Sir:

     Notes & Comments in the Sept.-Oct. issue contained a serious error inconsistent with orthodox teaching on the Incarnation and the human descent of Christ. Christ the man did not withstand sin as God but because He became a man among men and suffered under the law as a man but yet without sin. Christ redeemed us as man, dying vicariously for men. The idea that Christ did not place himself under the law but was always above it as God is an intrinsic part of the Moral Government theory of New Divinity. However, such a mock Incarnation on the part of Christ leaves us with a Christ who failed in His efforts both as God and man to die vicariously for sinners. In God’s faultless plan of salvation, we read ‘as in Adam all die so in Christ shall all be made alive’. Romans 5:12 ff. makes it clear that the fault came by one man, the first Adam and the fault was remedied by one man, the second Adam.

     So, too, the idea that Christ had no physical descent from Mary, given that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, again virtually denies the Incarnation. Why then the detailed study in the Scriptures of Mary’s family background and the emphasis on the priestly, prophetic and kingly descent of Jesus? The writer appears to be saying that Mary’s body had as little physical connection with the foetus she carried as Joseph. Many postulate this so that they can explain Christ’s sinlessness. The incarnate Christ was sinless because, though He was born of a woman, he was obedient to the law until His death on the cross as a man (Phil. 2:7). Through their federal union with Christ from eternity, all elect sinners partake of the consequences of this obedience. First their death in Adam, then their resurrection in Christ.

G. M. Ella, Mülheim