Pandeism and the Incarnation (Verbum Caro Factum)

Verbum Caro Factum is Latin for “the Word made Flesh”.

The Incarnation, which is the central doctrine of the Christian religion, is a metaphor for pandeism. The “Word” (the original Divine Being) became the Universe (the “Flesh”). The Incarnation did not occur 2018 years ago, it occurred 12 to 14 billion years ago with the Big Bang.

“Whereas the process of alienation separates God and man, the process of appropriation brings them together. Feuerbach looks upon the Incarnation as the first bold attempt for this process of appropriation and reconciliation. If the Incarnation is taken literally as the event of God becoming a man, it is a miracle that can never take place in the real world. But there is nothing miraculous in it if it is taken as the human appropriation of divine attributes. Feuerbach says, “But the incarnate God is only the apparent manifestation of deified man; for the descent of God to man is necessarily preceded by the exaltation of man to God” (The Essence of Christianity by Feuerbach). To appropriate the divine attribute is to deify man and exalt him to the divine level. The descent of God to man and the ascent of man to God are two ways of describing the same process of appropriating the alienated divine attribute. But this revolutionary idea of God and man was beyond the comprehension of the medieval Christians, and the Incarnation was taken to be a great mystery. Thus, Feuerbach says, medieval Catholicism became the height of religious alienation in the history of Christianity.” (from “Nietzsche’s Epic of the Soul: Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by T. K. Seung)

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Just as conventional Christian theology has distorted the meaning of the Incarnation, it has also distorted the meaning of sin. Sin is not a specific act, it is a condition, the condition of the Universe when the Word became Flesh 12 to 14 billion years ago.

“For how is Christian sin characterized? Christian sin presents a difference from the misdeed analogous to the one between faith and belief. A misdeed is a transgression, a dereliction that leads to punishment and eventual atonement. Sin is not primarily a specific act. (The image of confession and of recitation of articles has completely deformed our perception of sin.) Sin is not primarily an act, it is a condition, and an original condition…. Sin is, therefore, above all an original condition, and an original condition of historicity, of development, because sin is a generative condition, setting in motion the history of salvation and salvation as history, it is not a specific act, much less a misdeed.” (Dis-enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity by Jean-Luc Nancy)