Andrew Davison | Cosmic Incarnation - BioLogos

When you declare that a statement of Paul is wrong, you most certainly are dismissing him, or at least that point.
I prefer to believe that what the Spirit inspired and the church affirmed is to be taken as is.

I am not just declaring that a statement of Pal is wrong. I am giving reasons why I find it wanting, particularly in the context of a particular theological discussion. Let me make it clear. The basic statement that Jesus died for our sins is true. The question here is, How is this to be understood? This discussion weighs different ideas but does not dismiss anyone and does not dismiss the basic issue.

The Spirit inspired the entire Bible, but that deoe3s not mean that there are no contradictions within the Bible. That does not mean that the Jewish Covenant is the same as the Christian Covenant. that some understandings of theology are more successful than others. A big part of the value of the Bible is that it is diverse in content. We have four gospel narratives, not one.

The basis for Truth is not the Spirit, but the Logos, Who is the Son. The Church does interpret the meaning of the Bible, but the Church as a human institution, as well as divine, changes, so the meaning of the Bible changes with each generation. GOD IS WHO GOD IS. The Bible is not What the Bible is. Our understanding of the Bible changes and our understanding of GOD changes because we humans change.

No – that leaves you with nothing but your own religion invented from your own preferences. The text means what the author intended and what the original audience understood.

And I’m saying that what is wanting is your understanding of the text, an understanding that is actually shallow. Paul is speaking of something deeper than just the standard, he’s aiming behind the forgiveness of sins to how it came about.

From God’s point of view, evolution is entirely material. It can show how various species differentiate themselves from their predecessors, but it cannot endue them with any kind of spiritual life. Only God is spirit and has been from the beginning of everything. Since God all His creation, He decided to bring the spirit world to the material world. And so the Word became flesh, the Incarnation, Jesus on earth.

This holy action was to make the spiritual dimension an essential part of humanity. Because God exists in all time, divinized humanity does also. And you could argue that any other material beings throughout the Universe who understand themselves as individual persons would also be divinized. Whether or not they would have a Jesus come among them, I have no idea. But long before Jesus appeared to us, it is nearly certain that humans were aware of a spiritual dimension of their being.

It is very possible that we are the first in the Universe.

Since the author of the text, Paul, was human and the original audience was human, that means that their understanding of the text must be at least in part human and not fully divine. The way to discover the divine meaning of the Bible is to compare its different meanings to find the best theological understanding. If that leaves me with my own understanding of Christianity, so be it. It is the Logos of GOD.

If Paul is explaining how the forgiveness of sins came about, then please share that with me, because you think that I am wrong.

But that’s not what you’re doing:

Paul speaks of sin as both – and so do the Gospels. They get that from the Old Testament. So what you’re doing is picking the approach you like and ignoring the rest, declaring it to be wrong. As I pointed out, if you get to pick and choose, and on top of that say that the meaning of the Bible changes, you’re just inventing your own religion. It’s no different than what YECists and atheists both do, forcing the scriptures to fit their agendas.

It’s right in front of you:

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all

Put that together with:

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John says, “sin”, singular, treating sin as at the very least a condition or state, or as with some commentators, a power.

Taking this concept seriously rather than discarding it, Jesus died to the sin of the world, thus taking it away. Just as He was baptized though He didn’t need it, so He died to sin though He didn’t have any of His own; He died to ours so that we, being in Him, are also dead to sin.

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I think I understand what I am doing better than you do.

You say that the Bible says that sin can be understood as a relationship, the opposite of hate. If so why do you lambast me by saying that my view is not biblical if I am using biblical concepts. I am not arbitrarily picking and choosing to suit myself.

You put the quote by Adam into the context of the NT, which is fine. My problem was he put it in the context of the OT. The quote does not say that Jesus died for our sin, it just says He died to sin. In a real sense when I die, when my life is over, I too am dead to sin, but I am not saved by this fact. I am saved, if at all, if I die with Jesus Christ and risen with Him into His resurrection life of the Spirit.

If Jesus had died an ordinary death, He would still have transitioned into eternal life, but He chose not to die an ordinary death. Jesus chose to die an extraordinary death upon the Cross for our salvation. Of course we know this, but my point is that it does not say this in Romans 6:10

It is true that Jesus did not need to be baptized, but He was because we all need to be in relationship with Him Jesus did not die to sin. Jesus overcame sin, He destroyed its power over those who trust in Him. He demonstrated once and for all that Love overcomes Hatred, despite those who insist that Hatred overcomes Love, while claiming to be followers of Christ…

I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, even if I’m unsure about a few of the points made.
And, to take things in a slightly different (pop-culture, humorous…) direction…
Our family are all huge fans of the Marvel movies, and just re-watched last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” (yes, there is such a thing…)
There is an actually rather poignant scene in which Drax and Mantis pause briefly to ponder a Nativity Scene in LA… when I saw that scene I could not help but think of Dr Davison’s questions of “if there was life beyond earth, what does the incarnation of Christ offer for them?”
A silly show in many ways, but poetically touching (if even briefly) on the relationship between Christ and those (who might be) from other worlds.

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Because you are also denying biblical concepts. That’s not honest – the Spirit inspired the text, the Spirit guided the church to canonize the text, so the text has to be taken seriously.

False. Again, you don’t get to decide what parts of the inspired scriptures you’re going to take and what you’re going to reject. The apostle says Jesus died to sin; therefore He died to sin. The only choice is to grapple with that and make sense of it – otherwise you’re making up your own religion.

In fact if you take the text seriously, an argument could be made that if Christ did not die to sin then we are not free from it, because that is the foundation that Paul uses to show that we are free from sin.

OK, I know what I’m going to veg to next!

The “Guardians” take on Christmas is odd and goofy to say the least, but as with all the Marvel stories there are at least a few moments of touching profundity.

Managed to find it. So far it’s . . . looney.

Okay, it was looney.

I am not denying biblical concepts. That is only in your head. I am taking biblical concepts seriously, which means that I must look at them critically. We haver a problem because some people think that looking at the statement that God created the universe in six days is denying the power of the Holy Spirit, when it is not.

Jesus rejected the way that the the leaders of the “church” of His day interpreted the OT. We Christians need to do the same. As I said the way to critically loo0k at the Bible is the way Jesus did which was to use the Bible to interpret the Bible.

The idea that sin is an entity or a thing is a sacred biblical concept is absurd. It is more like a Greek ontological concept which was foreign to the Jewish tradition. All you have is the opinion of inte4rfprete4rs that Paul was thinking in the Greek mode rather than the Jewish mode, and that the Greek mode is authoritative.

You make the serious mistake of confusing evidence for a fact with the fact itself. So that if GOD did not create the universe in six days, then GOD must not haver created the universe. John the Baptist did not call Jesus the Lamb of GOD Who died to sin. He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the Sins of the World. If you need any proof that
Jesus died for the sins of all, here it is.

You said Paul is wrong. That’s denying a biblical concept.

It’s found in Paul, John, Genesis, and elsewhere.

No, there are clear statements.

Don’t be ridiculous – that’s the same boneheaded “reasoning” the YECists use, ignoring the fact that the scriptures aren’t all the same kind of literature.

That’s not what John said – he said, “sin”, singular, as I noted: he treated sin as at the very least a condition or state, or as with some commentators, a power.

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John treated sin just like Jesus treated it, as a relationship. If you deny this, then you are denying what Jesus said.