Excerpt from On the Incarnation
“...He has come into our country and dwelt in one body amidst the many, and in consequence the designs of the enemy against mankind have been foiled and the corruption of death, which formerly held them in its power, has simply ceased to be. For the human race would have perished utterly had not the Lord and Savior of all, the Son of God, come among us to put an end to death.”
This classic book has been heralded by the likes of C.S. Lewis as an essential read for the modern believer. Athanasius of Alexandria authored some of the earliest works on Orthodox theology, including On the Incarnation. In this brief but profound work, he addresses the fundamental purposes of God taking on human flesh, in order to convert the transgressions of the corruptible into the holiness of the incorruptible. Topics such as creation, death, and resurrection are addressed in a manner that magnifies the infinite and omnipotent Creator.
Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, was a chief theologian and early Church Father of the Christian faith. To this day he is widely respected within Western Christianity, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Roman Catholicism. As a staunch Trinitarian, Athanasius spent much of his life battling against the groundwork laid by his predecessor, Arius, a nontrinitarian. In his writings Against the Heathen, Orations Against the Arians, and The Incarnation of the Word of God, Athanasius stresses the urgency of holding to the faith proclaimed by the apostolic teachings of Scripture. Historically he has been credited as being the first person to identify the same twenty-seven books of the New Testament that are familiar to Christians today.
At the Nicaean Council of A.D. 325, the young Athanasius made the following statement: “Jesus, who I know as my Redeemer, cannot be less than God.” This passion for exalting the Eternal Trinity forced him into exile five separate times by Roman Emperors. However, as providence would have it, Athanasius returned undisturbed to his home in Alexandria to spend his final years writing and preaching, until his death at the age of seventy-six.
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