English: The Crucifixion Window at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina by Henry E. Sharp & Sons, 1872. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This post is long-winded, pedantic and sometimes redundant. I’m trying to be as careful as I can to deal with an issue that may confuse or even offend some readers. I’m trying to dissect an idea that’s an article of faith for millions of people in a way that’s respectful while I remaining determined to explore some “logical unpleasantness” surrounding the question,
Is Christ God?
There are millions of sincere and dedicated Christians who believe that when the Christ walked the earth as if he were a man, he was actually God incarnate. I.e., these people believe that God came down to earth in the “incarnate” (flesh and blood) form of a mortal man. Perhaps they’re right. I don’t know.
But, if the Bible is true, I can’t believe that Christ was God incarnate. My notion of “logic” tells me that the Christ was not God, but instead the “Son of God” and therefore a separate being just as surely as you and I are separate beings from our earthly fathers.
The very description of the Christ as the “Son of God” appears or is implied nearly 200 times in the New Testament. The phrase “Son of God” clearly indicates that the Christ was not and is not God. The words must mean what they say. To say that I am the “son of Alex” necessarily means that “I am not Alex” since, by definitions of the words “father” and “son,” I can’t be my own father. If the words “Son of God” in the Bible are true, then it follows that the Christ is related to God, but he is not actually God—any more than I can claim to be my own “father” or my own “son”.
Similarly, there are nearly 300 instances in the New Testament where the Christ is described expressly or by implication as the “son of man”. If those words are true, we face a “which came first” question: Which came first, God or man? If God created man, God must’ve preceded man. If Christ is God and Christ is the “son of man,” then it appears that man preceded the Christ and later created the Christ/God.
The truth, in my opinion, is that the Christ was both the “Son of God” and the “son of man”. He has a divine father, and an earthly mother. He is a transitional being that was neither fully divine in the sense of being “God” nor fully human in the sense of being a mortal born to an earthly mother and an earthly father.
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