The Attack on the Incarnation
There is a difference between sincerely questioning the dynamic of the incarnation and diminishing its mission. One is a reflection of human curiosity and the other an expression of human rebellion and arrogance.
Permit me to use an unfortunate example with which many of us are familiar. When a law enforcement officer stops us for speeding, we immediately go into defense mode. We might choose any number of arguments in an attempt to escape a ticket, including but not exclusive to, 1) the confession we were not paying attention and had no idea we were speeding, 2) that we were in the process of passing, or 3) that this was an anomaly because we never speed. In reference to this last point, a deputy sheriff once told me, “I find it amazingly coincidental that I happen to be in the very place so many people choose to speed for the very first time.”
In spite of our best efforts to escape a dreaded citation, and our right to contest it in court, most of us would never dream of driving away while a law officer was addressing our crime. We might not understand where he was parked when he clocked our speed, or the thought process that goes into his decision to write us a ticket or let us go with a warning, but we have enough knowledge of the legal system to respect someone in a uniform, wearing a badge, and driving one of those multicolored cars with big lights on top.
In the same way, we may not understand everything about the incarnation of Jesus, but our lack of understanding is not the same as open rejection. What I am implying, and need to state clearly, is my personal suspicion many of the attacks on the idea of God becoming flesh are as much about spiritual rebellion as they are an honest intellectual pursuit. I don’t mean to suggest there are not those who have rejected the incarnate Jesus after an honest examination of the evidence. However, it seems to me many do so in an effort to justify a desire to walk outside of God’s will. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
Love does not necessarily require obedience unless the one we love is in a position of authority, which is certainly the case with Jesus. If we can deny who He is, God in the flesh, we can diminish our responsibility to Him in our minds. For this reason, attacking the incarnation can be very attractive.