The Metaphor of God Incarnate // John Hick.


Years prior, John Hick stirred the Anglican Church by editing a volume called The Myth of God Incarnate, where a host of Anglican priests and theologians staked their opinions about the (un)historicity of certain gospel stories–incarnation included. John Hick, a preeminent philosophical theologian (and a fundamentalist-turned-pluralist), presents here, in The Metaphor of God Incarnate, a way to conceive of downplaying the uniqueness and exclusivity of Christianity that would invite the plurality of world religions. His argument, roughly, follows like accordingly: (1) in the gospels, Jesus never claims to be God incarnate, (2) the divinization of Christ was the works of his followers, (3) the doctrine of incarnation was a hellenistic product centuries after Jesus’ death, therefore, (4) Jesus being God incarnate is not a metaphysical reality but a metaphorical description. In other words, incarnation is not a historical event of God entering time and creation but rather a human act that shows the “Real” through Selfless Love.

Hick’s project, as one described it to me, is the culmination of the Enlightenment Project. However, with the rise of postmodernism, Hick’s suggestions are not too helpful. He has answers that postmodernists are not asking. Personally, I found Hick, at times, interesting but, most of the time, a bore. Nonetheless, I would recommend this to anyone remotely interested in theology, especially if one wants to learn a good summation of higher biblical criticism with a bend towards Protestant Liberalism. Fundamentally, I disagree with Hick, but I got to, at least, know who and what I am disagreeing with and about.


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