Of God and His Creatures

Of the Error of Photinus concerning the Incarnation

PHOTINUS and others pretend that the divinity was in Christ, not by nature, but by a high degree of participation in divine glory, which He had merited by His works. But on this theory it would not be true that God had taken flesh so as to become man, but rather that a fleshly man had become God. It would not be true that the Word was made flesh (John i, 14), but that flesh had been made the Word. Kenosis and coming down would not be predicable of the Son of God, but rather glorification and being lifted up would be predicated of man. It would not be true that, being in the form of God, he emptied [ekenôsen] himself, taking the form of a servant (Phil. ii, 6), but only the exaltation of man to divine glory would be true, of which presently we read, wherefore hath God exalted him. It would not be true, I descended from heaven (John vi, 38), but only, I ascend to my Father (John xx, 17): notwithstanding that Holy Scripture joins both assertions together: None ascendeth into heaven but he who descendeth from heaven, the Son of man, who is in heaven (John iii, 13): He who descended, the same also ascendeth above all the heavens (Eph. iv, 10). Nor would it be true to say of the Son that He was sent by the Father, or that He went out from the Father to come into the world, but only that He went to the Father, although He Himself makes the two declarations together: I go to him who sent me: I went out from the Father, and came into the world; and again I leave the world and go unto the Father (John xvi, 5, 28).

4.27 : Of the Incarnation of the Word according to the Tradition of Holy Scripture
4.29 : Of the Error of the Manicheans concerning the Incarnation