…a rhetorical question? His nature disallows it and we are talking about two things that are mutually exclusive.
A workers who quit are no longer subordinate. A soldier who disobeys is insubordinate. Government officials who refuse to obey orders quit before they are fired.
God by definition cannot be under authority and Jesus is God. Philippians 2 is not about Jesus ceasing to be God. It is about Jesus revealing that God is Love. If it were about Jesus ceasing to be God then God is not Love.
28 Even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
Dale, please tell me that you do not think that Jesus, Who is God, is not free, How can you say that God is not free? Why would He bring the possibility up that there might be another way if He had no choice in the matter?.
Of course Jesus did not want to die on the Cross. No one in his right mind would want to do that. No one in his wrong mind would want to do that. And Jesus was in His right mind. He knew very well what He was doing.
Please remember that He predicted His death after Peter confessed that He was the Messiah, and then strongly rebuked Peter when he tried to say that it would not happen.
Jesus did not do it for Himself, even for His Joy. Jesus did not do it for the Father, even though it was the plan of the Father and the Son. Jesus did it for you and me – period. When you take Love out of the Cross, you lose the Good News of Jesus. Please do not allow the Legalists like Wayne Grudem do that.
41 posts were split to a new topic: Is Enlightened Self-Interest Biblical?
Good grief. He is not free to not be God, is he? Neither then is he free to act contrary to his nature, not that he did not struggle, especially in Gethsemane.
Good grief! Who determines what God does? Some people seem to think that they can define what God can do and what God can’t. Gethsemane should tell you something. God is free to do what God chooses to do. God is responsible to no one, but Godself. Who or what can compel God to be God? I AM WHO I AM.
God is free to not be not be God and we know nothing about his attributes. I understand. Thank you.
Agreed that Phillipians 2 is not about Jesus ‘ceasing to be God’ which would be kenosis theology.
It is about the eternal Son who is God taking up humanity. It is true that he is fully God. However, as history has shown, this statement alone needs further qualification in that he
has two distinct natures (human and divine) united in one Person.
I’ve only heard critics of kenosis theology describe it that way. Kenotic theology is another way of explaining how God can cast off certain things without ceasing to be God. Usually kenotic theology insists that the freedom to set abilities aside or “wear a blindfold” is inherent in God’s nature (not only in Jesus) rather than a contradiction of that nature.
To someone who defines God by those attributes, this would seem to be becoming less than God. But kenotic theology insists this is the wrong way of defining God – that God is fundamentally a personal being rather than a collection of attributes.
Marshall: Marshall Janzen:
I would prefer to say that what is inherent within in God’s nature is that he possess all the attributes of deity. Without one of these attributes, deity ceases to be what it essentially is.
The divesting of divine attributes would surely render him (Jesus) less than God. I’m sure that the ancient credal statements did not refer to ‘divinity’ as meaning anything less than ‘fully God’ including all of the attributes belonging to deity. To do so would have been to make a complete nonsense. From what I understand, Kenotic theology as stating Jesus is less than fully God is comparatively new.
Usually kenotic theology insists that the freedom to set abilities aside or “wear a blindfold” is inherent in God’s nature (not only in Jesus) rather than a contradiction of that nature.<
Even if God could wear a blindfold (I don’t really know what that means) it would really make no difference. Blindfolds are of no effect where God is concerned. God is not contained by anything. Only He is unlimited. Someone put it this way:
"What Jesus did was set aside His heavenly glory. And He voluntarily refrained from using His divinity to make His way easier. His miracles were not done to benefit Himself but to help others. During His earthly ministry, Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father (John 5:19). John Walvoord explains it this way: “The act of kenosis . . . may . . . be properly understood to mean that Christ surrendered no attribute of Deity, but that He did voluntarily restrict their independent use in keeping with His purpose of living among men and their limitations”
If this was the only definition of ‘Kenosis’ then I think I could accept that. Although I believe that many kenoticists go much further in imposing limitations upon the divine nature in Jesus.
If the Father is almighty, then so is Jesus.
If the Father sees everything, then so does the Son.
If God is upholding the universe by the word of his power, then so is Jesus.
If the Father is LORD, then so is Jesus.
I take the Christ’s ‘emptying’ of Himself to mean the laying aside of the privileges of divinity, not divinity itself.
Thanks for sending.
Most lists of divine attributes owe more to Greek thought than what the Bible reveals. If our definition of God is as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, impassable, immutable, then the incarnation is nonsense. As Paul states, when you think like a Greek, “Christ crucified” is foolishness (1 Cor. 1).
I also don’t think it works to salvage Jesus’ deity only because he maintained all those attributes in a hidden nature that he actively suppressed. Jesus claimed that he was revealing God even as he embraced the limitations that being human entails. If we only see God in what he suppressed, not what he revealed, then the incarnation hasn’t done its work for us. We haven’t gained a clearer view of God.
The Father is omnipresent, but Jesus became incarnate in a real place and time in real flesh and blood. The Father is invisible, but Jesus is not. He is the image of the invisible God. Obviously some attributes are different. But Jesus reveals the same being – is the same being. That is why I call him God, not because of a tally of attributes.
That I fully agree with!
At least we agree on something then.
John 5:18-20 (NIV2011)
18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
Going back to submission/subordination again. What the V. 19 says is that Jesus learned from the Father by imitating God, not by submitting His Will to God. V 20 it says that the relationship between the Father and the Son is one of Love, through the Spirit I would add, not one of submission. V 18 says that His opponents said that Jesus was “making Himself equal with God,” and He was, not subordinating Himself to God, that is, healing in the Name of YHWH.
This reverses the message of the NT that says Jesus is the visible Image of the invisible God or in other words we understand God the Father through Jesus, the Son; not that we understand that Jesus is God through Greek philosophical concepts.
When we put our Greek philosophical concepts of God before the clear revelation of Jesus as God, we put the cart before the horse, we put foreign nations of God ahead of Jesus without examination.
What or Who is God and what are the privileges of God? It is clear that Jesus laid aside the power of God, when He became human. If this is a privilege than why do most people think that He has to be omnipotent to be God?
It seems to me that Christianity did not necessarily redefine God, but it surely sharpened our understanding of Who God is, and that is Love, which is why I insist that we make Love the central and key message of Jesus, and why I strenuously object to those legalists who seem to be sabotaging that message. As Paul said, without Love I am nothing. That seems to be true of God also. God is more than Love, but God is a not less than Love, and we know this through the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity.
Going back to submission/subordination again. What the V. 19 says is that Jesus learned from the Father by imitating God, not by submitting His Will to God. V 20 it says that the relationship between the Father and the Son is one of Love, through the Spirit I would add, not one of submission. V 18 says that His opponents said that Jesus was “making Himself equal with God,” and He was, not subordinating Himself to God, that is, healing in the Name of YHWH.<
His opponents charged Him with what they considered to be blasphemy because He called God His Father. It would probably be a mistake to forge constructive Christology based on the accusations of his opponents.
I would like to know what you make of
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
This reverses the message of the NT that says Jesus is the visible Image of the invisible God or in other words we understand God the Father through Jesus, the Son; not that we understand that Jesus is God through Greek philosophical concepts.<
I don’t recall saying we did.
When we put our Greek philosophical concepts of God before the clear revelation of Jesus as God, we put the cart before the horse, we put foreign nations of God ahead of Jesus without examination.<
Well, I wouldn’t aim to do do that- I don’t think at least.
Jesus submitted to the will of His Father.
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
What or Who is God and what are the privileges of God? It is clear that Jesus laid aside the power of God, when He became human. If this is a privilege than why do most people think that He has to be omnipotent to be God?<
If we take privilege to mean:
‘a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.’
Then I would consider Jesus had a perfect right to turn stone into bread. But he didn’t.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’
With regard to the power of Jesus:
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Jesus had the power to raise a man from the dead:
saying also… '“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.
in this he showed he had power over death.
Just to clarify your points here are you saying the Athanasian Creed has got it wrong when it says:
Similarly, the Father is almighty,
the Son is almighty,
the Holy Spirit is almighty.
Yet there are not three almighty beings;
there is but one almighty being.
Is this the Greek philosophy that you mean?- Just to clarify etc?
If Jesus is truly the Son of God then why would it be wrong to say he is almighty?
This is what Isaiah ch 6 says
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
It was John who recorded that it was Jesus who Isaiah saw i.e. the almighty:
7 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
Just like we all do. With no pre-existence of self, of individuality, personhood. For it is absolutely meaningless, absurd to suggest that the trans-infinite, inextricably perichoretic Second Person of God, God the Son, became coeval, coterminous as Jesus Son of God, or as a supernatural spermatazoon, furthermore only once in the concurrent infinity of worlds from eternity.
Well, it depends… would you consider either J.I. Packer, Jonathan Edwards, Carl Henry, Charles Hodge, John Frame, Berkhof (whose systematic theology tome was the standard required reading in my grad school), or Charles Ryrie (who has a study bible named after him), or G. Vos to be “respectable theologians”?
(Or we could of course add C.S. Lewis to the list, though he would no doubt dispute the claim of him as a “theologian”, proper…)
I wholeheartedly agree. Do you remember the huge controversy where J.I. Packer was brought up on charges of heresy because of his defense of eternal subordination of the Son in his wildly bestselling book “Knowing God”?
I don’t remember that but thanks for the tip. I didn’t realise.
I do have the book. In fact I worked for a Christian book company, way back when, that first turned down the manuscript. I wonder now if this was the reason? As history goes it went on to Hodder to become a huge best seller.
(I think the implication is that he wasn’t.)
@Dale is quite correct, i was trying to be a bit sarcastic, and was observing that there was no controversy whatsoever at the time. As august and respected a theologian as Packer could write not only that “the Son is subject to the Father”, but also that “the Spirit is subject to the Father” and that “the Spirit is subject to the Son as well as to the Father”, all in a wildly bestselling book, and no one batted an eye.
Or even such bold and direct, unequivocal, and explicit statements regarding such “eternal subordination” as
“It is the nature of the second person of the Trinity to acknowledge the authority and submit to the good pleasure of the first.” and “the obedience of the God-man to the Father while he was on earth was not a new relationship occasioned by the Incarnation, but the continuation in time of the eternal relationship between the Son and the Father in heaven.”
such categorical and unambiguous affirmations of eternal subordination raised nary an eyebrow.
Thus I personally find it a bit disingenuous when people are all of a sudden “shocked! shocked! to find such heresy being taught by an evangelical theologian…”
(I think it says more about how our own culture has shifted even from the 1970s or 1980s than it does anything about the actual orthodoxy or heterodoxy of said doctrine.)
Nah, just lighthearted irony. I think sarcasm denotes irony plus mocking, and you weren’t doing that.