Monday, March 10, 2014

Capax Humanitatis

Brilliant words from N.T. Wright:
I think it’s important that Christian theologians give a fully Trinitarian account of God’s action in the world, in which, though God may be thought of as a pure spirit, it is vital for our knowing who God is that he is the father who sends the son and who sends the spirit of the son (Galatians 4.4-7). He is capax humanitatis, because humans were made in his image. His action in the world is not to be thought of as invasive, intrusive or (still less) ‘interventionist.’ . . . God is always at work in the world, and God is always at work in, and addressing, human beings, not only through one faculty such as the soul or spirit but through every fibre of our beings, not least our bodies. . . . Why should the creator not relate to his creation in a thousand different ways? Why should brain, heart and body not all be wonderfully interrelated in so many ways that we need the rich language of mind, soul and spirit to begin to do justice to it all?
The concept of capax humanitatis is new to me and a very helpful description. This explains that God is "capable of holding all of human nature." Because God made humans in his image, God is fully capable of holding, within himself, all human nature. This is particularly useful as we consider the Son of God: Jesus. In Jesus, we see a person who holds all of human nature within himself; yet, is fully God at the same time. He holds all of human nature; he is the ultimate and complete human; and still has room to be more than human.

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (New International Version; NIV)

Work Cited:
"Mind, Spirit, Soul and Body: All for One and One for All Reflections on Paul’s Anthropology in his Complex Contexts" By the Rt Revd Prof N. T. Wright University of St Andrews. http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_SCP_MindSpiritSoulBody.htm

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