So Jesus Isn’t God
I have just finished reading a book about the history, the story of the formation of the Christian Creeds. For the first time, I have started seriously engaging with theology and I have realised that it can do a lot of strange things to your mind. I realised two and a half things:
1) When you start to pick apart Christianity you get to a whole bunch of paradoxes. This reminds me that (1.5) theology is not supposed to make you believe in God, but to explain Him.
2) We believe a lot of things which are over-simplified versions of much more difficult to explain things. My example of this is that Jesus is not really God despite that fact that this is what almost all Christians believe.
OK. So let me explain what I mean by ‘Jesus is not God’. For one, I am using the present tense. I am not saying that the man Jesus was not one with God, or that Jesus was in some way not Divine. What I mean is: when we speak of ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ JESUS IS NOT INCLUDED.
Jesus is ‘the Son of God’. According to the early Church Fathers (i.e. theologians up to Augustine who was writing in about 400 AD), it was important to distinguish that Jesus himself was not a god but actually God. If Jesus was divine, but not one with God, that would mean two Gods – and there is only one God. So it is important to state that God did not make a new god in Jesus, but rather he was somehow already one with Him. And if God is eternal and unchanging, then the Son of God must have already existed before Jesus did.
So, correctly, Jesus is the Son of God incarnate, i.e. made flesh. (Think Chili con Carne = chili with meat. Carne = meat. Incarnate = in the flesh.) Now this is actually HUGE because this means that Jesus was actually embodying something else called the Son of God which existed before time. Jesus was created; the Son of God is part of the eternal deity. So Jesus is not the Son of God; Jesus was one with the Son of God. This is what we refer to when we say ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’.
According to the early Church Fathers, the Son of God was ‘begotten’ of the Father. This means that there always has been a part of God which was of Him, but not separate from Him. This ‘Son’ is identified as the Logos or Word, which in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, is described as being involved in the act of creation: i.e. the world was made through the Son (Word, Logos), before it became flesh and dwelt among us. They also described Logos as ‘the very principle of life itself’ – which is why it could not be killed, and was resurrected.
But why is it that so few Christians seem to recognise that JESUS IS NOT PART OF THE ETERNAL GODHEAD? Just because the Logos was completely one with the man Jesus it doesn’t mean that Jesus is eternally God. All it means is that God experienced human life through Jesus. Logos died and was resurrected in Jesus – the archetype of the universe, the plan, the blueprint of the universe – died with Jesus and was brought to life with him, and so all humankind were saved. But we do not praise or thank Logos and we pray to the Lord Jesus? Why?