The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors, by Kersey Graves, , at sacred-texts.com
THERE is a philosophical principle underlying the doctrine of the Divine Incarnation, whose logical deductions completely overthrow the claim of Jesus of Nazareth to the Godhead, and which we regard as settling the question as conclusively as any demonstrated problem in mathematics. This argument is predicated upon the philosophical axiom, that two infinite beings of any description of conception, cannot exist, either in whole or in part, at the same time; and per consequence, it is impossible that the Father and Son should both be God in a divine sense, either conjointly or separately. The word infinite comprehends all; it covers the whole ground; it fills the immensity of the universe, and fills it to repletion, so that there is no room left for any other being to exist. And whoever and whatever does exist must constitute a part of this infinite whole.
Now, the Christian world concedes (for it is the teaching of their Scriptures), that the Father is God, always and truly, perfect, complete, and absolute; that there is nothing wanting in him to constitute him God in the most comprehensive and absolute sense of the term; that he is all we can conceive of as constituting God, "the one only true God" (John xvii. 3), and was such from all eternity, before Jesus Christ was born into the world; and Paul puts the keystone into the arch by proclaiming, "To us there is but one God, the Father." (1 Cor. viii. 6.) Hence
we have here a logical proposition (despite the sophistry of Christendom) as impregnable as the rocks of Gibraltar, that the Father alone is or can be God, which effectually shuts out every other and all other beings in the universe from any participation in the Godhead with the Father. And thus this parity of reasoning demonstrates that the very moment you attempt to make Christ God, or any part of the Godhead, you attempt a philosophical impossibility. You cannot introduce another being as God in the infinite sense until the first-named infinite God is dethroned and put out of existence, and this, of course, is a self-evident impossibility. If it were not such, then we should have two Gods, both absolute and infinite. On the other hand, if that other being (who with the Christians is Jesus Christ, with the Hindoos Chrishna, with the Buddhists Sakia, &c.) is introduced as only a part of the infinite and perfect God, then it is evident to every mind with the least philosophical perception, that some change or alteration must take place in the latter before such a union can be effected. But such a change, or any alteration, in a perfect infinite being would at once reduce him to a changeable and finite being, and thus he would cease to be God. For it is a clear philosophical and mathematical axiom, that a perfect and infinite being cannot become more than infinite. And if he could and should become less than infinite, he would at once become finite, and thus lose all the attributes of the Godhead. To say or assume, then, that Christ was God in the absolute or divine sense, and the Father also God absolute, and yet that there is but one God, or that the two could in any manner be united, so as to constitute but one God, is not only a glaring solecism, but a positive contradiction in terms, and an utter violation of the first axiomatic principles of philosophy and mathematics. It also asserts the illogical hypothesis, that a part can be equal to the
whole; it first assumes the Father to be absolutely God, then assumes the Son also to be absolutely God, and finally assumes each to be only a part, and has to unite them to make a whole and complete God; and thereby culminates the theological farce. Such is Christian ratiocination.
Again, it is conceded by Christians, that the Father is an omnipresent being; and we have shown that it is a mathematical impossibility for two omnipresent beings, or two beings possessing any infinite attributes, to exist at one and the same time. Hence the clear logical deduction that the Son could not be omnipresent, and per sequence, not God. Again, we have another philosophical maxim or axiom familiar to every schoolboy, that no two substances or beings can occupy the same place at the same time; the first must be removed before the second can by any possibility be introduced, in order thus to make room for the latter. But as omnipresent means existing everywhere, there can be no place to remove on omnipresent being to, or rather there can be no place or space he can be withdrawn from in order to make room for another being, without his ceasing to be omnipresent himself, and thereby ceasing to be God.
It is thus shown to be a demonstrable truth that the omnipresence of the Father does and must exclude that of the Son, and thus exclude the possibility of his apotheosis or incarnated deityship. In other words, it is established as a scientific principle upon a philosophical and mathematical basis, that Jesus Christ was not and could not be "the great I AM," "the only true God."
We will notice one other philosophical absurdity involved in the doctrine of the divine incarnation—ne other solecism comprehended in the childish notion which invests the infinite God with finite attributes. It is a well-established and well-understood axiom in philosophy,
that "the less cannot be made to contain the greater." A pint bottle cannot be made to contain a quart of wine. For the same reason a finite body cannot contain an infinite spirit. Hence philosophy presses the conclusion that "the man Christ Jesus" could not have comprehended in himself "the Godhead bodily," inasmuch as it would have required the infinite God to be incorporated in a finite human body. We are therefore compelled to reject the doctrine of the incarnate divinity, the belief in the deityship of Jesus Christ, because (with many other reasons enumerated elsewhere) it involves a direct tilt against some of the plainest principles of science, and challenges, ay, virtually overthrows, some of the fundamental laws of both natural and moral philosophy. No philosopher, therefore, does or can believe in the absolute divinity of Jesus Christ.