Saturday, November 21, 2009

(4) Jesus Unto Christ

Also, the idea that Jesus as the Incarnate Logos had come to
*illuminate* creation is indeed fascinating! The late great Church
scholar, Jaroslav Pelikan, wrote that "by becoming incarnate
in Jesus, the Logos had enabled human beings to transcend
themselves and, in a pregnant phrase of the New Testament, 'to
become partakers in the divine nature' [2 Pet. 1:4]. The Logos of
God has become human, 'so that you might learn from a human
being how a human being may become divine.'
[Clement of Alexandria, EXHORTATION TO THE GREEKS, 1.8.4]

"Indeed, the Logos was 'the true light that enlightens every man!'
As the Word of God, the Logos has spoken in the life
and teachings of Jesus. As the Reason of God, the Logos made
sense out of the maddness of the world and the power of evil. As
the structure of the Cosmos, the Logos held forth the promise that
there could be a *system* and a connection between the disparate
elements of the Universe as it was experienced. As the Savior of the
Cosmos, the Logos had not snatched humanity out of the goodness
of the created order, but had transformed the created order into a fit
setting for a *transformed humanity.*"
[ Gregory of Nyssa, ON THE MAKING OF MAN, 22.5]

"Thus pondering over the idea of the Christ as the Incarnate Logos,
perhaps St. Paul sums it up most magnificently: "He is the image of
the invisible God, the first-born of all Creation; for in him all things
were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether
thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were
created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him
all things hold together." [Col. 1: 15-19]

Hence studying through all this Christology of the Early Church,
it was easy to put two-and-two together when it came to Teilhard's
approach to the "Cosmic Christ." He was dealing with a Continuum
of Thought, leading from the Logos-Pneuma unto Christ--and he
surely knew it.

As for the Historical Jesus, well (like millions of others down through
the centuries) I can only say that it is a matter of faith. And Teilhard
held tight to his faith in Jesus as the Incarnation.

Of course through all these centuries, there's what is known as the
"Christ of Faith" that shape-shifts in our minds. Without going much
into this, scholars have traced how we humans have "fit" our faith
in Christ to our immediate milieu--whether the Middle Ages, whether
the Renaissance, whether the Enlightenment, whether Revolutionary
periods, whether during Wars, whether the cry for Liberation and

And in today's world, too, we are starting to look towards the Christ
of Faith from a cosmic, universal perspective that probably runs well
ahead of any faith system or institution. Teilhard's Cosmogenesis,
his Christogenesis, eventually unto the Omega Point, points the way.