The belief that God was incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth would be a logical absurdity if one were to assert that Jesus had the essential attributes of deity and, at the same time, did not have the essential attributes of deity. Example:
- All humans have hair.
- Some humans do not have hair.
Contradictory statements are not the same as complex propositions, or sub-contrary relationships. Example:
- Some of the people in the world are rich.
- Some of the people in the world are not rich.
The logic of God Incarnate is a complex belief involving: Some of Jesus’ attributes are divine and some of Jesus’ attributes are human. Neither set of attributes cancel out the other. Therefore, the belief that Jesus is fully human and fully divine is neither incoherent nor contradictory. Since Jesus of Nazareth is one integrated person with two distinct natures, then he can possess both human and divine properties simultaneously, such as divine omniscience (cf., Jn. 1:48-49, 2:24-45) and human ignorance (cf., Mk. 13:32).
This claim that Jesus is equal with God is neither polytheism nor tri-theism: While it is orthodox to claim “Jesus is God,” the reciprocal statement, “God is Jesus” is false. The logic of God Incarnate claims essential identity, not numerical identity. Ultimately this is a mystery (cf., Col. 2:2): To say that God cannot incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth because we don’t fully understand how this could be is to say a great deal about us but nothing that is incoherrent about what God could and did do. Although God Incarnate is a mystery, this does not preclude us from affirming its reality.