A practical examination of the dynamics of God in human form

You have only answered from your understanding of the Trinity and given thr evidence you see for it.

This is not what I asked for

I am asking you to take a step back and hypothesise as to how such a being could exist.

What are the practical issues in God coming to earth as a human? If you know it is God you will react differently than if you see a man. You cannot kill God, but Jesus has to die. You need people to reject Him, but He needs time to be established and remembered.
He has to display abilities that indicate a man from God (ie a prophet) without revealing His full divinity. Yet, by withholding HIs divine state He can (and has been) be accused of deception.
There are many who cannot see the divinity of Jesus. Could He have done something different? Or Is what we see the only answer?
Do the Gospel writers see a man or God in human form? (I think this has been answered)
Therefore if most of the Gospels “see” a man, why should the reader “see” God?

You should know by now that I am a Trinitarian It is easy to just regurgitate what we believe and why. It is less easy to put ourselves in the shoes of a non-believer, see what they see, and try to show them the truth

One way is to show them that what they see has to have been for it to work.

Richard

Such a question presupposes rules by which you think to judge what could exist.

I am not exactly sure what you mean here by the word “practical.” It seems to me all of this is necessarily theoretical. The principle issue I have seen is the question of what it means to be human. God is infinite being and we are finite beings, therefore being human requires God to give up a great deal of power and knowledge in order to be human, at least in the space-time context in which He chooses to exist as human. But this limitation is an expression of His divinity rather than a subtraction because I dispute the idea that power and knowledge are the essence of God’s divinity.

I don’t believe in this bizarre notion that human sacrifice has some kind of magical power or that God needs a magical power in order to forgive people. I believe it is we who demanded Jesus’ death by our self-destructive habits in reaction to Jesus and not God who required Jesus’ death as a payment of some kind. That Jesus died for our redemption does not mean this any more than soldiers died for our freedom means our freedom really requires the death of a particular number of brave heroes on the battlefield.

Judas was condemned because Jesus’ death was a tragic crime. If it really was the accomplishment of God’s will then the Judas would be praised. Of course Jesus was doing the will of God in the same way soldiers are doing heroic service to our country on the battlefield. In neither case does it make their death other than a tragedy.

I don’t believe Jesus had anything more than what we are capable which is a relationship with God. Jesus said in John 5, " the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing." The miracles of Jesus are not a matter of supernatural powers but only seeing what God was doing because of His relationship with the Father. We were created for that same relationship with God.

People can only think Jesus is “withholding His divine state” when they equate divinity with power and knowledge, which is a product of an entirely human obsession with knowledge and power. Power and knowledge is not divinity. I think the whole point was for us to see His divinity revealed apart from knowledge and power in love, for that is what was needed in order to heal the breach between us.

It is not the only answer because WE could have done something different. God’s omnipotence is not the ability to do anything by whatever means we care to dictate. God is constrained by the dictates of logical consistency if wants to accomplish anything which is real.

The gospel writers saw light and heard sound from events in time and space. I only know the words they wrote about this and I cannot possibly know what is going on in their minds beyond that which suffers severe limitations due differences in culture and language.

And?

Perhaps you do not care for the hypothetical approach?
The whole point of this is not to affirm, or deny our current viewpoints but to establish that they are both plausible and possibly inevitable i.e. that for God to achieve what He wanted the Historical Jesus is the only possible way to do so. But, and here is the crunch, it is not obvious to the casual observer and can be easily misunderstood by those who take what is written at pure face value. I have been cited many times that the bible says “the man Jesus” as if that is proof that He was not in any way divine. You and I might (do) say 100% Man and 100% God, but the latter is less than obvious to many.

Richard

Hardly, since I consider it all to be rather hypothetical.

I don’t know that such was the only possible way. I do know that God’s omnipotence does not mean He can do whatever we say by whatever means we care to dictate. There are constraints of logical consistency on accomplishing anything which is real rather than just a dream. It seems to me the omnipotence of a dreamer is a rather trivial sort of omnipotence.

Clearly, since it is not even believable let alone obvious to a Christian such as I.

Then isn’t the question why they think being a man means He cannot be divine? I am reminded of other words of Jesus in the Bible…

John10:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

I would suggest that Jesus is using scripture here to say that being human and being God are not incompatible categories.

It is not you who needs convincing (or me for that matter)

Take the Garden of Gethsemane:-
There was no human witness (they were all supposedly asleep) How was it remembered or recorded? Who is Jesus talking to? Or is it supposed to be one of those times where uncertainty causes us to debate with ourselves?
From a human standpoint there are many issues which may or may not include the Time/physical one you seem to be unhappy with.
I do not need to hear how you personally reconcile it. I am just pointing out that the issues exist, and we have to be able to offer some sort of response if confronted. Trotting out our personal faith will not necessarily get the job done.

Richard

I don’t know that anyone needs convincing. I thought this was about explaining what we believe, not about convincing anybody of anything.

Interesting question. But didn’t Jesus speak to the disciples immediately after His prayer? It never occurred to me to think the accounts tell every word spoken by Jesus or that we should treat the Biblical account as if it were a video recording.

What is the job you think needs to be done?

If the job is explaining what we believe I don’t see how “trotting out our personal faith” is helpful.

You might be surprised how many people do take it that way. “Jesus said…”

Richard

I was thinking of the combination of words & acts where the acts proved what he said. For example:

  • Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)
  • heals a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:2-8)
  • fed 5000 men with five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:15-21)
  • walks on water (Matthew 14:25-33 - yes, I do believe he walked on water)
  • miracle at Cana: water to wine (John 2:1-11)
  • all the cases where he healed those who came to him
  • testimonies of works, Father and scripture (John 5)
  • Jesus said he came from heaven (John 6:38-40)
  • Jesus said he was before Abraham (John 8:56-59)

Miracles happen even today, so yes, believing followers of Jesus can sometimes experience similar kind of works he did - not by our own power but by using the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Yet, even if the dead would come to life through our prayers, we cannot say and be what Jesus was when he walked on earth.

The big question for me is why it had to wait until 2,000 years ago.

I’m sure plenty of people would offer speculations but in the end knowing why God does exactly what He does when He does in terms of salvation history is probably above our pay grade.

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Well, we know that much of certain aspects of his being – and certainly their depths – is inscrutable, but it is safe to say his goodness and love and his joy and ours are at the root of it.

In theory God had already put in place a means of canceling sin but it was not working. The problem with that is that God should have known it didn’t work.
The original system was Judaism-specific. By the end of the Bible Jesus has become Universal.
However, it would appear that Christianity is not as Universal as it would either claim, or in reality, be. There are faith systems that parallel Judaism in date, not to mention Islam which claims a cultural override to Christianity.
IOW There are more factors than just the timing. And God only knows.

Richard

If it was all just a big piece of magic then I don’t how this could make any sense. But I have never been inclined to such an understanding. If it was rather all about an impact on the way people think and behave, then that is quite a different matter, because then preparations to make them ready for that change would make sense.

Okay, I will keep this thread open for another 7 days in case anyone else wishes to chip in. I am not convinced it has achieved what I intended.

Perhaps taking a step back from what we believe or think we know is not something we tend to try? But, there is merit in trying to view a situation from the perspective of someone who does not have faith and see why it might be a barrier instead of a help.

Richard