An apparent dilemma arises when Christian theology posits a God outside of time and space, who enters into time and space to become human (Incarnate). The doctrine of Kenosis attempts to explain what the Son of God chose to give up in terms of his divine attributes, in order to assume human nature. Since the incarnate Jesus is simultaneously fully human and fully divine, Kenosis holds that these changes were temporarily assumed by God in his incarnation, and that when Jesus ascended back into heaven following the resurrection, he fully reassumed all of his original attributes and divinity.
Specifically it refers to attributes of God that are thought to be incompatible with becoming fully human. For example, God's omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience as well as his aseity, eternity, infinity, impassibility and immutability. Theologians who support this doctrine often appeal to a reading of 5-8. Critics of Kenosis theology argue that the context of Philippians 2:5-8 is referring to Jesus voluntarily taking the form of a servant to conceal his divine glory (revealed temporarily in the Transfiguration), or to forsaking his place and position in heaven to dwell among men, as opposed to forsaking his divine attributes or nature (see syncatabasis).
Kenotic Christology focuses on certain passages in the Gospels where Jesus questions his being called good (, ), and evidence that he was not omniscient concerning the date of the Second Advent (Matthew 24:36). It became a central issue in the Protestant debates of the sixteenth century, and was revived in the nineteenth century to reinterpret classical doctrines of the incarnation.
Kenosis is not only a Christological issue in Orthodox theology, it has moreover to do with Pneumatology, namely to do with the Holy Spirit. Kenosis, relative to the human nature, denotes the continual epiklesis and self-denial of one's own human will and desire. With regards to Christ, there is a kenosis of the Son of God, a condescension and self sacrifice for the redemption and salvation of all humanity. Humanity can also participate in God's saving work through theosis; becoming holy by grace.
Therefore, in Eastern Orthodoxy, theosis never concerns becoming like God in nature or essence, which is pantheism; instead, it concerns becoming united to God by grace, through his Energies. Since God in the Eastern traditions is panenthestic, Orthodox theology distinguishes between divine Essence and Energies. Kenosis therefore is a paradox and a mystery since "emptying oneself" in fact fills the person with divine grace and results in union with God. Kenosis in Orthodox theology is the transcending or detaching of oneself from the world or the passions, it is a component of dispassionation. Much of the earliest debates between the Arian and Orthodox Christians were over kenosis. The need for clarification about the human and divine nature of the Christ (see the hypostatic union) where fought over the meaning and example that Christ set the example of kenosis or ekkenosis.
Kenosis im Werk Hans Urs von Balthasars und in der japanischen Kyoto-Schule: Ein Beitrag zum Dialog der Religionen.(SHORTER NOTICES)(Book review)
Dec 01, 2009; kenosis IM WERK HANS URS VON BALTHASARS UND IN DER JAPANISCHEN KYOTO-SCHULE: EIN BEITRAG ZUM DIALOG BER RELIGIONEN. By...