Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

items tagged with incarnation

In Context

  1. For he was made man that we might be made God.
    Athanasius (ca. 296–373), from On the Incarnation.

Study Modules


15 May 2002

Divided by Christ

by Samuel Hugh Moffett | Issue 74

CHRISTIANS WHO LIVED under Muslim rule in the eighth century found themselves with an unusual status—second-class but sometimes respected, more often pitied for their “inferior” religion than directly persecuted. This led to some interesting debates.

Then, as now, some Christians cast the discussion in confrontational terms, while others opted for measured interfaith dialogue. The ways in which John of Damascus (ca. 675–749) and Nestorian Patriarch Timothy I (779–823 or 778–821) approached Islam highlight the contrast.

(Note: Nestorianism,...

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31 Aug 1996

The King Visits Earth

by Athanasius | Issue 51

WHAT WAS GOD TO DO in face of the dehumanizing of humankind, this universal hiding of the knowledge of himself by the wiles of evil spirits? What else could he possibly do but renew his image in humankind, so that through it people might once more come to know him? And how could this be done save by the coming of the very image himself, our Savior Jesus Christ? Human beings could not have done it, for they are only made after the image; nor could angels have done it, for they are not the images of God. The Word of God came in his own person,...

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31 Aug 1996

Heresy in the Early Church: Christian History Interview — The Search for the Biblical Jesus

by Thomas Oden | Issue 51

To some, early church debates about Christ read like a computer programming language: impossible to decode. To others, the early church theology seems as relevant as the dress codes of a Carthusian monastery.

To help us understand what the early church was driving at in the millions of theological words it produced, Christian History talked with Thomas Oden, who teaches theology at Drew University. He is author of the three-volume systematic theology: The Living God, The Word of Life, and Life in the Spirit (Harper San Francisco, 1992).


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31 Aug 1996

Fine-Tuning the Incarnation

by Bruce L. Shelley | Issue 51

SHORTLY AFTER THE TURN OF THE SECOND CENTURY, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, consulted Emperor Trajan about the rapidly spreading Christian “superstition” in his district, asking him what he should do about it. By interrogating a few people, Pliny learned that “on an appointed day,” Christians habitually met before daybreak and recited “a hymn to Christ, as to a god.”

These hymns, which go back to the earliest days of Christianity, sharply contradict the popular notion that the doctrine of the Incarnation is only a...

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