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November 30, 2012


Matthew SG

I am confused by your characterisation of Anselm's explanation of the incarnation. Admitting that I am one who holds to it, or perhaps a form of it, I fail to see how it can be said to make God "a capricious and arbitrary Lord, taking his pique out on his vassals for minor infractions," nor how it can be said only to make sense within a feudal context. I, for one, understand it as God taking the only possible step to heal a relationship vitiated by sin. Only a human could accomplish this, since it was we who did and continue to vitiate that relationship, but only God possesses the power to do so. The incarnation was thus an act of love and self-sacrifice, God giving of himself to help us achieve what only we could achieve but which is beyond us on our own, and betrays neither caprice nor pique.

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Scott Paeth teaches Religious Studies at DePaul University