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prince zachary

did jesus really know what it's like to be "human"?

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he couldn't be fully God because God can't be injured and die; he couldn't be fully man because man can't return from the dead. having properties of each is tenable (if a bit, as i've said before, "convenient"), but Christ exhibited properties that directly contracted each of these natures at one time or another, which could not have been expressed were he "fully" both.

I think God is capable of dying a human death, and I also think man can return from the dead.

if you accept that Christ "traded in" or shed his humanity in favour of his divinity (which is hard to deny, given that Christ is not today human), and if you accept that the latter is a more valuable property than the former, then it follows by simple syllogism and definition that Christ really did not "sacrifice" in any significant sense of the word.

I don't believe that God traded humanity for divinity as he was already divine (eternally). He didn't really "gain" divinity, as he already had it. He just shed shed humanity.

while it is what many Christians seems to believe, it is not compatible with the concept of an omnipotent Creator. to say that Christ had to be sacrificed in order to pay for our sins is to put constraints on the actions of God himself; i would argue that in our conception of God, he does not have to do anything. God is "restricted" only by logical possibility (he can't, for instance, make something all black and all white all over or create a rock so big he couldn't lift it), but nothing else. he could have, for instance, absolved mankind's sins by any means he wished: sacrificing a rabbit, filling a jug, smashing 2 atoms, or by simple decree. that he chose such an elaborate means of doing so has some symbolic value but it's not possible to reconcile this particular means' necessity with the idea of an all-powerful God.

Wasn't the sacrifice of Jesus the only logically possible way to separate us from our transgressions? If it were, don't you feel like having eternal knowledge would be the only real way to be sure of this? While it's easy to say that "couldn't he have merely waved his hand", I think there was a logical necessity to Jesus on the Cross. I don't think that the crucifixion was merely symbolic.

i think we have a difference of perspective here, but i will say that actually the "easiest" way to ensure that the Scriptures are understood by all time periods would be for Him to relate them himself to each successive generation, or even each individual person. ;) if we're speaking hypothetically.

Blackstar, he does relate himself to each individual person. Just open your heart and ask him to.....(just kidding)

Okay, so you're proposing that every 50-100 years or so God puts out a few new scriptures (depending on how many different cultures there are at the time) to relate himself to the people and cultures of that era. Or even easier, let God come and speak to everyone personally and tell them what they should do. Sheesh, and I thought it was difficult for humanity to agree on one book of instructions from God. I can imagine if everyone had their own "personal" idea of what several hundred books mean or if everyone had their own "personal" idea of what God said to them.

but Scripture, as you noted previously, is God's instructions to man. it's supposed to be accessible, not inscrutable. if you can't make sense of it, with your God-given reasoning, then maybe it's not you who's the problem?

I think scripture is accessible and scrutable for it's purpose. The purpose of the scriptures being to teach, correct, encourage, and to a lesser extent, report history (I can hear your eyes rolling). But if we try to look further behind the scriptures to find out God's motivations and how an eternal being reasons then we're moving beyond the purpose of scripture.

ooph. we don't have to go into it in this thread, but cosmological arguments do not take you where you want to be.

http://forums.philos...9615#post619615

http://forums.philos...-god-38198.html

my favorite dismissal of this sort of argument:

Super interesting stuff, I will have to read some of the threads over there. Do you post over there?

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Okay, so you're proposing that every 50-100 years or so God puts out a few new scriptures (depending on how many different cultures there are at the time) to relate himself to the people and cultures of that era. Or even easier, let God come and speak to everyone personally and tell them what they should do. Sheesh, and I thought it was difficult for humanity to agree on one book of instructions from God. I can imagine if everyone had their own "personal" idea of what several hundred books mean or if everyone had their own "personal" idea of what God said to them.

sounds like youre SEVERELY underestimating what an omnipotent being is capable of. you believe in prayer, yes? so you believe god is listening to every single prayer and addressing each case individually the way he sees fit, yet he doesnt have the power to reveal himself to each human being in a way theyd understand? i would think an omnipotent being could do this, especially since he's also omniscient, so he knows everything (he made us after all and knows everything we think) so he'd CLEARLY know the most effective way to reveal himself to each individual person right?

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I am not saying that God is incapable of doing that. I am making a case for that being a less efficient means of meeting his purpose. I am saying that the easiest and least confusing way to reveal his instructions to man and to best relate his intentions to all of humanity would be to give one set of instructions, and send himself in the form of one man to teach one message.

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what the hell does "efficient" mean to a being who can do anything and exists out of time? is god too busy playing pool to snap his fingers and make it happen? do you not think before you speak? efficient? seriously dude?

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If God is the most intelligent, powerful being in existence, then wouldn't everything he does be the most efficient way of doing things?

So why would he do something that we may think is ass backwards from what would be easiest (like snapping his fingers and having it be done)? To answer that we would have to know exactly what it is he is doing, and how exactly he is doing it. For that, we require knowledge that only he has.

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I'm not posting here to argue. I've had enough of that. When I post here from now on, it'll simply be to provide words, ideas for others to work with. I believe in the unabashed exchange of ideas, more than opinions directed at others. My energies in regards to the latter are better spent on converting the already converted; to open men and women I already somewhat agree with to a more healthy, balanced religiosity and attitude.

Now, of course this is something which is difficult to grasp, and any Christian who downplays the impact upon the intellect of the Incarnation, and the Paschal Mystery (the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ) is in denial. This post is not filled with bible references; though anyone who is familiar with scriptural themes will be able to create a table linking my words to passages in scripture. (An exceedingly fun game Protestants enjoy.)

Orthodox Christology posits that Christ is one person of the Godhead, with two natures: Divine and Human. The Logos, or Word did not turn into a human, nor did he assume human likeness (as some ghost), but in some way, without altering his eternal nature, took on a second nature, which was vulnerable and subject to suffering and death. Now, his death, which was sacrificial, was not significant because God Almighty actually died. That would be utterly bizarre, and illogical to say the least, given what traditional Judeo-Christian monotheism has to say, fundamentally, about the Deity. This is relevant to how the death of Christ has any relevance to us.

The Son is obedient to the Father. He does the Father's will. Where man failed to do so, Christ the New Adam, does so. Moreover, he was obedient even unto death, and it was the human nature of Christ, a mode of redemption, which suffered corporeally and died. This death was the straw which broke the proverbial camel's back: the camel being Sin and Death (as an item) Itself, and the straw being the Crucifixion. The wages of sin, says St. Paul, is death - death, spiritual and corporeal entered through original disobedience; and it would be vanquished by perfect obedience, and death. This is a mystical doctrine, not a legal one. It is not Christ taking our place as the victim of God's hormonal rage, as some neo-Calvinists imply by their theology*. (This "theology" is, of course, predicated upon other* questionable* theologies*.) Enter the Resurrection: Christ breaks the chains of corruption, and brings human nature out from the dust of decay. Through baptism, through faith, one is incorporated into His Mystical Body, which triumphed over death and sin, and which ascended to the Right Hand of the Father (as the creed reads): we become partakers of the Divine Nature, through His partaking of our human nature. This is the mystery of redemption. In a manner of phrasing, God became man that man might become gods. Christ reveals man to man, and gives him new life through His New Life.

A good read is On The Incarnation, by St. Athanasius. Its a bit loaded, but there should be some thought-provoking insights therein. Maybe a few of you have actually read it before, for class or curiosity.

Does any of this actually address the thread question? Did Jesus really know what its like to be human? I don't see how he didn't know. The Catholic answer is yes. The Orthodox answer is yes. Protestants often don't know how to respond, but that doesn't surprise me. (Anyone see the video interview with Dustin and Mark Driscoll?)

Christ experienced temptation. He cried. He got angry. He loved. He became saddened. He experienced profound pain, physical and emotional (he was only betrayed and tortured). There's no record of his mirth, but perhaps that was best kept from us. He lived a thoroughly human life, it seems. I don't think it was an act. If orthodox Christology is indeed orthodox, he had to. He had a human nature, which was susceptible to temptation, and vulnerable. At any rate, if I had to put my faith in any Savior external to myself, it would be this one, human and Divine. Sure, the mystery makes my head hurt from time to time, but it strikes me to my core.

I hope this has been some food for thought and contemplation.

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Zac,

 

I was just looking back through some of this thread for whatever reason. I get that an earlier response that I made (like well over a year ago - way to revive a dead thread!) totally played the jerk card with symbolic logic. pfft What was I thinking?

 

Let's give this another go, shall we?

 

If I recall correctly, you find the whole Christian story dissatisfying because it includes Jesus judging us for our crimes, yet he doesn't know what it is like to be human. Right? That was one of your main complaints against it, correct?

 

I think your claim that Jesus doesn't know what it is like to be human was based primarily upon your thoughts that no human can *know* that God exists (RELIGION REQUIRES FAITH, DANG IT!), yet the Christian story claims that Jesus *was/is* God. You think this results in Jesus not knowing what it is like to be human, because he *knew* God existed yet we cannot know that. Is this all correct?

 

I have a couple questions for you.

 

(i) Why think that a person must know what it is like to be the accused in order to condemn the accused? Is there no instance in which it is just to condemn and punish someone even though you don't know what it is like to be them?

 

(ii) I think you are assuming that *nobody* can *know* that God exists. You think such knowledge would preclude faith. Right? Of course, don't plenty of the stories contained in the Bible entail that people can *know* that God exists? The Bible contains tons of stories about people who interact with God. If we are assuming for the sake of argument that the Bible is true (as you said you were), then doesn't the Bible itself provide evidence that people can *know* God exists? Consider Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Samuel, Daniel, or Isaiah. Certainly, if the Bible is true, some of these people knew God exists. What do you make of the Biblical data on this issue of humans knowing that God exists?

 

PS: How is stuff going with the Strawberry Girls?

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Does any of this actually address the thread question? Did Jesus really know what its like to be human? I don't see how he didn't know. The Catholic answer is yes. The Orthodox answer is yes. Protestants often don't know how to respond, but that doesn't surprise me. (Anyone see the video interview with Dustin and Mark Driscoll?)

 

Mark Driscoll was my neighbor when I lived in Seattle. He had a tiny house surrounded by huge houses, but he is a giant douchebag that talks a lot of rhetoric.

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