February 27, 2005

Christ and Us/David on John 7:32-36

The scriptures seems to contradict each other on this crucial (going-to-the-cross) issue. Christ Jesus is the only begotten son of God. But we are all called to be children of God. Where he goes we cannot come. But we are called to take up our crosses and follow him.

There are ways of resolving this (perhaps apparent) contradiction. Like the conservatives we can emphasize the divinity of Christ and place our own divinity in brackets as it were and off to the side. Like liberals we can emphasize the divinity of us all and affirm that we are children of God just like Jesus.

Or can emphasize the humanity of both Jesus and us. We can see the differing statements as differing voices within the early church. Affirm the diversity of beliefs. Relativize both the claims of Jesus' sonship and our own.

We can try to reconcile the two. Do some philosophical metaphysics. Jesus: child of God by nature and us: children by calling. Birth vs. adoption. And the metaphors in scripture support this one too.

Maybe none of these work for very long. Maybe I need Christ to be God on Sunday morning so I can be more godly on Monday. Maybe I need to hold all these possibilities inside myself in creative tension.

Sometimes there are no answers.


At 1:56 p.m., Blogger Larry said...

I don't call them contraditions, but paradoxes. Poetry is never contradictory, although it illustrates things from opposing points of view.

I don't look for consistency in the Bible, only for meaning. Perhaps we're not supposed to understand the distinction between the divinity of Jesus and our own.

As John said, now are we sons of God, and it does not yet appear which we shall be. But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;

Lots of things don't yet appear.

It's rarely an either/or; most of the time a both/and.

Re my own vision of Jesus: a perfect man, a natural man. If any of us achieved his perfection-from birth, we would be of similar caliber.

But the image of Jesus as brother I find more compelling than that of Jesus as God. More available, too.

Jesus told us to love and pray to Our Heavenly Father. How many people nowadays pray to Jesus?

I don't find Paul referring to Jesus as God; he always refers to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Did he become divine later?

I don't pray to him; I talk to him, man to man.

In the last analysis we all perceive things according to our own experience.

Praise God.


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