THE CHRISTOLOGY DEBATE.docx - THE CHRISTOLOGY DEBATE...

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THE CHRISTOLOGY DEBATE PRESENTED TO DR. RAY DEGENKOLB FOR COMPLETETION OF THE REQUIREMENTS THEOLOGY 350 BY ALVIN JAMES L24453248 LYNCHBURG, VA NOVEMBER 24, 2014
2 Introduction Throughout history, there has been and continues to be, the debate of Jesus’ deity, and his humanity. How can he possibly be man and human at the same time? If he was truly God, then how did he empty himself out in the incarnation? Did Jesus lay aside certain attributes of his deity, or did he retain them all during his walk upon the earth? Of course, these questions have almost been haunting to philosophers and theologians as they have allowed themselves to be overwhelmed with the idea that they are capable of both understanding and defining the spiritual things of an omniscient God. “In humanity, Christ was totally human; in deity, Jesus was unalterably God. Yet in Jesus Christ was a single, undivided personality in whom these two natures are vitally and undividedly united, so that Jesus is not God and man, but the God-man.” 1 In other words, Jesus was a man as he walked the earth, yet he was totally God. He was always God, but became subject to the frailties of humankind, identifying with our physical, mental, and emotional conditions. This would be the only way; he could rescue humanity from the bondage of sin as a perfect sacrifice. Christ’s Deity One of the major questions concerning Christology is the deity of Christ. Did Jesus lay aside certain attributes of deity to become human? It is important to note it is not enough that because Jesus claimed to be God that we should accept his word to be true. After all, the Scriptures declare that many will come claiming to be the Messiah. “For many will come in (on the strength of) My name [appropriating the name which belongs to Me], saying, I am the Christ 1 Towns, Elmer. A. Christology, “Theology for Today;” Mason, Ohio; Cengage Learning, (2008- 2009) pg.155
3 (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray-Matt. 25:5 (ABV).” For Christians, this is a very important Scripture, because it implies there will be many imposters coming in the Name of Christ that will deceive many. In speaking of “My name,” he was identifying himself with his deity, yet he was not claiming to be God. Throughout the New Testament, we read about the deity of Jesus, and are confronted with much evidence to support the argument that he is God. Supporting evidence is especially found in the prophecy of Old Testament writings in which these prophecies are fulfilled through the coming of Christ. “There are eight aspects to Jesus’ claim to deity. (1) In the Gospel of John He used the Jehovistic I AM, that identified him with deity. (I am the way…I am the resurrection…I am the door…etc. John 8:25, 56-59; 18:6, 8 the pronoun He is not in the Greek). (2) Jesus claimed to be the Old Testament Adonai (Matt. 22:42-45). (3) Jesus identifies Himself with God in the baptismal formula (Matt. 28:19). (4) Jesus claim to be one with the Father (John 10:30) and the person who saw Him saw the Father (John14:9). (5) When

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