Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Incarnation of the Son

One objection to the Incarnation is how it's possible for just one person of the Trinity can become Incarnate, if the Trinity is indivisible. Let's consider a few comparisons. In some standard accounts of personal identity, my identity as an individual is indivisible. Yet in another sense, my existence is subdivided. It has temporal parts. I can't step back in time to when I was a high school student. Yet I'm the same individual. There's a distinction between me in 1978 and me in 2018. I'm exemplified at different times. 

Transworld identity is another example. What if my parents lived in a different city. I'd be the same individual, but I can be exemplified in different places. 

The point is not that a "part" of the Trinity becomes Incarnate, but just to demonstrate, as a matter of principle, that something can be indivisible in one respect, yet only be partially exemplified or represented. 


  1. Does this not imply that God is temporal or time is an attribute of God? There is an exemplification or representation of God before the incarnation and another after the incarnation. Two representations at different times.

    How can God have two different representations in a timeless reality?

    I am at ease because a divine reality without time leaves me confused.

    1. I'm not using these to illustrate the Trinity or the Incarnation. Rather, I'm using these to illustrate the general principle that something can be indivisible in one respect, yet only be partially exemplified or represented.

      Insofar as the objection I'm fielding is based on that general principle, I'm showing that the general principle is mistaken. So my argument is indirect.

      That's not how I model the Trinity or the Incarnation.

      There is a sense in which God has physical (spatiotemporal) representations or exemplifications. Theophanies are a classic example. Those aren't actually divine. They're physical media. But they symbolize God.

  2. When i was 17 i had no idea where i was going in my life. I day dreamed that a 40 year old version of myself would step out of a time machine and tell me what to do with my life.

    That concept of a younger and older self meeting is at the heart of the sci-fi movie Looper. Its a great scence when the older and younger selves meet.