We now conclude today our look at Loftus’s chapter on this doctrine with his look at the idea of Thomas Morris relating to the essential properties of deity and the essential properties of humanity and the common properties of humanity. Is this a way to reconcile the humanity of Christ and the deity of Christ?
To begin with, Loftus speaks of how this means that the second person of the Trinity is forevermore in a body. He writes, “I just find this whole thing troublesome and implausible, even if it may not be logically contradictory. If the human nature of Jesus is forever linked to the second person of the Trinity, then the full Trinity now includes a man, that is, the human side of Jesus, the man.” (P.188)
Wow. I guess that settles it then.
I wonder if we can try this on other ideas….
“I just find this idea of naturalistic evolution troublesome and implausible, even if it may not be logically contradictory.”
The question to ask is what is this implausibility based on? I find naturalistic evolution implausible because of the anthropic principle, the design I see in the human body, the improbability of these things coming about by chance, and the idea I find contradictory of an effect being greater than its cause with rationality coming from non-rationality.
So what’s the implausibility of Jesus remaining in a body based on?
Loftus says this is to be believed even though the Bible says “God is Spirit.” (John 4:24)
This is the point where the Trinitarian says Jesus is fully God but God is not fully Jesus.
What do I mean? I mean that Jesus is not the Trinity. When the Trinitarian says “Jesus is God”, he is using theological shorthand. It’s a lot easy for us to say “Jesus is God” than to endlessly say “Jesus fully partakes of the nature of deity” every time. Unfortunately, the danger with shorthand is some people don’t realize what it’s shorthand for. The Father and the Spirit are not incarnate. It is only the Son.
Loftus says that the second possibility is that after the ascension, there are now two beings rather than one. There is the human Jesus and the second person of the Trinity. The second person of the Trinity discarded his human form to live forever unhindered. Loftus says that incoherence sets in at this point along this route though.
No. Incoherence set in at the beginning of that argument….
So how does the idea of Jesus being human work with this? In classical Trinitarianism, it is that Jesus, in essence, gave up for a time the divine prerogative of his abilities. It is as if he played with one hand tied behind his back. He was allowed to know that which was essential for his mission. Suppose it was said he had an advantage the rest of us don’t have.
It seems that would mean why he would be the one who would have to do the mission….
When talking about Jesus to sin, is there a problem with saying Jesus was tempted in his humanity? Not at all. Temptation is rarely about totally evil desires. The temptations of Jesus were more often about good things than bad things. It was the method that was the problem. The problem was not having stones turned to bread. The problem was selfishness. The problem was not getting people to see he was the Messiah. It was bypassing the cross. It was not having all the kingdoms of the world. It was coming about that the wrong way.
And let’s look at the supposed sin of Jesus.
He was racist with a Canaanite woman. (Apparently, so racist he complimented her on her great faith and healed her daughter. Yeah. Racists do that.)
He said no one is good but God alone, which was addressed last time.
He apparently disrespected his parents. (Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 14:26)
Actually, in the former, he was pointing out the relationship of being in the body of Christ is more important than blood relationships. In the latter, he was saying the cost of being a disciple. He was not telling people to literally hate their parents. (You really have to wonder about all these people who use this passage and think Jesus literally wanted me to call home and say “Hi Mom. I hate you.”)
Last, he used violence in the temple.
Because we all know using violence is always a bad thing….
Loftus seems to think that if God was omnisciently aware of all the thoughts of someone’s mind and prevented them from sin, then that person would be another case of God incarnate.
I’m tempted to say “A prize to anyone who can figure out how that leap was made.”
The chapter continues with more of this same kind of thing though and the final conclusion of “We should reject the incarnation.” Why? It’s rested on historical claims and those are open to all sorts of interpretations. (And apparently, from the sources we’ve seen, only liberal scholarship has the proper interpretation of those claims.)
I believe we have historical reasons to believe Jesus is who he said he was and did what the NT said he did. Do I fully understand the incarnation? Of course not. I doubt anyone does. It’s something enjoyable to think about and ponder about though. However, not understanding something does not mean that that something is false. It simply means our finite minds are limited.
We shall continue with the next chapter tomorrow.