Scribbles, &c.

Thomistic Christology

Because God is not wholly alien to human thought and freedom, therefore the freedom of Christ can find its authentic fulfillment, perfection, and beauty in being utterly relative to God, that is to say, in knowing and doing the will of the Father. Through the medium of his human reason illumined by grace, Christ as man has knowledge of his own divine will that he shares with the Father, and this in turn renders him humanly free to do the divine will. Were there an absolute ontological dissimilitude between the human nature of Christ and divine nature, there would simply be no possibility of a cooperation of the human will of Christ with the divine will, as the revelation of the will of the Father would remain wholly alien and unintelligible to Christ’s human nature, even in the presence of divine grace. In point of fact, however, Christ’s human knowledge of his own deity deepens his human freedom by augmenting his human potential to love and to choose what is authentically good with freedom. In this way it is the source of the unique freedom of Christ.
— Thomas Joseph White, OP, The Incarnate Lord

This book was a bit of slow going at first - the initial parts of it respond to to other works of theology that I only know by name, though it didn’t take look to suss out the main ideas by way of White’s sed contras. I haven’t had to read that carefully and slowly in a long time, and I can see returning to this frequently in the future.

Why study Christology? Well, if we believe that God became Man, it’s very much worthwhile thinking through that teaches us about Him, especially as regards His death and resurrection. White shows how to bring to bear the theology of Thomas Aquinas to bear on some of the modern lines of thought about Christ, resolving some of the issues that have clouded an already demanding topic. At best, this cloudiness results in confusion; at worst, thoughts which slowly edge in the direction of Nestorianism or even Gnosticism. For my part, the sections on Holy Saturday cleared away some confusion I’ve had since trying to tackle Balthasar’s Mysterium Paschale (which he engages directly). Strangely enough, the descent into hell is something we gloss right over in the creeds but gets called out frequently by adults in our RCIA classes. Wait, what does THAT mean? He descended into hell? They’ve never heard it before, which surprises me.