Author Topic: The Pre-Incarnate Christ  (Read 639 times)

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Offline CrystalMind

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The Pre-Incarnate Christ
« on: February 08, 2016, 03:45:58 PM »
Hey, it's me again... First: if this is the wrong forum, I apologize. Please move me as you will.

Second... the subject line is something that got tossed around a little bit in my later Non-Denom days. I don't remember hearing about it when I was little, but the example that I heard the most later on was "The Angel of the Lord in the fiery furnace--with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego--was actually the Pre-Incarnate Christ."

At the time, it was kind of an off the wall interpretation, but--in true non-denom manner--I was willing, with others of the congregation, to accept it as a possibility. After all, our pastor actually went to Seminary. ;)

However, I was on the phone with my mom yesterday, and the topic of angel worship came up. My mom's opinion is that the majority of the angels in the OT were actually the pre-incarnate Christ.

And for some reason that really bugged me.

I'll see my priest on Wednesday, but I wanted to go ahead and ask if this concept even bears out? Does Orthodoxy have it? Where?

...and how do the rest of you handle awkward theological talks with your relatives? They seem to happen whether I want them to or not--my parents still want me to 'see the light.'

(Again, if there's a better subforum for this, please move me.)
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EDIT: Upon some consideration, I have pinned down the reason it bugs me. Part of it--most of it--has to do with my poor brain still struggling with Trinitarian theology; obviously the second person of the Trinity is eternal, and yet Christ (being fully God and fully man) became incarnate at a precise point in history.

The second part is just a general pushback against the theology of my parents current church, which acknowledges the Trinity if pressed, but otherwise makes no mention of God the Father or of the Holy Spirit.

Again, I'm mostly asking because it's like a burr in my brain, and I won't see my priest until Wednesday. Any help is appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 04:13:16 PM by CrystalMind »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The Pre-Incarnate Christ
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 06:02:32 PM »
My mom's opinion is that the majority of the angels in the OT were actually the pre-incarnate Christ.
We wouldn't say that.

We would say that the Word made himself manifest as the Burning Bush, one of Abraham's guest Angels, the Angel in the Furnace, etc.

Are the two angels I just mentioned angels representing the Word, or some sort of active presence of the Word? Within Orthodox theology I would say both, if pressed.


obviously the second person of the Trinity is eternal, and yet Christ (being fully God and fully man) became incarnate at a precise point in history.
So you have to decide whether Christ is just the name/title for the Word when he's incarnate or if it's always been his name.

Since Christians in the Church only know him as Messiah and have no other way to access or come to know him, and since he is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world (which is his Messianic mission), I think we should say the Word has always been Christ.

Now, there is also a sense in which he is anointed to begin his Messianic ministry at his baptism, but this sense does not contradict his always being Christ. The messianic throne is a divine throne after all.

The Messianic mission includes the Word himself bringing his eternal divine sonship/kingship into the divine sonship/kingship established in Israel so that they are fulfilled and become one. See Psalm 2.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 06:06:58 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Thomas

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Re: The Pre-Incarnate Christ
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 06:51:55 PM »
As God is Eternal all persons of the Holy Trinity are likewise eternal.
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline CrystalMind

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Re: The Pre-Incarnate Christ
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 09:48:22 AM »
That makes sense.

I have a tendency to get tangled up in my head... outside perspectives help.

Thank you both.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The Pre-Incarnate Christ
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 05:34:35 PM »
Let us know how the priest visit worked out.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.