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The Logic of God Incarnate [Paperback]

Tom Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; New edition edition (14 Dec 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801494745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801494741
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,580,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Discusses the unity of God and Jesus Christ, God's attributes, sin, temptation, the Trinity, representational Christology, and traditional views of God's goodness. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed Logical Analysis 20 April 2011
By Marcolorenzo TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Morris sets out to logically analyze whether it is reasonable and coherent to beleive in Jesus as God Incarnate. Even though he does go on to say that no idea of reasonableness of belief can be based on any logical deductive arguments. His logical arguments, which are aimed at proving that it is not an illogical impossibility that Jesus was God Incarnate, are very detailed and sometimes even run to the absurd to prove a point of impossibility of an opposing idea presented. His overall thesis is very sound: that is "the Two Minds View" of Christ, a Human Mind and a Divine Mind interconnected. One (the Divine Mind) having full access to the other (the Human Mind) the other only partially omniscient but still fully immersed in the Divine Mind and Divinity. All the points he challenges on other ideas of the "2 Natures View" of Christ are held up by this here presented two minds view, and therefore this work is highly recommended to understand the controversy of the two natures view and the advantages of the TWO MINDS view of Christ.
A note on this reprinted edition. This is a reprint from the original Cornell University Press Hardcover and Paperback editions of the late 1980's. The cover paper of this paperback edition is very flimsy indeed and needs reinforcing. If you can I would recommend getting a hold of a good second hand copy of the original Cornell U. P edition and forego this rather inferior quality edition.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Incarnate 17 Mar 2009
By Gerard Reed - Published on Amazon.com
In The Logic of God Incarnate (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, c. 1986), Thomas Morris seeks to defend Chalcedonian Christology from charges of incoherence as well as heterodox alternatives. Whereas Morris's Our Idea of God is addressed to general readers, The Logic of God Incarnate focuses on scholarly readers, those who wrestle with the more mysterious aspects of the Christian faith.
In his Preface, after telling how his interest in the subject developed while doing graduate work at Yale, Morris says: "In the course of thinking about the Incarnation for some years now, I have come to see that a few simple metaphysical distinctions and a solid dose of logical care will suffice to explicate and defend the doctrine against all extant criticisms of a philosophical nature. That is what this book attempts to show" (p. 9).
The Incarnation, of course, makes the extraordinary claim that Jesus was in fact fully God and man. Extraordinary, however, does not mean illogical or absurd. "The Christian claim is that because of the distinctiveness of divinity and humanity, it was possible for the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, to take on human nature while still retaining his deity. The two particular natures involved, despite appearances to the contrary, allowed this unusual duality" (p. 40). In becoming man, the Son did not lose or even temporarily surrender His divinity--Morris respects, but does not accept, what he regards as a fatal compromise implicit in kenotic Christology. In being assumed by God, the man Jesus did not lose his humanity--though we must understand that his humanity was "fully human," realizing God's design for man, not the "merely human" being we tend to think of, taking ourselves as models. Accordingly, "The God-man is, according to orthodoxy, both fully human and fully divine, but at the same time more deeply or fundamentally divine than human. The Person bearing the two natures is an essentially divine Person" (p. 52).
Taking such a strong position concerning Christ's divinity, Morris turns to explaining how divine attributes (omnipotence; omniscience; goodness; etc.) could be present in a fully human person, Jesus Christ. He argues for what he calls a "two minds view of Christ" whereby in becoming man "God the Son did not give up anything of deity; he merely took on the nature and condition of humanity" (p. 104). The "two minds view" suggests Jesus Christ combined deity and humanity in somewhat the same way we combine our conscious and unconscious minds. Our unconsciousness always underlies our consciousness, though we generally function in accord with our consciousness. Thus Jesus generally functioned in accord with his humanity, but his deity was always more basic and formative.
Taking this position, of course, commits Morris to the somewhat unfashionable defense of the "impeccability" of Christ. If God cannot sin, God's Son, fully God, cannot sin either. This does not, of course, mean that he was not fully human, since sinning is hardly a necessary quality of humanity! "Merely human" beings may unfailingly sin, but "fully human" beings need not! Thus Jesus the God-man could not have sinned. He could, however, have felt the power of temptation in his humanity. There are, analogously, "epistemic" possibilities which we con¬sciously consider without them being in fact "real." I can know, it seems to me, what it means to be a NBA superstar like Michael Jordan, though to actually be one is impossible. (Morris sets forth a better, multi-paged illustration concerning a hypnotized patient). So, he argues, "In order that he suffer real temptation, then, it is not necessary that sinning be a broadly logical or metaphysical possibility for Jesus; it is only necessary that it be an epistemic possibility for him" (p. 148).
Morris has set forth a persuasive case. He clearly thinks before he writes, uses words carefully, and seeks to make the Christian position as logical and coherent as possible. While he nowhere suggests one can convert skeptics to Christianity simply through logic, for only the Holy Spirit seems able to accomplish that, he successfully shows how believers need not fear their faith is logically flawed and defensible only through the refuge of incomprehensible "paradoxes."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be considered a Christian classic 5 Oct 2012
By A. Omelianchuk - Published on Amazon.com
Very helpful in addressing challenges to the coherence of the Incarnation. Requires some training in metaphysics and logic to fully appreciate, but a patient reader will benefit, nonetheless. I found Morris' defense of "perfect being theology" persuasive and respected the careful way he lays out "the two-minds view," a view of the person of Christ I had wrongly deemed implausible. I will be returning to this volume again and again to glean insights about the differences between being merely human and fully human, what is metaphysically possible and what is epistemically possible, and what is essential to an individual and what is essential to a natural kind. This should be required reading for anyone who wants to engage seriously in philosophical reflection on the person of Christ.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, but certainly worth the Read! 26 Jan 2013
By J. Chandler Arnett III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it was footnoted as a source in almost every book or article I came across on the subject. I am not an academic philosopher (even though I do read books by them often) so the book is difficult...but doable. The time I have spent going through it has been worth it for sure and really helped me to come to terms in articulating and defending a coherent model (possible model) of the orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation. I highly recommend it, for those who agree with Chalcedon as well as those who don't! One of the best books I have read in a while, very impressed with Morris' work on the subject!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Analytic Philosophy majors only... 17 Jun 2013
By myLordking - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a work which purports to justify the incarnation through the analytic school of philosophy and logic, and the first few chapters did set a good framework for the author's assumptions...but be forewarned, philosophy and logic are definite pre-requisites. I would not suggest this book for a thesis or paper (as I did) unless you have unrestricted time to read, re-read, and consult other works OR unless you have substantial background in philosophy . Some of the illustrations are very helpful, though.
1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haughty, "intellectual" masturbation 26 Oct 2013
By john1411 - Published on Amazon.com
Someone in my discussion group gave me this book, but I was only able to read about a third of it. This book, and its topic, are about as logical as a lengthy, detailed book, with "well-argued positions", on unicorn husbandry. The elegant, sophist verbosity adds not an iota of truth or meaning regarding either unicorns or invisible men.
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