Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jesus Is Not God

I was trying to remember the exact wording, so I held my breath for the plunge and found it:
Is the Bible the Word of God?

The Bible directly quotes God roughly 3,000 times and the New Testament writers quote the Old Testament as the Word of God 320 times. Keep in mind that some of those references covered whole sections of scripture and not just one verse.

Also, Jesus claimed to be God, so all the “red letters” would be Biblical claims to be the Word of God.[emphasis added]

Now, I realize that as a liberal my Scriptural knowledge isn't up to some others, but I do not recall, in any of the Gospel accounts, Jesus saying, "I am God." Indeed, that was one of the false charges laid against him by the Pharisees, as duly noted by all the Gospel writers.

In any event, as Christian theology developed over the ensuing three centuries, trying to understand who and what, exactly, they were dealing with in the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth, there developed this little thing called the Doctrine of the Trinity. To say, as was stated above, that "Jesus said he was God", would be to put heretical remarks in the mouth of Jesus, because Jesus was not God. In Trinitarian language, Jesus was the fully divine, fully human incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity. Now, it is true that the Three Persons cannot be separated (the heresy of modalism); all Divine Acts are the act of the One God acting in Three Persons. Thus, Creation by the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Spirit. The Incarnation was the embodiment of the Son, by the Father, through the power of the Spirit. While trinitarian language is clunky, to be sure, and as confusing in and of itself as the doctrine is, to say as was said above "Jesus said he was God" or, slightly differently, Jesus "was" God or "is" God depending upon your tense preference for the verb is not only wrong, it is heretical.

Just thought I'd toss that out there.

Virtual Tin Cup

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