From Dr Bill Evershed
Sir, - I must take issue with the Revd Philip Welsh's assertion
(Books, 1 November) that the
line "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see" is a "Docetic howler". Even
taken out of context, the case is not proven, since, for that to be
so, "veiled in" would have to imply "merely disguised as", when it
more obviously implies "taking our nature". More to the point,
taken in context, the next line's reference to "the
incarnate Deity" offers a parallelism that removes all doubt.
Also, as a natural traditionalist, I can't help but feel that
Charles Wesley (et al.) would have been rumbled before now if there
was substance to the charge.
Finally, any Docetist worth his or her salt would be well
advised to avoid drawing attention to the message of Christmas,
whose earthy realities emphasise the true humanity of "God with
us". The Docetist's natural hunting ground is Easter.
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