I’ve posted a whole series on the classical argument for the existence of God. Of course, as a Christian, I often get asked, “So, even if this Prime Mover exists, why should I believe in the Christian “God? Why not other religions?”
This is a fair question and one that cannot be answered with the same deductive reasoning as with the metaphysical argument for God, but there is a logical connection we can make for the incarnation of God in the person of Christ, and why an invisible, transcendent, and infinite God would communicate with humankind this way.
This argument builds on the previous set of arguments so you should have a basic understanding of the Classical Argument of the Existence of God before you continue here. To save verbiage, I’m only going to summarize here, and will either reference a video by Classic Theist titled, “An Argument For Christianity” for further philosophical background, or I will refer to some of my previous posts that are relevant to a particular point.
I should also point out that I’m not making a theological argument for Christ here but a logical one that’s derived from the previous arguments mentioned. I have plenty of other posts that make theological and biblically-based arguments for Christ.
In part three in the Argument for God, I listed some of the attributes that necessarily flow from Pure Act or Subsistent Existence Itself. The graphic below (from Classic Theist) uses light through a prism to illustrate how we, who are contingent and finite beings, perceive God (analogously) through various attributes, even though God is infinite and not actually made of parts or composite in nature. All of these attributes flow from His Pure Act (called “Absolute Simplicity”).
Here is a summary of the classical argument for why God creates (for the explanation of each point, you can to go to the video here).
a) God is the essence of goodness by virtue of being Pure Actuality.
b) Goodness is self-diffusive or self-communicative or has a tendency to share itself.
c) The higher or nobler the good the more intimately it will diffuse or communicate or share itself.
d) God’s creation of the world is a result of the outpouring of Himself beyond His own essence.
God is love
One of the attributes that diffuses from God’s essence is love (see part three). Love, here, does not mean emotional affection but willing the good of the other (benevolence). Therefore, love is necessarily relational. And, in order for God to be love, He must be able to express it within Himself, apart from His creation. The love between the Father, Son, and Spirit within the Trinitarian life of God expresses this perfectly (see series, “The Trinitarian God“).
If God’s essence is love, which is willing the good of another, it follows that He is self-diffusive, self-communicative, willing to share Himself, and we would ultimately have to apply that to God’s relationship to His creation.
Now, we can get to the question of the incarnation of God in Christ. Of course, there’s the theological and soteriological argument for the incarnation of Christ, but there are also logical reasons for why an invisible, transcendent and “wholly other-than” God would communicate with His creation through a human being in particular.
The Aristotelian view is that humankind is a rational animal, but I think there’s something more fundamental to this that has been taught throughout the centuries by church fathers, theologians, philosophers, even beyond the walls of Christianity…that man is really a compendium, a summation, or a microcosm of the whole universe in one substance. All hierarchies of being are existent or adhere within him.
- There is corporeal reality. We are composed of the basic, non-living chemical elements that permeate the entire physical universe.
- There is in man the principle of life, and on all the levels…base-level bacterial and vegetative capacities with bacteria and plants. We share the capacity for instinct and higher sensation, as with the animals.
- There is in man the intellectual principle that has the capacity to know God Himself, truth, and immaterial substances, such as universals, etc.
All these show that humankind is a microcosm of God’s creation…thus, if God were going to communicate or share Himself with creation in a full and intimate way, it would seem that the best way to do that would be to take the one substance and the whole creation within it (humankind) and unite absolutely to Himself in the fullest and mose intimate ways possible.
Aquinas said the following:
“It belongs to the essence of the highest good to communicate itself to the highest manner to the creature, and this brought about chiefly by His so joining created nature to Himself that one person is made up of these three: the word, a soul, and flesh, as Augustine says. Hence, it was manifest that it was fitting that God should become incarnate.”
What better way is this union expressed than in the incarnation of God in the hypostatic union of Christ. And, from this divine union, we can see why Jesus is the way to God (John 14:6). For God has joined Himself to humankind with the incarnation of Christ and, therefore, joined Himself to all humankind.
9 For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. 10 And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. (Col. 2:9-10 AMP)