Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Condescension of God

This blog is based off what was said at the Crichton Chapel on 8-15-07:

I must admit: A.T. is becoming a good speaker; he improves every time he steps before us. Although sometimes it felt like he was struggling for words a bit, I understood and appreciated his point: the condescension of Christ.
Here's the gist of it: Christ, being God, was not lower than man and therefore our servant. He was greater than man, and therefore He chose to become a servant (Philippians 2:5-7). He was the higher willingly becoming the lower. As C.S. Lewis put it in Miracles, God went down to the depths so He could bring all that was there up with Him: He descended so that we could ascend with Him. Christ is the condescension of God.
The word "condescend" carries with it many negative connotations in our anti-establishment generation today, which is a shame. To "condescend" means for the higher to willingly reach down to the lower. We focus too much on the "higher/lower" part and less on the "reach down" part, which is far more important. For a king to reach down into the world of the peasant is not an act of arrogance, but of love, or at least of great magnanimity. With God it is the same. God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were vile sinners, He reached down into our lower state, became a man, and died for us (Romans 5:8). As Christians, because Christ did this for us, and now that Christ lives in us, we too have the power to "condescend," to reach down into the lowest depths and bring others up with us, to descend into trials and tribulations and ascend purer than gold.
The condescension of God is the gospel. The condescension of God also has meaning for people into living after salvation That is what was preached in chapel today, and if that is what our first chapel was, then I am excited about what will happen later on in the semester.