead that he lived and ministered and taught and healed, but by virtue or on the basis of his constant, conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit (see John 3:34). In this way Jesus has given us an example of how God wants us to live and minister: as human beings who draw our strength and continuously derive our power from the indwelling Holy Spirit of God."


    Much of the article is about terminology, translation, and background. The above quotes sum up the actual doctrine.



    Roger Olson, ex-Pentecostal Arminian.

    (Annoyingly, his Patheos page seems to use some magic that prevents copy-and-paste. Since I have to do it manually, I'll quote much less, and may not get it perfect.)

    "In brief, Kenotic Christology is the idea that the Son of God, God the Son, the Word/Logos, voluntarily decided to "set aside" (or retract) His attributes of glory and power in becoming Incarnate as the boy and man Jesus Christ and function throughout his life on earth as a human being, not using his attributes of glory and power or even knowing about them except through revelation from his heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit."


    Olson uses the helpful analogy of "sleep": Basically, on earth, Christ's divine glory and power are present but asleep.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

    Beige Nationalist.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

    Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

  • #2
    In the scriptural record, Logos emptied himself, became flesh, was made for a time to be lesser than the angels and no different from his brothers. This man whom God attested through the miracles that God performed through him died, was buried, and resurrected. He sits at the right hand of God, having been restored to the glory that he had with God before creation.

    On the basis of the unalloyed scriptural record, kenosis is ineluctable. Logos abdicated from his godhood.

    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tabibito View Post
      In the scriptural record, Logos emptied himself, became flesh, was made for a time to be lesser than the angels and no different from his brothers. This man whom God attested through the miracles that God performed through him died, was buried, and resurrected. He sits at the right hand of God, having been restored to the glory that he had with God before creation.

      On the basis of the unalloyed scriptural record, kenosis is ineluctable. Logos abdicated from his godhood.
      I had to look up "ineluctable"

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        I had to look up "ineluctable"
        If I remember rightly, it was one of the several words that my daughter was using around the time she turned two that prompted the Child Care Centre to buy a dictionary.
        sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          I had to look up "ineluctable"
          Good! Me too!!!
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tabibito View Post
            In the scriptural record, Logos emptied himself, became flesh, was made for a time to be lesser than the angels and no different from his brothers. This man whom God attested through the miracles that God performed through him died, was buried, and resurrected. He sits at the right hand of God, having been restored to the glory that he had with God before creation.

            On the basis of the unalloyed scriptural record, kenosis is ineluctable. Logos abdicated from his godhood.
            The reason I started this thread was that I'd been pondering the "Pop preachers and their heretical beliefs" thread. Heresy hunters look at Word-Faith and related preachers, with their flamboyant and careless remarks, and declare them and anyone who says anything that even sounds remotely similar to be "heretics."

            Kenosis and deification are probably the two that most seriously get their knickers in a wad.

            Your closing sentence is provocative, and would probably earn you the "heretic" label from the hunters. It's a statement I think even most kenosis advocates, like Storms, Olsen, and the late Gerald Hawthorne, would hesitate to make. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it, but I can't think of any Scripture that invalidates it.
            Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

            Beige Nationalist.

            "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

            Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

              Good! Me too!!!
              Yes. It was a Charles Krauthammer moment.
              Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

              Beige Nationalist.

              "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

              Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                Yes. It was a Charles Krauthammer moment.
                I really do miss him.
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                  The reason I started this thread was that I'd been pondering the "Pop preachers and their heretical beliefs" thread. Heresy hunters look at Word-Faith and related preachers, with their flamboyant and careless remarks, and declare them and anyone who says anything that even sounds remotely similar to be "heretics."

                  Kenosis and deification are probably the two that most seriously get their knickers in a wad.
                  Deification has a long and honourable history in the Eastern Churches. It also holds a similar but less obvious place in Rome, and in Anglican teachings it is present but in tension.

                  Your closing sentence is provocative, and would probably earn you the "heretic" label from the hunters.
                  In academic writing, I back it with demonstrations from scripture and Christian writings to the late second century and beyond - which is to say, I substantiate the claim.

                  It's a statement I think even most kenosis advocates, like Storms, Olsen, and the late Gerald Hawthorne, would hesitate to make. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it, but I can't think of any Scripture that invalidates it.
                  They're saying it - just avoiding the explicit admission that it is what they're saying. Mann Park for example ** reports that many challenges have arisen against traditional concepts of God which were developed to draw a contrast to the “finitude of creatures (and) understood in absolutist terms,” [1] with a range of objections including; “this theistic understanding is philosophically derived and does not correspond to the biblical witness to God."[2]**Add to your list: Moltmann, Kitamori and more than a few others.


                  ** That God is capable of suffering is ... a matter of record, both in prospect when God says, “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,”[1] and in actuation, where it is recorded that God secured the church with his own blood:[2] God himself was crucified. Hebrews 13:12 identifies Christ as sanctifying the people by his own blood and suffering. Even if the statements could safely be ignored that Logos emptied himself to assume human schéma, omoiōmati, and morphé[3] to be made lesser than the angels,[4] no different from his brothers,[5] that he was a man who was attested by God in the signs and wonders that God worked through him;[6] the “He” who was obedient unto death, spoken of in Philippians 2:8, the living one identifying himself as the one who was dead and lives forever more,[7] is none other than Logos, God revealed in the flesh.[8] The incarnation and crucifixion, however the practical enactment is perceived, constitute demonstrated radical changes in God: that the scriptures assert God’s passibility is therefore ineluctable.**

                  [** citing my own essays **]


                  [1] self-existent, incorporeal, eternal, immutable, impassible, simple, perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent.

                  [2] Mann Park. Jürgen Moltmann’s Theology of the Trinity and its Significance for Contemporary Social Questions: A Dialogical Approach Dissertation PDF, (Toronto: Toronto School of Theology, 2000), 23
                  [1] Zechariah 12:10, Isaiah 53:5 – the latter is often disputed, but in light of Zechariah 12:10, not convincingly.

                  [2] Acts 20:28 cf Hebrews 13:12 The Holy Spirit is the subject and therefore, grammatically, the one who shed his blood. “God” is genitive so, technically, “God” isn’t viable as the one who shed his own blood. Either way, Christ is not identified as being solely the subject securing the church with his own blood.

                  [3] Philippians 2:7-8: schéma (form, shape, figure), omoiōmati - dative of omoiōma (likeness, image), and morphé (form, fashion, appearance). No one of these words would alone be decisive – the three in the combination provided by Paul declare Logos to have assumed full humanity, particularly in view of Philippians 2:8B.

                  [4] Hebrews 2:9

                  [5] Hebrews 2:17

                  [6] Acts 2:22

                  [7] Rev 1:18. cf Kitamori. Theology of the Pain of God, 45

                  [8] 1 Tim 3:16. see also Athanasius Orations Against the Arians 1:39, which addresses many of the points in this paragraph.


                  sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                  • #10
                    A minor further point. 'Tis said that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential for salvation. The said doctrine, as it stands, did not exist prior to the late fourth century.

                    Shock.jpg

                    So Christians (including the founding apostles) lacked one of the essential-for-salvation doctrines for about 350 years.
                    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                      A minor further point. 'Tis said that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential for salvation. The said doctrine, as it stands, did not exist prior to the late fourth century.

                      Shock.jpg

                      So Christians (including the founding apostles) lacked one of the essential-for-salvation doctrines for about 350 years.
                      The doctrine of the Trinity not existing until the late fourth century is a little strong for me. Not formally formulated and clearly understood is probably the better description of the state of the doctrine.
                      "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                      "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                        The reason I started this thread was that I'd been pondering the "Pop preachers and their heretical beliefs" thread. Heresy hunters look at Word-Faith and related preachers, with their flamboyant and careless remarks, and declare them and anyone who says anything that even sounds remotely similar to be "heretics."

                        Kenosis and deification are probably the two that most seriously get their knickers in a wad.

                        Your closing sentence is provocative, and would probably earn you the "heretic" label from the hunters. It's a statement I think even most kenosis advocates, like Storms, Olsen, and the late Gerald Hawthorne, would hesitate to make. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it, but I can't think of any Scripture that invalidates it.
                        Understanding Jesus as fully God and fully man is hard. I find most people go to one or the other but just can't deal with both.

                        Also on occasion, I find some of the heresy hunters are a little quick on the draw. I saw one YouTube video where they should about a 1 minute segment of a sermon by someone and declared him a false teacher because of the segment. Overlooking that one minute of a sermon is insufficient evidence of being a false teacher, the topic was to me so non-essential that I would say the guy was simply in error.
                        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                          The doctrine of the Trinity not existing until the late fourth century is a little strong for me. Not formally formulated and clearly understood is probably the better description of the state of the doctrine.
                          The trace through the first four centuries is clear enough. If I remember the sequence rightly:


                          First to be ditched was the deity of the Holy Spirit (later to be restored)
                          Then the possibility that God could suffer or undergo change.
                          Then the concept of non-equality of the individuals of the trinity.
                          Then the concept that Christ was Logos become flesh.

                          There is a lot of backing and forthing, and I haven't finished conducting the trace.
                          However: The Nicene Creed can be reconciled with scripture, the later variations on that creed can't.

                          ETA:
                          Start with one of the simple comparisons.
                          Did Logos become flesh, or did he inhabit a body fashioned from Mary's flesh?
                          Last edited by tabibito; 09-09-2021, 07:39 AM.
                          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                            In the scriptural record, Logos emptied himself, became flesh, was made for a time to be lesser than the angels and no different from his brothers. This man whom God attested through the miracles that God performed through him died, was buried, and resurrected. He sits at the right hand of God, having been restored to the glory that he had with God before creation.

                            On the basis of the unalloyed scriptural record, kenosis is ineluctable. Logos abdicated from his godhood.
                            I find an Olorin-Gandalf theory of the Incarnation very helpful.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                              The trace through the first four centuries is clear enough. If I remember the sequence rightly:


                              First to be ditched was the deity of the Holy Spirit (later to be restored)
                              Then the possibility that God could suffer or undergo change.
                              Then the concept of non-equality of the individuals of the trinity.
                              Then the concept that Christ was Logos become flesh.

                              There is a lot of backing and forthing, and I haven't finished conducting the trace.
                              However: The Nicene Creed can be reconciled with scripture, the later variations on that creed can't.

                              ETA:
                              Start with one of the simple comparisons.
                              Did Logos become flesh, or did he inhabit a body fashioned from Mary's flesh?
                              He did both. The BVM is in every sense His mother. She, as a creature, did not give Him His Divine Nature & Divine Person - but neither does any other human mother. So, in a somewhat unusual way, she is essentially just like any other human mother. Her Son - like the other graces of God to her - is what makes the difference to her.

                              God undergoes no change in being born of a woman, any more than God undergoes change in creating the universe. The difference is never made to God, but only to what God creates or otherwise acts upon. God is not changed by the Passion of Christ; man's relation to God is what is changed. God is not changed by His act of predestination; the predestinated are. And so on.

                              Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 10-05-2021, 08:10 PM.

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