Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why I believe that Christ is God!

"Woa, I thought that was an educational blog!"
The last few weeks, I have been on my summer holidays (it's summer now in the southern hemisphere) and have not been thinking as much about school. What with my new baby boy and my daughter occupying me. Today, I caught up with a colleague over coffee and we began talking about God. I thought that this is something I should blog as it certainly comes under the criteria of "ramblings of [this] Australian teacher".

To cut a long story short, it seems that, these days, people are prepared to call Jesus Christ everything except for God. He is Lord, friend, brother, companion ... They side-step calling him God. Yet this is an essential part of classical Christianity. He is the "Word" who was from the beginning. Now, why does that matter beyond making an obscure theological argument? Read on and I'll tell you why I think it matters.

If Christ is God, then the Divine and earthly have been united in his person. It means that we too can be united with God. It means that matter can be a conduit of the Grace of God and that this world is redeemed. We too can pass from suffering and death into life. The alternative is not nearly as optimistic or beautiful.

In Christ, God shows the depth of his compassion for humanity and bridges the gap which we have created between us and God. If Christ were a mere prophet, then he could achieve little more than Isaiah or Hosea. He would be -almost- redundant. We can live in a "nice" world without an Incarnate God, but we cannot live forever without one.

Classical Christianity is meant to be gloomy, telling people that they are sinners and undeserving of God's Grace which is granted them despite their ingratitude. Yet, the alternative tells of a God who stays on his throne. The most that such a God would do for sake of self-revelation is give us a subjective "religious experience". I think I will stick to my Orthodoxy.

Elias.

3 comments:

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said...

2 questions for you:

1. Why did Jesus say on the cross, "Father, why have you forsaken me?"

2. How do you fathom the Old Testament God (fearful & vengeful)vs the New Testament God (all loving)?

Elias

said...

Dear TB,
Thank you for your questions. I am no theologian, but here's how I understand things.
1. Christ is man as well as God. As a human being, he suffered on the cross and felt forsaken by God, like all of the humanity which he was in the process of redeeming.

2. The Old Testament presents God with many attributes. He is long suffering an plenteous in mercy. Not according to our sins has he rewarded us (a psalm whose number I do not remember). God called Hosea to go back to his unfaithful wife and love her again, as He also loves His people even when they show disloyalty.
concerning the vengefulness: well, firstly, the OT was written by people. God's Grace was with them and inspired them. However, in my belief system, God's Grace does not cancel out man's will. I don't think any of us can fully comprehend the interplay between inspirer and inspired. Secondly, the Church Fathers tell us that we are to understand these writings with a spiritual meaning. We need to understand from stories like Elijah that we cannot go "limping between two opinions". We need to be fully with God and fully against the enemy - Satan, the passions and all forms of temptation.

I hope this goes some way towards answering your questions. I really don't think this is the forum, or I am the person, to comprehensively deal with them.

Elias