On the Vicarious Humanity of Christ

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In the recent literature there has been a spate of essays, articles and books discussing the question of whether Christ had a ‘fallen’ human nature. This article offers a new argument for the conclusion that Christ had a fallen but not sinful human nature that was ‘healed’ of its fallenness at the moment of assumption by the Word – what we shall call, the vicarious humanity of Christ view. This account concedes to the defender of Christ's ‘fallen’ humanity that his human nature is generated in a fallen state (and immediately cleansed of fallenness in the act of assumption). And it concedes to the defender of Christ's sinlessness the claim that Christ is without sin from the first moment of incarnation. This represents an important via media in the contemporary debate about this vexed christological topic.

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... The distinctions we can draw here are many, but for now, it is only relevant that we think of Christ's human being, that is to say his particular network of relations, as the New Humanity, which is shared with us in some significant and metaphysical way. For more, seeCrisp (2019).8 This touches on an important distinction in ontology and identity: what is being referred to here is not numerical identity. ...
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One view of theological anthropology that might benefit from engagement with psychological sciences is relational theological anthropology. Studies in social psychology show that humans develop personal identity through sharing in group identity. I will explore how human beings share mental states when participating in groups. This will be used to explain how Christians in the body of Christ come to share in the mind of Christ. In sharing in new identity in Christ, the community of God in the Church shares in the mind of Christ together. This new identity is shared between its members without eradicating the individual identity of each member.
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T. F. Torrance is widely thought to be one of the most important recent theologians in the Anglophone world. There has been quite a lot of research done on his soteriology. This essay contributes to that discussion by assessing five soteriological themes in his thought. These comprise: his account of the vicarious humanity of Christ, the notion of incarnation as atonement, his christological understanding of the divine image, his wholly objective view of the nature of justification and his atonement mechanism. I use this analysis as a means to investigate two broader notions in his theology. These are theosis and universal salvation. In keeping with several other recent treatments of his work I conclude his theology implies a doctrine of theosis. I also argue that it implies universalism, despite his emphatic rejection of the doctrine.
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