Monday, July 16, 2007

Video Clips on the Deity of Christ

From J. Ed Komoszewski

The Deity of Christ in Philippians 2

The Deity of Christ in Mark 14

9 comments:

  1. Servetus' Ashes7/16/2007 6:17 PM

    Neither of these texts teaches the deity of Christ explicitly. Each one is a stretch.

    In Philippians 2, Jesus and God are distinct. God highly exalts Jesus, giving him a name above all names. That sounds like two distinct beings, one receiving something from the other. Also, if Jesus were himself God, why would he "grasp" at equality with God? Why will every knee bow to Jesus for the glory of God the Father if Jesus is himself equally God ... why not for the glory of Jesus himself?

    Mark 14 is much weaker still. The "Son of Man" designation doesn't make the bearer God. If so, then Ezekiel is divine (2:1). The parallel text the preacher quoted from Daniel 7, if anything, disproves the idea that Jesus is God. Here the Son of Man comes into God's presence to receive a kingdom from him. The Son of Man gets his authority from God, meaning that he’s someone other than God, someone subordinate.

    I know you'll default to members of the Trinity interacting with one another. But that's simply a grid you lay over all these texts ... a grid that comes from outside the Scripture from the creeds and councils.

    If you demand that people believe that Jesus is God -- or be damned to eternal punishment -- then I would expect more conclusive evidence than this.

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  2. You’re committing some elementary semantic blunders. There’s a difference between “God” as a proper name, and “God” as a generic descriptor for the Deity.

    It’s precisely because the Bible is Trinitarian that various writers will use different terms to differentiate one member of the Trinity from another. For example, Paul generally (but not always) reserves “God” as a proper name for the Father, and “Lord” as a proper name for the Son. Yet in terms of OT usage, “Lord” is also a divine title.

    Likewise, John generally (but not always) reserves “God” as the proper name for the Father, and “Son” as a proper name for Logos. Yet it is clear from various settings that John uses “Son” as a divine title. Moreover, both Paul and John are prepared to designate Jesus as “God.”

    Moreover, you are also disregarding the fact that Jesus is not merely “God,” but God Incarnate. More precisely, God the Son Incarnate. So, yes, there’s a difference in his economic status.

    Furthermore, if you bothered to consult the standard commentaries (e.g. Bockmuehl, Fee, O’Brien, Silva), you would realize that the old KJV rendering (“grasp”) is inaccurate. A more accurate rendering would be that Jesus did not “take advantage” of his divine equality, but chose a self-demotion for the sake of our salvation.

    Finally, as to “Son of Man,” context is king. The context of Daniel’s usage is not interchangeable with the context of Ezekiel’s usage.

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  3. Servetus' Ashes7/18/2007 3:02 PM

    The Bible does not appear to be a trinitarian book. Repeatedly, we read statements that are anything but. For example, there is only one being in the universe who is God; the Father is "the only true God" (John 17:3); Jesus is distinct from, dependent upon and subordinate to God; Jesus is the son of, servant of, image of and wisdom of God (meaning that he, being "of God," is distinct from God Himself). These are not just scattered proof-texts, but ideas that permeate the book from beginning to end. On the other side of the question, there are no plain references anywhere to three Persons making up the one true God (1 John 5:7 had to be smuggled in to fill this role).

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  4. Your latest reply is recycling the semantic fallacies of your initial reply. You only have one argument for your position, and your argument is invalid. Very impressive!

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  5. Servetus' Ashes7/18/2007 4:58 PM

    So how does John 17:3 fit the prevailing theology?

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  6. In Jn 17:3, "God" is being used as a proper name for the Father, to distinguish him from the person of the Son, rather than a generic descriptor for the Deity.

    The Johannine witness to the divinity of Christ is pervasive in the Fourth Gospel.

    Indeed, even liberals admit this, which is why they date it late, on account of its supposedly "advanced" Christology.

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  7. Servetus' Ashes7/18/2007 10:42 PM

    Do you think the Synoptics have much to say about Jesus possessing a divine nature?

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  8. The synoptic gospels also testify to the deity of Christ, although the emphasis is somewhat different since they tend to focus on Jesus' deeds and paraenetic teaching.

    Again, the NT witness to the deity of Christ is pervasive. You can see the evidence laid out in classic monographs by B. B. Warfield and Geerhardus Vos as well as more recent monographs by M. J. Harris, Gordon Fee, Larry Hurtato, and Ed Komoszewski—to name a few.

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  9. Andrews Norton (1786-1853) presents the other side here:

    http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=moa;cc=moa;view=toc;idno=AJK3657.0001.001

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