Incarnation and Mythology

  • John Hick


We now have before us the central christian claim concerning Jesus: that he was/is God the Son incarnate. Or perhaps the Love of God incarnate; for I have suggested that in expressing this claim today we might speak of the identity of divine and human activities of loving rather than of an identity of substance. But it is to be noted that this suggestion does not profess to explain the assertion that Jesus was God as well as man but only to present it in terms that have currency today. To repeat what was said above, ‘what I have been exploring is not a way of explaining [Christianity’s] central claim about Jesus but only of indicating what that claim is. The assertion that Jesus’ agapéing was continuous with the divine Agapéing is no more self-explanatory than the assertion that Christ was of one substance with the Father. Neither of these phrases, strictly speaking, explains anything….’1


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  1. 7.
    Ernst Troeltsch, Christian Thought: Its History and Application (London: University of London Press, and New York: Meridian Books, 1957) p. 26.Google Scholar
  2. Reprinted in Owen C. Thomas, ed., Attitudes toward Other Religions (London: S.C.M. Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    This strand is briefly traced by Metropolitan George Khodr in ‘Christianity in a Pluralist World — the Economy of the Holy Spirit’, in Living Faiths and the Ecumenical Movement ed. S. J. Samartha (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Hick 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Hick
    • 1
  1. 1.The Claremont Graduate SchoolUSA

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