Posted by: Jonathan Stepp | January 23, 2009

The Solidarity of Mankind

I think this quote from St. Athanasius speaks to the real struggle we are having in modern Christianity:

The solidarity of mankind is such that, by virtue of the Word’s indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all. (On the Incarnation, 2.9).

Athanasius’ thought comes straight from the Bible: “As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive” [1 Cor. 15:22]. But our modern Christian culture has become so immersed in individualistic philosophy that we have lost sight of the Biblical description of what it means to be human. We no longer see mankind’s solidarity the way Church Fathers like Athanasius did.

The Bible describes humanity as fallen in Adam and made righteous in Christ [Rom. 5:18]. It describes humanity as reconclied to the Father in Christ [Col. 1:20]. It describes humanity as living, moving, and having its being in Christ [Acts 17:28].

So, to be human is to be fallen in Adam but made righteous in Christ. To be human is to live and move and have your being in Christ and be reconciled to the Father in him. The call of the gospel is that we would believe these truths about ourselves and stop believing the lies that say we are unloved and cast out of the life of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

From a human point of view we see each individual as separate and cut off from his fellow human beings and from God. But Paul tells us to no longer regard anyone from a human point of view and instead to see our solidarity in Christ [2 Cor. 5:16].

This is part of the reason I call this blog “neo-reformation”. I think the Holy Spirit is leading a new reformation of the Church in our age, returning us to a Biblical and Partristic worldview which sees, believes, and proclaims the gospel from the basis of the truth of humanity’s solidarity in Christ.

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Responses

  1. […] to be talked about with humor as with condernnation. You needed to come to church precisely because you were of this world, not apart from it; rich, poor, sinner, saved, you needed to embrace Christ precisely because you had sins to wash […]

  2. Pastor: You do realize this is on the internet? It is a gross misreading of Athanasius.

    No serious reading can approach your conclusions. It is just about maddening. Did you just pull the quote or have you read it through?

    Scripture speaks of a sense in which all things will be made right. But it speaks of it in two ways: either reconciliation or destruction.

    Going where you go fails to take the full counsel of Scripture seriously. There is no getting around that. You are in serious error and your revision of historical orthodox theology is only perpetuating the problem.

  3. Thanks Jonathan
    It is refreshing to read through a different set of glasses and it is good to have this on the internet. Let everyone reading this prove this to themselves. The last paragraph on this page 2.9 “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” Page 2.10 “This great work was, indeed, supremely worthy of the goodness of God”

    In “Incarnation” The Person and Life of Jesus Christ by Thomas F. Torrance page 62
    “For the unassumed is the unredeemed” (“As Gregory of Nanzianzen put it). “Patristic theology, especially as we see it expounded in the great Athanasius, make a great deal of the fact that he who knew no sin became sin for us, exchanging his riches for our poverty, his perfection for our imperfection, his incorruption for our corruption, his eternal life for our mortality”

    If Jesus has not assumed all of who we are in the totality of our humanity we would not exist. It is in this redeemed and redeeming grace that our own reason and darkened glasses may give way to His illuminating faith in us. The question is not, you need salvation? It is do you want to BE SAVED in the reality of salvation in Jesus Christ that already is and put on a new set of glasses. jg

  4. Thanks, John, great quotes from Torrance!

  5. Jn:14:20 tells us that Jesus is in us!(fact).Acts2:17 says the the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh.(fact)With the trune God living in us and us in him(can’t have one with the others(fact))!
    The way we treat our fellow man is the way we theat the TRIUNE GOD? OUR relationshipes with those around us say a lot about our relationship with Jesus?How aware are we that all have been made alive in Jesus ? keep hitting home runs like this! May the light shine ever brighter1

  6. […] as a multicultural country which helps immigrates keep their own individual culture. Unity and solidarity is the key to human and world […]

  7. […] as a multicultural country which helps immigrates keep their own individual culture. Unity and solidarity is the key to human and world […]

  8. […] as a multicultural country which helps immigrates keep their own individual culture. Unity and solidarity is the key to human and world […]

  9. […] as a multicultural country which helps immigrates keep their own individual culture. Unity and solidarity is the key to human and world […]

  10. thanks for giving us valuable information


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