Chapter 26 » 26.46

The Light that shines for all

The Light of Christ

The New Testament clearly sets out Christ as fully human and as fully divine. The writers are conscious of no difficulty or contradiction involved in this position. It seemed to them the most natural thing in the world. Probably the sense of contradiction only arises in our minds through ignorance of what is meant by personality. We set divinity over against humanity, on the assumption that so much added to the one must be so much subtracted from the other. Some have so emphasised Christ’s divinity as to leave no room for his humanity, while others have done just the reverse. It seems so easy to solve the problem by cutting the knot: either say that Christ was absolute God or that he was ordinary man. But this does not solve the problem, for either solution fails to take account of many of the facts. The difficulty is to get a conception of Jesus that is true to all the facts – of one who was the incarnate Son of God and yet (perhaps we should say ‘and therefore’) was truly man. It is a pity that we insist on using the terms ‘humanity’ and ‘divinity’ as though they implied opposition. May we not rather say that Jesus ‘shows us the divine life humanly lived and the human life divinely lived’?

Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting, 1919

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