Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Rom 9:5
1
14%
Phil 2:6
1
14%
Jn 1:1-14
0
No votes
Jn 1:18
1
14%
Jn 8:58
0
No votes
He was called "Lord"
0
No votes
He was worshipped
0
No votes
Only God could die for our sins
2
29%
He had supernatural abilities
2
29%
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 7

Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Postby ChristianHeretic » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:58 am

I'm interested in the top reasons why Christians feel that Jesus was God. Either from Scripture or based on their extra-Biblical theology.
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Re: Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:28 am

The poll options are hardly sufficient. My reasons are many and my reasons are Biblical, theological, experiential and historical.

Biblical: Whatever else you may say about other parts of the Bible, it quite clear that Paul and the writer of the Gospel of John fully believed in and declared the divinity of Christ.

Theological: It is not only my theology but the theology of Paul that supports the divinity of Christ. I would not say that my theology hinges on the divinity of Christ, but rather that this belief is its capstone and completion. The concept of free will as the most fundamental characteristic of the process of life is more than anything else the central principle of my theology, but this is not a Chrisitan theology until it comes to the point where it sees the Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ as the most significant work of God to liberate our free will from the bondage of sin. If Christ is but a man only then he is just another victim of man's inhumanity to man - a great example and teacher like Ghandi to be sure but that is all. But if Christ is the creator of the universe who cast aside all his power and knowledge to become a helpless human infant to grow up among us blameless in order to be an example and to take upon himself the consequences of our sin, THEN He is the key and the door by which the delusions of our sin may be pierced to understand the true character of God which is to be found in God's choice to love rather than in any attributes of power and knowledge, and He is the way in which our free will can be liberated from the imprisoning habits of sin because He enables us to understand that God's love can never be an escape from the consequences of our choices, but that God will bear our burdens and pay any price that we may come to Him, so that He can heal us and love us and teach us, that we may overcome.

Historical: The very first eccumenical agreement on what it meant to be a Christian is first and foremost an agreement on the divinity of Christ, and therefore there is no Christianity without this. This is not so much a reason to believe that Jesus was God, but it is most certainly a reason to believe that this belief in the divinity of Christ is what defines Christianity.

Experiential: I was not raised Christian, and my first loyalty is assuredly to science rather than any kind of religion. But I did respond to the message of the gospel when I was in high school to ask Jesus into my life to save me from myself. Nevertheless I did not seek any community of Christians to tell me what that meant, and it was the study of science that I continued to pursue. So it has been God alone that guided me through many things like existentialism, pragmatism and psychology to come to the understanding that I have now. Some might say that I became a Christian the moment I asked Christ into my life, but I would not. I think that Christianity is defined by belief and it was some time before I really connected with those beliefs that define Christianity. My first real step in that direction was in finally understanding and connecting with Paul in the book of Romans particularly chapter 7, verses 13-25, to understand that our predicament is that whatever we may think is right, we cannot do it. If we set standards then we can only live up to them if we keep moving the bar farther and farther backwards. I saw that this was true and thus everything in Romans finally made sense to me. We live under a law of sin which like the law of gravity is a law of acceleration, so that no matter how good we may be or how good our life is going, sin is like a degenerative illness eating away at the edges of our integrity and once we begin to fall then the farther we fall the faster we fall. And so it is that no mater how good we are, by our own efforts, our destination remains the same in eventually falling to the lowest point. No theology is ultimately of any value unless it can answer this basic human predicament. Jesus is that answer, but only if He is God.
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Re: Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Postby ChristianHeretic » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:50 am

mitchellmckain wrote:it quite clear that Paul and the writer of the Gospel of John fully believed in and declared the divinity of Christ.

Let's just take Paul for a second and come back to John. Paul uses the term 'theos' over 540 times in his letters, and it is only argued that he uses it 3 times for Jesus in 3 grammatically ambiguous verses. So to claim that it is "quite clear" that Paul believed in the divinity of Christ does not seem to be an accurate statement.

mitchellmckain wrote:The very first eccumenical agreement on what it meant to be a Christian is first and foremost an agreement on the divinity of Christ, and therefore there is no Christianity without this.

So your argument is that if it weren't for Nicea, all Jesus did would be for not? I wasn't aware that Christianity had elevated the opinions of these men to that level. And besides, many present, like Eusebius of Caesarea, signed and attested to the the Creed but were Arian in their belief of the deity of Jesus. Sabellians and Arians both believed that Jesus was "God," but would not be considered "Christian" in the church today. The Creed also condemned all those who believed that God and Jesus had separate 'hypostasis' (which the modern church obviously insists on), and almost all present at Nicea were in some form Subordinationalists, so they most likely would also be condemned in today's Church for these two principles. So we should be careful before we elevate the opinions of these men to a Biblical level. If we do so, anyone who attests to the popularized 3 'hypostasis' in 1 'ousia' would be condemned.

mitchellmckain wrote:Jesus is that answer, but only if He is God.

I still don't understand why He had to be God to play these roles.
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Re: Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:50 am

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:The very first eccumenical agreement on what it meant to be a Christian is first and foremost an agreement on the divinity of Christ, and therefore there is no Christianity without this.

So your argument is that if it weren't for Nicea, all Jesus did would be for not?

No that is only the argument you get when you edit what I said to make me say what you want me to say, the same way I have no doubt that you edit the Bible to make it say what you want it to say. You are welcome to do whatever you want with the Bible, of course. But I certainly have no interest in debating this topic with you.


I think that I am perhaps an anti-anti for many things. I certainly oppose anti-scientific and anti-relgious rhetoric and attitudes. I distinguish rationality and intellegence of the atheist from the irrationality and bigotry of the the anti-theist. Therefore it is my first inclination to offer less respect to someone who calls himself an anti-trinitarian than I would to a Unitarian.
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Re: Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Postby ChristianHeretic » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:32 am

mitchellmckain wrote:I have no doubt that you edit the Bible to make it say what you want it to say

Is that because you know everything there is to know about me after one post?

ChristianHeretic wrote:Paul uses the term 'theos' over 540 times in his letters, and it is only argued that he uses it 3 times for Jesus in 3 grammatically ambiguous verses.
Just so I am informed, how am "editing the Bible" here? I'm simply stating a fact. Now, there are obviously other facts and allegations, but the above statement is unfortunately, a fact of Scripture.

mitchellmckain wrote:But I certainly have no interest in debating this topic with you.

I understand that is much easier to sidestep than to actually give support for your beliefs. Ignorance on what actually went on at Nicea is much easier than actually being informed on issues that might compromise your faith. This is why Atheists have problems with Christians, the majority shy away from intellectual conversations about Scripture or anything else.
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Re: Why do you believe that Jesus was God?

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:15 pm

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:I have no doubt that you edit the Bible to make it say what you want it to say

Is that because you know everything there is to know about me after one post?

And now I have a second post to confirm what I saw in the first post: you editing what others write to suit yourself.
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