Monday, 17 November 2014

Jesus the God Man: A response to MDI

In an article released by the organization known as MDI or Muslim Debate Initiative, they seek to try and refute the concept of the Trinity or try and find holes within the doctrine itself. The article can be found here: http://thedebateinitiative.com/2014/11/16/jesus-the-god-man/

Let's begin with the response:

"Trinitarian theology argues that Jesus is the God-man, and what this means is that Jesus was fully man, as well as being fully God at the same time.

According to Trinitarians, Jesus being the God-man explains a lot of things, for example when Jesus ate, slept, and was given birth to, this was part of the human side of Jesus, the human nature of Jesus. So as man, a full man, Jesus would experience things as all humans do, so that’s why he’d even pray, and not know everything, because he was a real human being.

So while Jesus had this human nature, he still also had the fully divine nature, and so he was still God."

Now if one carefully analyses this theology, one will find several problems and contradictions within it, but before we get to that we must address something else, we must go right to the heart of the issue. Trinitarians assert that Jesus was the God-man, fully God and fully man, yet the question is this, when and where did Jesus assert such a thing? When did Jesus ever say that he is fully God, and fully man, that he possesses two such natures?

The answer is simple, such a verse does not exist, and no major historical scholar in the field of the historical Jesus believes that Jesus uttered such a statement, there is no evidence for it. Jesus never said he was fully God and fully man, the church introduced this theology, and it’s obvious to see why. The church believes that such a theology will get rid of a lot of problems, because indeed how could Jesus be God if he didn’t know the last hour, surely God is all-knowing is he not?"

So what better way to explain this problem off by simply saying “oh yes this was the man nature of Jesus”, not the divine nature. So whenever Jesus displays actions that cannot make him God, they simply attribute it to the man nature"

No Christian claims Jesus said those exact words, and he didn't have to, it was the claims he made about himself that demonstrate he is God, it was already a given he was a man. Jesus spoke in such a way to the Jews that they rightly concluded that he made claims about himself. I have written in length showing the Trinity:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/deuteronomy-64-trinity-vs-shema.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/deuteronomy-64-trinity-vs-shema-2.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/response-to-droptozro.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-anissueof-ursincerity-and.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/three-person-one-person-false-dilemma.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/spirit-of-god-response-to-anonyemous.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/classical-trinitarian-objections.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/challenge-from-facebook-unitarian.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/the-trinity-is-not-truth.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/the-angel-of-lord.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/more-on-angel-of-lord.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/even-more-on-deity-of-christ-and-angel.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/response-to-droptozro.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-anissueof-ursincerity-and.html

Jesus had set aside his divine perogatives, but not his deity, that's why there were certain things he did not know while he was on earth. This point has been addressed in my response to Tovia Singer on the Trinity:
"Jesus' knowledge was limited while on earth, however, there were cases where the disicples understood that Jesus knew all things. Also, by Tovia's logic, the Father and the Spirit are not God, because in Revelation 19:12, the rider called Faithful and True (Which is Jesus) has a name that no one knows but himself. Does this mean the Father and the Spirit are not God? Of course not. There are details that are only known to a certain member of the Godhead at certain times. That's one possible answer.

The other answer is that Jesus is speaking of the end times in the context of a ancient Jewish marriage, where only the Father knew when the marriage takes place. This video by InspiringPhilosophy explains this point better than I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfdozI26lQQ" http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-tovia-singer-on-did-authors.html

"But now to the actual theology itself, and the problems and contradictions it poses when one well and truly thinks about it.

How can one be fully divine, and fully human at the same time? This is what you call a paradox, a contradiction, and an impossibility. Why you might ask? Well as we all know, being divine means you’re all knowing, all-powerful and so forth. But being human, means you’re none of those things. So how can one be all knowing, while ignorant at the same time?

The equivalent of this is calling someone a married bachelor. These are two completely different things, one cannot be all knowing, and be ignorant at the same time, that’s just a contradiction.

Similarly, being fully divine means you’re eternal, while being human, means you’re not eternal. So how can one be eternal, having always existed, yet at the same time is not eternal and came into existence during a point in time?! It makes no sense, as we said, it’s a paradox, and it’s a contradiction."

This goes back to the point I already made above, furthermore, everyone knows one cannot be a married bachelor, or 100% Good and 100% evil at the same time. However this is not a human being we are dealing with and no those two statements I mentioned don't apply to God considering he himself is pure, holy and good, and he shuns evil, thus it is already clear he is not 100% evil, let alone evil a little bit. He isn't evil at all. Also, no such thing as a married bacholer exists, not even in the Godhead. Biblically speaking God can be 100% God and Man, but not 100% evil and good at the same time, simply because of what the Bible already establishes, namely God being good with no evil or darkness in him.

Moreover, what's more of a paradox? God existing with two natures, one eternal, the other temporal? OR is God existing from eternity without beginning and end? The latter is far more perplexing and if you are going to dismiss the Trinity because "it doesn't make sense", Apply that to God existing eternally and you shoot yourself in the foot.

"It’s very simple, God is God, and man is man. If God becomes man, he’s no longer God now is he, he’s become a man. For instance, man is man, and animal is animal, if a man becomes a duck, he’s no longer a man but a duck. Similarly, if God became a man, then he was no longer God, he was man, there’s no such thing as the God-man unless God found himself a human wife and conceived a child with that human lady, and so the son would have the natures of God and man.

"Trinitarians say Jesus “took on the human nature”, that doesn’t make the situation any better, because how can the all mighty and powerful God, the infinite and the eternal, take on the finite and limited? How can the perfect take on imperfection? If God took on imperfection, then he was no longer fully perfect, yet that’s impossible for God because he is always perfect. If God took on ignorance, then he was no longer all knowing, and that’s an impossibility for God because God is perfect in wisdom and knowledge. It is impossible for him to become imperfect in that attribute, let alone any attribute. For if God became imperfect in anything, then he could not be God as God is perfect and it is impossible for him to imperfect for to be imperfect would cease making him God!"

Trinitarians are not put in a bad situation when we say Jesus took on a human nature. You tell me how God existed eternally, you can't. Jesus came into the world through the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not God finding a human wife to have sex to produce Jesus. That is blasphemy to Christians. There are things God himself can and can't do but we don't claim he becomes imperfect.

For example, God cannot time travel (neither can we for that matter and time dilation and sleeping for a long time doesn't count). Does this make God imperfect just because he cannot time travel though he is all powerful? Of course not, that isn't the case.

Just as God not being able to time travel doesn't render him imperfect, God becoming a man doesn't render him imperfect, not even laying his divine perogatives and glory makes him imperfect.

"So did the all-perfect God take on imperfection? Is that what we’re expected to believe when we’re told God took on the human nature? So God took on the imperfection upon himself while being fully perfect at the same time?"

What imperfection? He didn't take on imperfection, he laid aside his glory and his divine perogatives while still remaining as God, as Philippians 2:5-11 explains:
"5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father."

What does setting aside the divine perogatives and glory have to do with God being imperfect? NOTHING.

"Another problem with this whole God-man issue is the reasoning behind it, Trinitarians allege that God became like us, so he could understand us. But does not God already understand us? He made us, so surely he should understand us better than anybody else since he created us. Not only did he create us, he created the feelings we feel. So surely if anybody knows anything about understanding us and what we go through, it should be God as he created it all.

Now to also say that God became like one of us to understand us presupposes that he did not understand us in the first place which is why he became one of us, so he could better understand us and experience what we go through. If this is the case, this means that God is ignorant and not all knowing, for he should’ve already known about us instead of having to become like one of us to understand us.

Put it this way, if you travel to China to learn about the Chinese culture and the Chinese way of life, this means you weren’t aware of the Chinese way of life and culture, which is why you went to China so you could experience it. So similarly, when God became man to understand and experience what we go through, it means that he did not know this in the first place, which is why he took on such a act."

Can you show me any serious, knowledgeable Trinitarian who actually says God became a man to understand us? I know not one. That isn't the reason Jesus became a man in the first place.
The reason he became a man was because of the Father sending him to Earth to die on the cross for our sins, so that by our repentance and faith in him we will be born again, justified by faith and saved by grace. THAT is the reason he came to Earth

He didn't come to Earth to understand us. After all since he is God, he knows you better than you know yourself.

"Now if Trinitarians respond back by saying well “No, God didn’t become a man because he didn’t understand us and so forth, no, God already understood us and knew what we experienced”. If a Trinitarian says this, then they refute themselves and defeat the whole purpose of their own statements when they say God became a man to understand us. Why would God become a man to understand us if he already knew everything? It makes it all meaningless.

Trinitarians try to show how beautiful it is, they try to emotionally suck you in, saying, “Look how great God is, that he became like us to understand and experience what we go through, isn’t that wonderful”. No, not really, what’s so wonderful about him becoming like us, understanding us, and experiencing what we go through if he already knew this in the first place?

What would be wonderful about such a thing is if the person doing it was doing it because they well and truly wanted to understand how the people felt, to understand their experiences and so on, but if you already had full knowledge of it, if you created it, then there’s no point to it."

Again, Show me a SERIOUS Trinitarian who says this. What Trinitarian who understands his theology and is Trinitarian by conviction rather than tradition even makes the claim that God came to Earth to understand and experience us? Once again, I know not one.

"So in conclusion, the theology of the God-man is filled with contradictions within itself, and secondly, Jesus himself never taught that he was the God-man."

The article written by MDI is pretty hollow and vacuous, and again this last point is nothing more than an argument from silence. Can you show me where Jesus explicitly said he was a Muslim? No.

However he wasn't a Muslim for different reasons but would anyone use this argument of "Jesus himself said he was a Muslim" verbatim? I don't think so, so be consistent again if you are using that argument. Jesus may not of used the exact wording, but he certainly demonstrated he was God by his claims and actions, with the resurrection being a confirmation of those claims.
See the following articles which I call, the Deuteronomy 13 trilogy:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/deuteronomy-13-question-of-vindication.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/deuteronomy-13-question-of-vindication-2.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/spiritual-experiences-what-can-they.html

Addendum

"So Jesus never declared himself to be the God-man, but what did he declare himself to be then?

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:1-3)

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. (John 8:40)"

John 17:3 is addressed here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-tovia-singer-on-did-authors.html

Any verse where it says that Jesus is a man, That's not a news flash to a Trinitarian at all, We accept he is God AND Man. Jesus being a prophet is ALSO not a news flash. Do you expect us Biblical Trinitarian Christians to be concerned that Jesus is identified as a man?

I have said this many times before, and I'll say it again, When Jesus took on human flesh, he began relating to the Father AS HIS GOD.

Jesus didn't have to say he was the God Man in the exact words, he could get his point across without having to resort to the exact words and even The Bible confirms Jesus' deity not only from his words, but also from the apostles who knew him.

Hope I have answered the objections properly.

Answering Judaism.

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