theology class time, friends. time to do your best "how many angels on the head of a pin" thinking. today's subject: the man christ jesus.
an interesting discussion is taking place on a site where i am a member. it involves christ's two natures, and particularly his humanity. in the athanasian creed christians confess:
For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and man.in summary, jesus is both truly divine and truly human. one of the earliest heresies about jesus was the denial of his humanity (docetism). we still struggle today with grasping how god could "empty himself" (philippians 2.5-11), take on human flesh, and live among us as a full human being while at the same time remaining fully divine.
He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother -- existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.
Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.
here are a few questions that michael spencer asked the group today to consider. how would you answer them? how do you conceive of jesus' human nature?
- How did Jesus’ brain develop? Did the development of his brain impact his understanding of himself and his world?
- Jesus lived in the social thought-world of the ancient near east. Did he transcend that thought world or did his incarnation place him completely in the boundaries of that thought world?
- Did Jesus miss any questions on the test? Did he have to study?
- Did Jesus use tools to measure in his carpentry work? Or did he just know what to do?
- Did Jesus, in his incarnation, know things about biology, astronomy and cosmology that were completely ahead of his time? For instance, did Jesus know that the sun did not orbit the earth?
- Did Jesus understand diseases and conditions from within the understanding of a first century man or did he know the actual medical/biological nature of diseases and conditions that were commonly blamed on demons or God’s punishment?
- Did Jesus know about viruses and contagious disease? Did he know the nature of mental illnesses like schizophrenia? Did he understand brain tumors, etc? If so, did he explain these things or did he respond to them within a first century understanding?
- Were Jesus questions real questions? Or were they all rhetorical?
- If Jesus did not have exhaustive divine knowledge as a human being, does this impact our view of him as God incarnate?
- If the Father reveals to Jesus some things that other men did not know, does this mean that Jesus had, available at any time, exhaustive knowledge of the future, science, geography, etc?
i'd love to hear your contribution. you don't have to be a theologian to participate. just talk to us how you think about jesus as the god-man, fully human and fully divine, and what that meant for how he thought, grew, and lived while among us.
today's van gogh
ward in the hospital in arles, 1889