Letting some orthodox doctrines in the bible stay as mysteries instead of dogmas

Yes, your approach is perhaps more accurate than any diagrams.
We do not understand the essence of God because He is so much above everything we can see, measure or understand. On the other hand, we can note that the scriptures speak of God as the Father, they speak about the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach), starting from the beginning (creation) and also after He resurrected, and they speak about the Holy Spirit. We can rely on what has been revealed but we should respect the limits of human understanding. In this, I think that the word mystery is justified.

If Mary is not the mother of God, and therefore gave birth to a non-divine Jesus, when, if ever, did Jesus become divine?

Do have any examples?

From the Wikipedia article on Nestorianism:

Nestorius’ opponents found his teaching too close to the heresy of adoptionism – the idea that Christ had been born a man who had later been “adopted” as God’s son. Nestorius was especially criticized by Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, who argued that Nestorius’s teachings undermined the unity of Christ’s divine and human natures at the Incarnation. Some of Nestorius’s opponents argued that he put too much emphasis on the human nature of Christ, and others debated that the difference that Nestorius implied between the human nature and the divine nature created a fracture in the singularity of Christ, thus creating two Christ figures.

If Mary is the Mother of God, and
If God is One,
Then didn’t Mary give birth to God the Father?

Going past what the scripture says and calling Mary the Mother of God
Declaring denying Mary is the Mother of God is heresy
Is a divisive position.

The church too often is unwilling to admit that we don’t know everything.

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That is of course not what Catholics mean by it, but taken at face value by anyone else, it is certainly what the words would appear to say.

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“God-bearer” works for me, in English.

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This quote from a heavy theological paper emphasizes the mystery:

" That is, the fundamental context in which the question of the Trinity arises is that of Trinitarian faith. Since the Trinity is a mystery of salvation, it cannot, in principle, be known outside of the stance of faith, and so it is then necessary to pay attention to how Trinitarian faith arises in the first place if one’s understanding is going to proceed correctly. In this context, Rahner first proposes his Grundaxiom , and he follows that with a set of conditions: the Grundaxiom must conform to binding data of the tradition, it must make sense of what the Bible says about the economy of salvation,38 and finally, it ‘allows us to understand that the Trinity also appears and must appear in the act of Christian faith as saving faith and in Christian life."

Fundamental Theology for the Trinity: Karl Rahner’s Contribution, by David Rohrer Budiash, The Heythrop Journal, 57, 917, 2016.


I guess the need to define such doctrines as trinity with diagrams does not originate from theology (sensu stricto). Theology and philosophy are usually(?) both included in the curriculum of theology students, at least in universities. I am not an expert of philosophy, merely a PhD, but I guess the need to define doctrines logically comes from the philosophy part of the studies. Diagrams are part of this attempt to be explicit.


Sorry for the late reply because I need to sort my own thought concerning this. However, before I go any further, I do need to clarify what does it mean with Jesus having two natures, divine nature and human nature.

Divine nature = a being with God’s attribute such as omnipresence, omnipotent and omniscience.

Human nature = a being with the limitation of humanity such as hungry, sickness, tired, etc.

Before the incarnation :

it is obvious in the scripture that Jesus had divine nature.

Col 1: 15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

During His incarnation :
I propose here that during His time on earth, Jesus only had human nature.

Philippians 2:7
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

While Jesus was/is always divine, this verse only makes sense if we acknowledge that Jesus emptied Himself of His God’s attribute (divine nature) and lived as a regular human being (human nature). He did not have dual nature when He was living in the flesh and blood.
Philippians 2:8
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

After the resurrection : Jesus is restored to His former glory and attributes. He is no longer having human nature (human attributes).

I think this verse even give stronger argument.
Colossians 3:4
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

We who are believers have the promise that when Christ will appear in the final day, we will appear with Him in glory. Glory of what? the glory of divine nature. Our humanity (human nature) will be swallowed up by the glory that will be imparted to us. We will be like Christ in His glorified body (not human nature with its limitation).

I think you guess wrong:

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Thanks for the comment. I may be wrong about Scutum Fidei. Or maybe not.

Medieval theology was often quite philosophical. It is not always easy to say where the line between theology and philosophy was, if there were any. Maybe theology was the philosophy about God and the invisible reality. I would say that the attempts to form explicit logical statements about mysteries of faith belongs more to philosophy than to faith-centered theology.

I do not say that the Scutum Fidei would be a bad thing as such, or that trying to be logical would be something negative. After all, I am a child of western logical thinking, much more than of the eastern tradition. Probably Scutum Fidei has been useful in identifying possible points where our interpretations about trinity might go wrong. Yet, I would say that graphs like Scutum Fidei can never catch the reality of God.

Studied in the Bharat School of Philosophy and Theology, did you? :laughing:

Who says that? Mary gave birth to the Son of God.

But if Mary gave birth to baby Jesus who was only human, when did he become divine?

I don’t know about that. In the vision on the road to Emmaus Jesus sure seemed to still have human emotions.

I think we’ll retain our human nature but without its imperfections. We don’t shed humanity as something worthless.

Emotion is both part of human nature and also divine nature as God also has emotions.

Then perhaps a definition of perfect “human nature” is needed. In what way we will retain the human nature after being transformed to glorious body. Which part of the glorious body is still part of human nature (human attribute). I am not saying that humanity as something worthless, but as a temporary state of imperfection while we are on the earth. When the perfection comes then the imperfection disappear.

Wait, are you revising your assertion from
“Mary is the mother of God”
“Mary is the mother of the Son of God?”

Do you no longer claim Mary is the mother of God?

So why do we have these later creeds? After Christianity became a legal and recognized religion, the cleric Arius, began to teach that Jesus was not divine, not equal to the Father . Arius even had the dock-workers chant “There was a time when the Son was not!” Arianism was disrupting the empire, so the emperor Constantine asked the bishops of the church to resolve the question of Jesus’s divinity. So a number of ecumenical councils met over many years to study the Scriptures and reflect on how best to describe the divinity of Jesus and his relationship with God and the Holy Spirit. And so we have the Nicene creed.

Who cares about the divinity of Jesus? Most Christians do, especially those in mainline churches.

Arianism disappeared. But the “low Christology” belief system (non-divine Jesus) became the foundation for many religions, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians, Christadelphians, and others. Even Sir Isaac Newton could be considered an Arian!

I was responding to what you said:

If Mary is the Mother of God, and
If God is One,
Then didn’t Mary give birth to God the Father?

I’m trying to clarify.

One of the problems understanding this is all the anti-Catholic bigotry around. This must be a Roman Catholic teaching and so is wrong! But back in the day, the bishop of Rome (aka the pope) was only one of a whole bunch of influential and powerful bishops in Christendom. The pope wasn’t running the church. Most bishops went with the Chalcedon definition of the faith.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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