Posted in February

Week 8 Homework (due 2/27/17)

Textbook Outline:

The Mosaic of Christian Beliefs, Chapter 10: Jesus Christ: God and Man

    1. Issues and Polarities of Christian Belief about Jesus Christ
      1. Various beliefs on the topic
        1. Gnostics
        2. Adoptionists
        3. Arians
        4. Apollinarians
        5. Nestorians
        6. Eutychians and Monophysites
        7. Liberal theologians
    2. The Christian Consensus about Jesus Christ
      1. Doctrine of the hypostatic union- perfect union of 2 distinct but not separate natures
      2. one person, two natures is more common
    3. Alternatives View to Jesus Christ
      1. 6 main christological heresies
        1. docetism- Jesus’ death was fake
        2. adoptionism- God “adopted” Jesus
        3. arianism- Jesus was God’s first and greatest creature, but not God
        4. apollintarianism- “God in a bod”
        5. nestorianism- marriage of two people in Jesus
        6. eutychianism and monophysitism- hybrid of human and divine
    4. Diversity Within Christian Belief About Jesus Christ
      1. Christian leaders are “more protective of Christology than of any other area of Christian belief”
        1. diversity often heresy
      2. “So long as one does not deny the full and true deity and humanity of Christ and so longs one does not divide him into two persons or describe his being as a hybrid of two natures, one is permitted to speculate far and wide about his being and person”
      3. debate over whether “Jesus could be present bodily in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper”
      4. kenotic Christology- two natures, one person; emptying
        1. vs two minds model- “denies any limitations of knowledge and power in Jesus Christ and attaches two wills and two consciousnesses to his single personhood”
    5. A Unitive Christian View of the Person of Jesus Christ
      1. “Jesus Christ as God incarnate; one unified person—the eternal Son of God equal with the father; of two distinct but never separate natures, human an divine”
      2. Christology is a mystery
      3. Jesus teaches us of the will and character of God and of humanity
    1. “Our God is both glorious beyond our understanding (transcendent) and more perfectly good than any creaturely goodness.”
    2. Issues and Polarities of Christian Belief about Go
      1. Tend to emphasis either His greatness or His goodness, not both
      2. Should question, how is God both great and good?
        1. These are correlational
    3. The Christian Consensus about God
      1. The nature and attributes of God is largely debated
      2. God’s immanence- His “loving presence around all things drawing them to himself and luring them to his goals for them”
      3. “God is both transcendent in possessing a superior quality of being such that everything depends on God for its existence and immanent in the sense of being graciously present in love with his creation.”
    4. Alternatives to Christian Consensus about God
      1. Deism- God is Creator of the cosmos, but uninvolved/uncaring
      2. Panentheism- emphasizes immanence; neglects self-sufficiency transcendence
      3. General, universal revelation holds more worth than special divine revelation
      4. The best revelation is interior and mystical
    5. Diversity within Christian Beliefs about God
      1. Each attribute of God must be interpreted
    6. A Unitive Proposal for Christian Belief about God’s Nature
      1. “In His greatness God is capable of self-limitation.”
      2. Universal revelation consists of “questions about existence and particular revelation as God’s special communication that answers those questions”
      3. “Avoid speculation about God’s inner-life apart from Creation.”

Scripture Response: Matthew 16:13-28; John 1:1-14, 14:1-11, Phil 2:1-11

Who is this Jesus?  That is question these verses try to answer.  When the disciples consider who Jesus is He asks them, “Who do they say I am?” (Matthew 16:13).  When the disciple’s answer was not who Jesus is, He responded by asking them who they think He is.  Jesus guided them into the revelation of truth they did not realize, as He often did.

Jesus was not blunt.  Most of what He said was not clearly stated; most of it required analysis and interpretation.  The way Jesus phrased His words and spoke in parables hid the true message of His words from the audience.  Not only did the bystanders not comprehend His words, but even the disciples did not understand Jesus’ parables and sayings at times.  Why would Jesus do this?

Jesus utilized parables and unclear sayings to hide the meaning of His messages.  There are a couple of different reasons Jesus would do this.  The first reason is the fact that the people at the time could not have understood what God’s plan was, lest they interfere with it.  Jesus knew that the people were not to comprehend His messages.  Coincidentally, Jesus’ messages typically required divine explanation or revelation from Jesus himself.

The other reason Jesus’ sayings were not to be understood by the listeners was because Jesus was foreshadowing how people would hear from God.  Once Jesus left, things would be quite different for the disciples.  They would have help, however, in the Holy Spirit.  The nature of hearing from God changed when He gave humanity the Holy Spirit.  Instead of having Jesus to guide them and explain the sayings of God to them, they had the Holy Spirit to fill the same role.

Question Response

Jesus was born from a human; Jesus is a human.  Jesus is a part of the Trinity; Jesus is God.  Even after growing up in church my whole life, this thought can easily become confusing.  Trying to explain this to someone who does not believe in Jesus or understand Christianity presents an obvious challenge.  As Christians, it is important to consider who Jesus is so we are better able to understand Him and be able to explain His nature to other people.

The need for Jesus all begins in the Garden on Eden.  Since you know the story, I will not go into details, but I am bringing this up to reference how mankind needed redemption because they chose to disobey God’s command.  Humans became “tainted” with the stain of sin and are not good enough to fix this problem themselves.  This is why they needed God to come and make a way for them to be made right with Him.  God is the only one holy enough to cleanse people from their sin.

This was able to happen due to God’s covenant with humanity.  Once Jesus died for people, they are able to put on the cloak of righteousness and receive the righteousness Christ has, which they do not deserve.  When Jesus came He gave them the ability to have a relationship with God.  Humanity is no longer bound by the burden of sin but is free to run to God.  God promised that He would send a servant who could free them from their sins, and like always, God came through to fulfill His promise in sending Jesus.

So is Jesus a human, God, or both?  I would argue that Jesus is a human since he had a body and was tempted, but in order to redeem us, Jesus has to be more than that.  Jesus is also the Son of God.  He was born with the holiness and righteousness of God, which we are not able to be born with, and through His faithfulness in the midst of temptations, He was able to remain in righteous until death.  Jesus came with the power and authority of God, yet as a human, He suffered the worst punishment that mankind has received.