Incarnational Models and Christological Anthropology

Christological anthropology is the discipline that examines the nature of humanity in light of the person of Christ. Christological anthropology recognizes that our understanding of the incarnation greatly influences our understanding of humanity. We may understand the incarnation as either a transformation or a relation. In transformational models of the incarnation, the Logos undergoes a change in order to become human. Transformational models typically are monothelitic and view the human nature of Christ as an abstract nature. Thus, in the incarnation, the will of the divine Logos becomes the will of the man, Jesus Christ. In relational models of the incarnation, the Logos has a certain relation to a particular human nature. Relational models tend to be dyothelitic and view Christ’s human nature as a concrete nature. Although the Logos and the man, Jesus Christ, are truly and inseparably one person, each nature has a distinct will.
In this paper, I argue that the choice between transformational and relational models is a choice between violating or preserving the Creator-creature distinction. If we espouse a transformational model, we violate the Creator-creature distinction because the will of the divine Logos becomes part of creation. And the anthropological significance of violating the Creator-creature distinction in the incarnation is that some of our human properties are shared with God univocally; we really have certain properties in common with God. But if we espouse a relational model, we preserve the Creator-creature distinction, which entails that our likeness to God is analogical.
In what follows, first, I define and provide examples of transformational and relational models of the incarnation. Second, I define the Creator-creature distinction and show how each kind of model relates to it. Third, I explore the significance of these models on christological anthropology.

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