Answer for non-trinitarian Christian?


#1

I was talking to someone last night who believes in God and in Jesus, but believes Jesus was fully human–not fully divine. His reasoning (hopefully I’m relaying it accurately) is that if Jesus was fully divine, He had foreknowledge that he’d rise from the dead and be sitting one day at God’s right hand, and if you know it’s all going to come out right in the end, it’s not that great a sacrifice.

I don’t agree with some of the reasoning here, but I’m curious what the Church’s response to this is.


#2

This isn’t a very theological answer, but presuming Christ did know precisely how it would all pan out, that doesn’t negate the scale of the sacrifice. Perhaps it makes it an even greater one, for He would know just how appalling it would be.

Even if we gloss over the horrific physical suffering He would have undergone during His passion, He also had to experience the pain and turmoil of having His death clamoured for by people He created and loved, as well as desertion by His closest friends.

I don’t think that’s something many of us would wish to subject ourselves to, even if we *did *know that good would come of it.


#3

This is the heresy of Arianism

The church set out their response to this (ancient, and oft repeated) heresy in the year 325.
you may know it by heart.
It’s called the Nicene Creed.
What we actually use is the
Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed. It was extended in 381 at the second eccumenical council in Constantinople

If you want more information look up
The Council of Niece
The Council of Constantinople


#4

My first reaction statement, had I been the one speaking to him, would be that if Jesus was only fully human, then it wouldn’t have been that great of a sacrifice. His sacrifice wouldn’t be able to redeem us as a once and final sacrifice, and we would still have to make sacrifices today in reparation for our sins.

Jesus was/is both fully human an fully divine. He had a human body that could feel pain and suffer. As a divine being, he is able to make amends for all sins as a sacrifice. He knew he was going to die, and he had already been with the Father as God before he became human, and even before (if you could say such a thing) the creation of the universe and time itself.


#5

St. Paul explained this:
[BIBLEDRB]Philippians 2:6-8[/BIBLEDRB]

When Jesus incarnated, He “emptied himself” of His divinity. That includes His divine knowledge. Therefore, in His humanity, His foreknowledge was not as absolute as your friend alleges.

In fact, in the moments before His betrayal, Jesus asked that the cup of suffering pass without His partaking of it. That doesn’t sound to me like certainty.

The shortest homily I recall ever was at the Easter Vigil just two years ago. The priest indicated the surprise Jesus must have felt to find His own grave beneath His feet.


#6

But Jesus did know and prophesied it:

Matt.16
[21] From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Matt.17
[23] and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.

Luke.9
[22] saying, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Luke.24
[7] that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise."
[46] and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

Matt.16
[27] For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.

Matt.24
[30] then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;

Matt.25
[31] "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.

Mark.8
[38] For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


#7

I nearly responded with the same. Then I realized that the problem wasn’t the prophesy. The problem was the supposition:

[quote=holyrood]…if you know it’s all going to come out right in the end, it’s not that great a sacrifice.
[/quote]


#8

Is Jesus the Son of God? Children inherit all the characteristics of their parent’s species. God is divine, therefore Jesus is divine. God is eternal, therefore Jesus is eternal. Etc.

Jesus suffered immense pain. With regards to the Sacrifice:

“But, did the Divinity [of Christ] suffer? …] The holy fathers explained this point through the aforementioned clear example of the red-hot iron, it is the analogy equated for the Divine Nature which became united with the human nature. They explained that when the blacksmith strikes the red-hot iron, the hammer is actually striking both the iron and the fire united with it. The iron alone bends (suffers) whilst the fire is untouched though it bends with the iron.” - Coptic Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria


#9

Of course, that’s contradictory. So, according to him, Jesus can’t be God because he supposedly “didn’t know” but it’s not a great sacrifice because he did know? :whacky: :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, this guy’s theology is totally messed up.


#10

Indeed. Another non-Trinitarian I know is a Modalist. Just keeping those two heresies straight requires fast footwork.

Training’s not easy for the Theological Pugilist. :blackeye:


#11

[quote="holyrood, post:1, topic:312896"]
I was talking to someone last night who believes in God and in Jesus, but believes Jesus was fully human--not fully divine. His reasoning (hopefully I'm relaying it accurately) is that if Jesus was fully divine, He had foreknowledge that he'd rise from the dead and be sitting one day at God's right hand, and if you know it's all going to come out right in the end, it's not that great a sacrifice.

I don't agree with some of the reasoning here, but I'm curious what the Church's response to this is.

[/quote]

I don't think the person you were speaking with has much knowledge of Scripture. If he believes in God and Jesus , and Jesus said - as Della pointed out . . .

[quote="Della, post:6, topic:312896"]
But Jesus did know and prophesied it:
. . . Luke.9
[22] saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."

. . .

[/quote]

Even from a purely human perspective: How could one objectively say "it's not that great a sacrifice" while the actual victim - the one who undergoes the suffering says subjectively "I must suffer many things" ? There's a contradiction between not that great a sacrifice * from a bystander and *much suffering on behalf of the one who lives it and feels it and breathes it.

If you were to ask this person why Jesus cried out from the Cross

[Matt 27:45-56]
"My God my God, why have you forsaken me ?"

, I doubt he'd be able to give a satisfactory answer. This doesn't come from a person not being Catholic. It's a big mistake to presume to know what any other person suffers subjectively, it's a considerably larger one to presume the same thing about our Blessed Lord.

Much of our non-Catholic Christian brethren already admit that none of us could know what Jesus suffered. Here's a quote from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry:

One thing is for sure. We have no capacity to appreciate the utterly horrific experience of having the sins of the world put upon the Lord Jesus as He hung, in excruciating pain, from that cross. The physical pain was immense. The spiritual one must have been even greater.

That shows us clearly how much God loves us .

The whole article can be read here
carm.org/questions/about-jesus/why-did-jesus-cry-out-my-god-my-god-why-have-you-forsaken-me

I would suggest that this person the OP is referring to doesn't believe in Jesus as they claim. If Jesus were merely human, he couldn't rise from the dead. He said he had the power to do it.

[John 10:17-18]
This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.

No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."

.

A person can't claim to believe in someone and at the same time out of the other side of their mouth state that they don't believe the words spoken by the person claim they believe in. In this case, the person doesn't really believe anything.:shrug:

People who want to argue and debate about Jesus without even knowing what the scriptures actually say - it's like going to a gunfight at OK Corral without any ammunition.:doh2:
. . . with the exception that, somehow. . . :hmmm:. . . they can still manage to do this

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g258/PatC_pics/smilies/shoot_foot.gif


#12

So true! :smiley:


#13

If I say I believe in Jesus, I believe in what he says - in his words.

If we say we don’t believe Jesus is God , then whether inadvertently or not, we are calling Jesus a liar.

John 8:57-58

So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”

How absurd it seems for a person to believe in someone Whom at the same time they claim to be a liar.


#14

=holyrood;10292242]I was talking to someone last night who believes in God and in Jesus, but believes Jesus was fully human–not fully divine. His reasoning (hopefully I’m relaying it accurately) is that if Jesus was fully divine, He had foreknowledge that he’d rise from the dead and be sitting one day at God’s right hand, and if you know it’s all going to

READ then Luke 1: 26-35 ** and then point out Christ Birth was propheised at least 700 years before it took place. This evidence is also in the KJ Bible. This was NO ORDINARY “man.”

Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:22-23: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’–which means, ‘God with us.’

Micah 5:2: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

Hosea 11:1: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Matthew 2:14-15 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’


#15

Honestly, this is not a very well thought-out reasoning. Jesus is divine, and is present at all times, and all places. So unlike us, His memory and experiences do not fade with time. He is completely and utterly present at the moment of the crucifixion eternally. He experiences that suffering eternally.

And your friend wants to say that isn’t a great sacrifice?


#16

Um, this doesn’t sound right at all.

First, Jesus was making a reference and connection to what He was doing at the Last Supper, and the crucifixion. The cup was the sacrifice on the cross, and He finished it when He drank the wine when He was on the cross. Second, He was teaching us that we can pray for something bad to not happen to us, but sometimes the answer to our response is “no”. Sometimes there is a higher purpose to our suffering that we need to fulfill. (Look up the explanations for the Fourth Cup)

Second, He was never surprised, and He encompased the fullness of His divinity, which included His intellect.


#17

Sound a lot like a Jehovahs Witness to me. “A perfect man” died for the sins of the world according to them. JUST a perfect man. This is a pervesion of scripture and a diabolical teaching.

I would agree though that Jesus knew He would rise from the dead because He was an expert in the scriptures. He was aware He was fulfilling the scriptures and said so on numerous occasions.


#18

“First”, I was writing about the Agony in the Garden, not the Last Supper. The fact that it’s a “cup” Jesus was praying about is immaterial. Just because He was also teaching us about standing through adversity doesn’t mean there weren’t other places He would have rather been at that moment. The pain was real.

“Second”, that was a meditation that the priest was sharing. There is room for other opinions and meditations on the matter.


#19

Here’s an EWTN article from Fr. William G. Most : Jesus’ Knowledge

This one from Catholic Encyclopedia is good too and nice and concise - doesn’t take long to read : Knowledge of Jesus Christ


#20

This theory separates Christ’s natures a bit too much for me. Doesn’t this border on Nestorianism? Hypostatic union wouldn’t allow this, would it?


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