Notes from Christianity at the Religious Roundtable by Timothy C. Tennent
It’s very easy to say that Jesus was an avatar. Many people glibly say that. But was He really? I don’t think so. I think the only way you can use the term with reference to Jesus is if you water down the meaning of the term. Anyway – here are some notes on the issue.
Pg. 59-60 – Tennent points out three vital differences.
1) Avatars are repeated endlessly throughout each cycle of history. The Incarnation is however a unique, singular act in history.
2) Tennent states “an avatar comes forth because of accumulated karma and therefore is not a free act of God, whereas the Incarnation is an expression of the freedom of God to save. Though it may be a response to human sinfulnes, it is certainly not caused by human sinfulness of karma.”
~ I am not 100% clear on the second point. I fail to see why several successive avatars cannot all be free responses.
3) An avatar involves a blending of the human and divine, whereas the Incarnation is a union of two natures, divine and human, into one person who is fully man and yet fully God.
~ Indeed Jesus Christ is 100% divine and 100% human. He is not a combo mix. The Council of Chalcedon, 451 AD affirmed this.