Monday, January 16, 2006

Christ Is God

MYTH
Jesus is not God

Jesus' Numerous Divine Claims
One objection to Christianity is Holtz's absurd claim of "Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity". [1] This is blatantly false. Jesus claimed to be Yahweh [John 17:5; Rev. 1:17; John 10:11; Matt. 25:31; John 5:27; Matt. 25:1; John 8:12; John 8:58], claimed to be equal with God [Mark 2:5-11; John 5:25, 29; John 5:21; John 5:23], to have equal authority with God [Matt. 5:21-22; Matt. 28:18-19; John 13:34; Matt. 5:18; Matt. 24:35; John 12:48], and to be the Messiah-God [Matt. 22:43-44; Mark 14:61-64; Matt. 26:54; Luke 24:27]. He claimed to be God by accepting worship [Matt. 8:2; Matt. 9:18; Matt. 14:33; Matt. 15:25; Matt. 20:20; Mark 5:6; Matt. 28:17; John 20:28-29; Matt 16:17] and by requesting prayer in His name [John 14:13-14; John 15:7; John 14:6; 1 Cor. 5:4; Acts 7:59].

Bible Does Not Say That Jesus Disavowed Divinity
Jesus said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone." [Mark 10:18; Luke 18:17; Matt. 19:17] Here Jesus is not denying that He is God, but asking the rich young ruler to examine the ramifications of what he said. Jesus also said, "If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." [John 14:28] Jesus is not saying that He is not God, but instead saying that as God the Son in the Trinity, He subordinated Himself to God the Father and accepted the inherent limitations of humanity. Jesus, God the Son, is equal to God the Father in His divine nature, divine essence, divine attributes, and divine character. Jesus is subordinate to God the Father in His human nature, human function, human office, and human position. The Son and the Father are equal in essence and dignity and power, etc. but the Father is the principle of the Son. Critics also point out that "the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son." [Jn 5:22] Again, Jesus is not denying that He is God, but affirming His deity, and his place as the Son in the trinity. He also says "... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." Jesus affirms that the Father and Son are equal in essence, and thus He is affirming that He is God. Critics take Jesus' words out of context; their criticisms do not stand up to scrutiny.

Not Just Jesus, But His Earliest Followers Believed He Is God
Disciples attributed the title of deity to Christ, considered Jesus the Messiah-God, attributed the powers of God to Jesus, associated Jesus' name with God's, called Jesus God, and considered Jesus superior to angels.

Divine Claims Demonstrated
Jesus' claims to be God and the disciples' belief that He was God Incarnate do not automatically prove the Deity of Christ. However, evidence that Jesus is God include fulfilled messianic prophecies [2], a miraculous [3] and sinless life, and the Resurrection. The Old Testament predicted the Resurrection, and so did Jesus Himself. The Resurrection is evidently true [stay tuned for future posts on the Resurrection].

[1] This charge can be added to the list of discredited anti-Christian arguments that include "atheism is true" [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html] and that Hell is unjust ["Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell"] [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html].
[2] It is not humanly possible to make clear, repeated, and accurate predictions 200 to 400 or more years before such an event. That these prophecies were fulfilled is miraculous and indicates confirmation from God that Jesus is the Messiah (Savior).
[3] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html