Ye olde qua-move. Sigh. Just pushes the bump (contradiction) under the carpet. It would seem that what can die as/because it is X, can die (full stop). So, he can and he can't. :-(
Tuggy's committing the fallacy of the complex question.
We should be afraid to foist that kind of view onto Mark.
To the contrary, I'm just letting Mark speak for himself. He depicts Jesus as both human and divine.
Right. So, one and the same Jesus has divinity, and properties incompatible with divinity. (Ditto with humanity.) D'oh!
It's not inherently contradictory to say the same thing can and can't be. Black can't be white, or vice versa. But black and white can inhere in the same subject, viz. a black cat with white spots or a white at with black spots. It's contradictory to ascribe the property of blackness to the property of whiteness, and vice versa, but not contradictory to ascribe both properties to a common property-bearer.
You might try positing two different subjects in Christ, one which, e.g. is omniscient, the other not. But that seems a disastrous read of the gospels, I think you'll agree. Another option would be to say the features are, respectively, omniscient-as-divine and omniscient-as-human - Jesus has the first, lacks the second. Such features, one may think, are not obviously contrary. But those are wierd features, and besides, why don't they entail plain old omniscience and non-omniscience (in this one subject who's both divine and human)?
Unless you can spell out how it helps, I'm afraid the qua-dodge is just a dodge.
Notice that Dale oscillates between two opposing criteria. On the one hand he says we should just read Mark on his own terms. On the other hand, he says we must be able to philosophically harmonize Mark's complex representations of Jesus.
The Incarnation is unique. As far as philosophy goes, we may be able to gain some insight through analogies. Of course, analogies are only partial models.
As far as analogies available to Mark, you have the category of Spirit-possession, where (in the case of OT prophets) the Spirit takes psychological control of a human host. Consider visionary revelation, like an inspired dream, where the seer or dreamer's mind is the vehicle, yet he's processing information from another mind. In that altered state of consciousness, the visionary is both aware and self-aware, his own (human) mind is operative, yet another (divine) mind is accessing his mind, and vice versa.
On a related note is the phenomenon of telepathy or mind-reading, where you have the mingling of two minds. In principle, this can either be unilateral (where one mind accesses another without tipping off the subject who's mind is being monitored) or bilateral. That, too, has biblical precedents, including the Gospels.
These are analogies or partial models which would be available to Mark and his readers. The Markan Jesus exceeds those paradigms. But it's a bridge.
If you're going to say it's a holy mystery, just go straight for that - bite the bullet without delay.
A mystery is not synonymous with a contradiction.
Problem is, though, you now have to insist that what seems a self-contradictory reading of Mark is overall the best one.
That begs the question.
Mark is just a reporter. He's reporting what Jesus said and did.
I'd also add that if Tuggy demands a reductive harmonization, that doesn't single out a unitarian harmonization. As far as reductionism goes, it could just as well be a Docetic harmonization, viz. Jesus as a divine epiphany. That would be familiar to Mark's gentile audience.
Is Jesus just a man with godlike traits? Or is Jesus just a God slumming as a man, like a king who plays a peasant to catch his subjects off-guard? There's OT precedent for that "entertaining angels unawares" motif (e.g. Gen 18; Judg 13). And that has counterparts in Greco-Roman mythology (e.g. Baucis and Philemon), which would be recognizable to Mark's Hellenistic audience.
Do I think that's correct? No. I'm just responding to Tuggy on his own grounds.
Yes, in your view, Chalcedonian language "summarizes" points not grapsed for hundreds of years by mainstream Christians. Looks anachronistic.
It's no more anachronistic to speak of a divine nature and a human nature than to speak of divine omniscience or divine omnipotence. So, no, I didn't read the Chalcedonian formulation (which is fairly extensive) back into Mark.
As a Protestant, you would be more wary of such errors.
As a philosopher, Dale should be more wary of his semantic fallacies.
Thanks - I see you concede my point that the reader of Mark reasonably assumes that Satan is tempting Jesus to sin, as in the other gospels.
You don't get belated credit for my distinction. I drew a distinction you failed to draw. I'm hardly conceding your point when you adopt my point after the fact. Nice try. Try again.
Now, is Satan that dumb - to try to tempt a being to sin, who he ought to know, can't possibly have a motive to sin? That'd be like trying to find the corner of a perfect sphere, or trying to find the fourth side of a triangle. It's conceivable, to be sure, but strange to think about a foe who is supposed to be a fearsome adversary. In your view, does Satan somehow fail to see that Jesus is God (making his temping activity pointless), or does he fail to know that God can't sin (making Satan an idiot)?
Well, I realize that as a hellbound Christ-denier, Dale naturally takes umbrage at aspersions cast on the wisdom of his infernal Master. That said:
i) Smart people can believe dumb things. The list is long. Paul Krugman comes to mind.
ii) Brilliant individuals, even geniuses, can suffer from mental illness, viz. Swedenborg, Kurt Gödel, Georg Cantor, Virginia Woolf, Bobby Fischer, Ted Kaczynski.
Satan is a good candidate for criminal insanity.
iii) Brilliant minds are susceptible to certain intellectual obsessions. Conspiracy theories are a snare for smart guys, viz. Ray Griffin is a 9/11 Truther. Likewise, numerology or gematria is a snare for great minds. For instance, Isaac Newton was obsessed with Biblical numerology. The quest to crack a hidden Bible code.
iv) Revenge is often taken to irrational lengths, where the obsessed avenger is prepared to destroy himself in hope's of destroying the object of his vengeance in the process. Satan is a good candidate for a crazed avenger.
v) You also have twisted idealists who find something noble about fighting for lost causes. It's very futility is heroic. They think that has a supreme purity of motives because their supererogatory efforts will go unrewarded.
vi) Tuggy's objection doesn't even make sense on unitarian grounds. Even if Jesus were merely human, he's a proxy for God. Satan's guerrilla warfare against God is doomed to fail.
vii) And there's a fatalistic quality to Satan's opposition. The means by which he labors to scuttle God's plan is the divinely-appointed means by which God's plan is realized. Divine irony. Poetic justice.