The CCEL Times 5.12 (December 1, 2010)
In This Issue:
From the Director
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Have a blessed Christmas.
What do Christians believe about the Incarnation?
In addition to the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Incarnation is held as a specifically Christian belief. For Christianity, the second member of the Trinity "became flesh." This doctrine is important for two reasons. First, it assumes the doctrine of the Trinity. Second, it tells us that God became a man and walked among us. But this immediately raises questions.
Joy to the World by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Isaac Watts wrote this text as a paraphrase of Psalm 98. He published it in his Psalms of David Imitated (1719) under the heading “The Messiah's Coming and Kingdom.” The paraphrase is Watts' Christological interpretation. ... In stanzas 1 and 2 Watts writes of heaven and earth rejoicing at the coming of the king. An interlude that depends more on Watts' interpretation than the psalm text, stanza 3 speaks of Christ's blessings extending victoriously over the realm of sin. ... [T]he line makes joyful sense when understood from the New Testament eyes through which Watts interprets the psalm.
Classic Reflections on the Incarnation
Our Saviour, dearly-beloved, was born today: let us be glad. ... Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad in that he is invited to pardon. Let the Gentile take courage in that he is called to life. For the Son of God in the fullness of time ... has taken on him the nature of [humanity], thereby to reconcile it to its Author: in order that the inventor of death, the devil, might be conquered through that which he had conquered. And in this conflict undertaken for us, the fight was fought on great and wondrous principles of fairness; for the Almighty Lord enters the lists with his savage foe not in his own majesty but in our humility, opposing him with the same form and the same nature, which shares indeed our mortality, though it is free from all sin.
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