The Weekend Word

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176 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    Here is a delicate subject. Was Jesus’ human body created by means of the Holy Spirit acting on one of Mary’s own eggs or did the Holy Spirit insert, so to speak, a fetal Jesus into Mary’s womb and all she contributed to his formation was maternal nutrition? Did Jesus have Mary’s DNA, in other words.

    Mary people believe Mary served as a sort of incubator, a tube which Jesus merely passed through. This is what David Hocking told me and my old CC pastor as we were chatting after one of his guest visits years ago. I believe this is heretical. If He didn’t have a biological connection to Mary, or any other human, then He was not truly human and could not have been called the Son of Man or the Son of David. He would not even have been a Jew.

  2. Xenia says:

    David Hocking’s Jesus was not really “one of us.”

  3. Jean says:

    “He is here to make peace with God – to undo the fall.” Fulfilling the prophesy: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

  4. Michael says:

    Very good question, Xenia…

  5. Xenia says:

    The answer to this question has a profound affect not only on Christology but also on soteriology.

  6. Michael says:

    I can’t speak with authority to the question.
    The other option is a creative miracle that accomplished the same thing.
    It’s out of my pay scale….though the traditional view makes some sense.

  7. Cash says:

    We know that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. It seems like the only way for this to be true is that the Holy Spirit moved on one of Mary’s eggs to cause the conception, thus giving Jesus human DNA.

  8. Jean says:

    Xenia,
    That is a very good question. I believe that orthodox Christianity sided with St. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-290 AD), who coined the phrase: “That which was not assumed is not healed; but that which is united to God is saved”.

    Accordingly, when St. John in his 1st epistle states that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh”, orthodox Christians confess that the incarnation was the conception of Mary’s egg by the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ entire human nature is of the DNA of Mary.

    From this starting point, many other questions and issues arise, such as Christ’s impeccability, mortality, etc. Every succeeding question also has Christological and soteriological implications.

    Thank you for bringing this up. I did not know that some of the hold heresies are back in vogue.

  9. Nonnie says:

    “He came unto his own…..” I agree with Xenia…..Jesus was one of us.

  10. JoelG says:

    Funny… my wife and I talked about Xenia’s question this week. My question is, if Jesus did acquire Mary’s DNA, then He must have “took on” Mary’s family’s personality traits. Fascinating to think about.

  11. Cash says:

    JoelG,

    Fascinating is a good word to describe it. Did the Saviour have uncle Zedediah’s nose? Aunt Mary’s eyes?

  12. JoelG says:

    In other words, how much influence did Mary’s DNA have on Jesus? Introvert or extrovert? Did he prefer one food over another? While He was and is eternally God, how much did His personality “change” in taking on human flesh?

  13. JoelG says:

    Exactly Cash. Wow

  14. Nonnie says:

    Joel G’s number 12…….And I guess it is questions like yours that explain why it is called a mystery…

  15. JoelG says:

    Yes… a most fascinating, awesome mystery to ponder, this Jesus.

    ” …when in reality, we need to be saved from ourselves…”

    Amen.

  16. Jean says:

    “While He was and is eternally God, how much did His personality “change” in taking on human flesh?”

    The Athanasian Creed addresses some of this. Here is a short excerpt:

    “Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ: one, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.”

  17. Em - again says:

    what a strange thing this thread is pondering…
    where did the egg come from?
    maybe God looked through the contents of Mary’s ovaries and said, let’s use this one?
    if you stand back and think for one moment about the whole purpose of the incarnation… God needed an egg.
    He’s made all the eggs that ever have been, so why would He bother to create a unique egg in which to deposit the Divine Soul? IMV that defeats the purpose and would open up worm hole for Satan to protest that God cheated…

    and, yes, i sense the theological implications of a “special” egg even with my non-theologically inclined mind 🙂

    just sayin

  18. JoelG says:

    Thanks Jean. That’s helpful. What’s interesting about the “assumption of the humanity into God” is that this humanity came through one specific person with specific DNA. Did Mary’s DNA have any influence on His Personality at all? Or did His divinity override any of Mary’s family’s personality traits? Im wonder if there was family resemblances between Jesus, Mary and his brothers that went beyond physical?

    I know I’m repeating myself but it’s Jesus’ human nature that boggles my mind.

  19. JoelG says:

    “IMV that defeats the purpose and would open up worm hole for Satan to protest that God cheated…”

    Agreed Em

  20. Jean says:

    “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” (Colossians 2:9 ESV)

    These are very good and important questions. Let’s take this step by step:

    The Son of God, Word, and 2nd **person of the Trinity has eternal pre-existence.

    In the incarnation, the Word became flesh. However, the human nature never was a person. The human nature never existed apart from the incarnation. Therefore, the human nature does not contribute personality.

    Christ is not a mixture of personalities or two personalities co-existing. There is one personality, Christ – the union of 2 natures, human and divine.

    Does that help?

  21. Cash says:

    if you stand back and think for one moment about the whole purpose of the incarnation… God needed an egg.
    ______________________________________

    It’s not that God needed an egg…it’s that He chose to use an egg…that is, of course, if that is what He did. As Jean said in her #3 the first prophecy about the Messiah was ,”“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The term “seed” would tend to indicate God used natural processes for conception.

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think we just need to leave it to wonder. We don’t even know what makes a person actually even a person.
    If Turrets ran in Mary’ family was there a chance we could have a Savior with Turrets?

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I like better that God through the holy spirit spoke Jesus into existence somehow using Mary. He produced Adam with no outside help?

  24. Michael says:

    I’m much more comfortable with giving this over to mystery…

  25. JoelG says:

    Yes that clears it up Jean. Thank you.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Does everyone agree that the virgin conception is the event at that the birth itself was in the ordinary way?
    I wonder what message people were trying to convey when they began speaking of the birth instead of the conception?

  27. Em - again says:

    #21- well, yes, i guess that’s right because God doesn’t NEED anything, but to fulfill His plan of redemption, didn’t He require an egg?

    my ponder (i’m serious) from this lesson is MLD’s statement that Mary conceived through her ear…

  28. Cash says:

    You see, MLD, you started all of this! 🙂

  29. Jean says:

    “my ponder (i’m serious) from this lesson is MLD’s statement that Mary conceived through her ear…”

    Luke gives us a few additional details:

    “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”

  30. Xenia says:

    I want to say that my post wasn’t meant to be a criticism of Calvary Chapel. While I am pretty sure Hocking was in some way connected with CC when he visited our congregation, our CC pastor didn’t agree w/ Hocking.

  31. Xenia says:

    Does everyone agree that the virgin conception is the event and that the birth itself was in the ordinary way?<<<

    I agree,

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I know of only one way that the holy spirit comes on us or in us – through hearing his word.

  33. Xenia says:

    In fact, the Feast of the Annunciation is this upcoming Thursday.

    Annunciation

  34. Xenia says:

    Jean, I am so fond of the phrase “That which was not assumed is not healed” that I manage to include it in nearly every school paper I write and was finally, in the most gentle way possible, told to give it a rest.

    It is a completely different way of thinking about the atonement.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The feast of annunciation on the western calender March 25 fell on Good Friday this year. I don’t think that happens again until 2157. Let#s plan a party.

  36. Jean says:

    Beautiful Xenia.

  37. Jean says:

    For me, there are 3 mysteries. I don’t know why or how, but I’m ever so glad they happened:

    1. Why redemption via the incarnation? He could have accomplished it any way he chose.

    2. God suffering.

    3. God dying.

    When you add to these mysteries that the Son is one essence with the Father and Holy Spirit, it blows the mind.

  38. Em - again says:

    pondering Jean’s mysteries….

    without the incarnation? when you think on He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God IN Him… i would seriously doubt that there was another way as i can’t think of anything more terrible than what He did to save us – dunno, tho – do i?
    God suffering is a sobering fact…
    God dying?… well – suffice it to ask, did God die or did Jesus give up His mortal flesh as His soul left His mortal body? i think the latter happened and i ponder at what point in the next few hours and in what manner did He reclaim and resurrect it out of that tomb in a glorified, eternal state? someone observed that the stone that sealed the tomb was rolled aside so that the women could enter, not so our Lord could get out 🙂

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    God died.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Just as Mary gave birth to God and in every sense is the mother of God. To say that God did not die or Mary did not give birth to God reduces Jesus to the status of a demi god .

  41. Jean says:

    I will try to remain in Scripture, so as not to pit one tradition against another:

    “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!””

    “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Em – I’ve asked those same questions of MLD before and it gets pretty caustic. Apparently another Lutheran non-negotiable point, even down to the semantics.

    We all agree that Jesus is God. We all agree that Jesus died. The questions arises, was any bit of God still alive when Jesus died?

    I do believe it necessary that Jesus had Mary’s DNA. His humanity is vital to being savior.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, if your case is that just the human Jesus died – well I do have issue with that. But I will listen to you explanation.

    The athanansian creed may disagree with how you frame the question of parts of God.
    I don’t need to understand it – I just confess it.

  44. Michael says:

    “We believe that Jesus Christ was God incarnate. We also believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross. If we say that God died on the cross, and if by that we mean that the divine nature perished, we have stepped over the edge into serious heresy.

    In fact, two such heresies related to this problem arose in the early centuries of the church: theopassianism and patripassianism. The first of these, theopassianism, teaches that God Himself suffered death on the cross. Patripassianism indicates that the Father suffered vicariously through the suffering of His Son. Both of these heresies were roundly rejected by the church for the very reason that they categorically deny the very character and nature of God, including His immutability. There is no change in the substantive nature or character of God at any time.

    God not only created the universe, He sustains it by the very power of His being. As Paul said, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). If the being of God ceased for one second, the universe would disappear. It would pass out of existence, because nothing can exist apart from the sustaining power of God. If God dies, everything dies with Him. Obviously, then, God could not have perished on the cross.

    Some say, “It was the second person of the Trinity Who died.” That would be a mutation within the very being of God, because when we look at the Trinity we say that the three are one in essence, and that though there are personal distinctions among the persons of the Godhead, those distinctions are not essential in the sense that they are differences in being. Death is something that would involve a change in one’s being.

    We should shrink in horror from the idea that God actually died on the cross. The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ. Somehow people tend to think that this lessens the dignity or the value of the substitutionary act, as if we were somehow implicitly denying the deity of Christ. God forbid. It’s the God-man Who dies, but death is something that is experienced only by the human nature, because the divine nature isn’t capable of experiencing death.”

    R.C Sproul

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Since this particular study is addressing the conception and birth story, I just throw out for conversation — from the moment of conception, who sat in Mary’s womb?
    The man Jesus?
    God himself?
    Part of God?

    You can disuss- I am going out for Mexican food and Margaritas. 🙂

  46. Jean says:

    Michael, has just identified the difference between Reformed and Lutheran and I anticipate EO doctrines of the Person of Christ.

  47. Michael says:

    The Lutheran view;

    “This was actually a big controversy during the Reformation, with Zwinglians in particular denying that God could be said to have died on the Cross. The human nature of Christ died, of course, but divinity–conceived in the Aristotelian way as an impassive, unchanging Being–could not be said to have died. The Lutherans responded with their unique Christology, which teaches the communication of the attributes, that what can be said of Christ’s human nature can be said of His divine nature, so that His human body can truly be omnipresent on all altars at Holy Communion, and that in the incarnation God was so united with human flesh that we can say that Mary was indeed the mother of God and that God died on the Cross.

    This is affirmed in the Lutheran confessions, in The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Article VIII:
    If the old weather-witch, Dame Reason. . .would say, Yea, divinity cannot suffer nor die; you shall reply, That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity and humanity are one person, Scripture, on account of this personal union, ascribes also to divinity everything that happens to the humanity, and vice versa. 42] And it is so in reality; for you must certainly answer this, that the person (meaning Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; therefore it is rightly said: The Son of God suffers. For although the one part (to speak thus), namely, the divinity, does not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers in the other part, namely, in His humanity; for in truth God’s Son has been crucified for us, that is, the person which is God. For the person, the person, I say, was crucified according to the humanity. . . .

    Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,” “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God.

    This high view of the Incarnation, this notion that God is to be known not as an abstraction as in theologies of glory but in Christ crucified, is at the essence of Luther’s theology. Zwingli taught that Christ could not be bodily present in the sacrament, since He ascended bodily into Heaven. The Lutherans, though, taught that since He ascended into Heaven, His body COULD be present by virtue of the omnipresence of the Godhead. Lutheran Christology looms behind many other doctrines, but it is much neglected today.”

    Gene Veith

  48. Jean says:

    Michael,
    Thank you for sharing the Lutheran view. I am a huge Veith fan. However, I must quibble with one thing he said. Lutherans do not consider their Christology “unique.” They believe they are in lockstep with both the Athenasian Creed and the Council of Calcedon. In the case of Zwingly, he departed from the Calcedon confession:

    “We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; (ἐν δύο φύσεσιν ἀσυγχύτως, ἀτρέπτως, ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀχωρίστως – in duabus naturis inconfuse, immutabiliter, indivise, inseparabiliter) the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person (prosopon) and one Subsistence (hypostasis), not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God (μονογενῆ Θεόν), the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.”

  49. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I think it is unique among Protestants.
    I would also hesitate to say that the Reformed (who were by no means in complete agreement on this point) departed from Chalcedon.
    The arguments and issues debated are so finely nuanced and demand such semantical mastery that understanding them is very, very difficult.
    I have even seem intramural debates on the topic inside the LCMS.

    One must approach this subject with great humility…

  50. Muff Potter says:

    Hocking doesn’t believe that Messiah ,the Son of Mary, was conceived by the Almighty using His supernatural power on her DNA alone in a fully human sense?
    Source info?
    Anybody?

  51. Michael says:

    Muff,

    I can only offer anecdotal affirmation of the position that Xenia noted.

    I do not keep any of Hockings works at hand…they did not burn well enough to use as kindling and they were too rough for the bathroom. 🙂

  52. Xenia says:

    Muff, I heard him say it with my own ears. It was not recorded since it was a personal conversation between him, my old CC pastor, and me.

    My old CC pastor, who was bewildered by this statement, asked for some scriptural proof and Hocking said to him “Just read your Bible.”

  53. Xenia says:

    This conversation took place probably 16 years ago. I’ve been Orthodox for about 14 years and I believe it happened 2 or 3 years before my conversion, when I was the Power Point person at that CC. I ran his slides for his series of sermons that weekend, which were about some other topic, can’t remember what. It was afterwards, when everyone else had gone home, that this conversation took place. It was a long time ago; maybe he has changed his mind.

  54. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That’s the view I was taught…I don’t know what Chuck Smith taught, but I knew nothing else until I took classes at RTS.

  55. Xenia says:

    If Hocking’s view is correct, that makes the genealogies pointless because Christ is not related to any of those people. He’s not related to any of us, either. He’s not a member of mankind.

  56. JoelG says:

    I’m having a hard time disagreeing with the RC Sproul quote

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Seoul is typical reformed. I say that with respect. But the reformed must answer all questions and protect God. It’s horrific to think that God could die so we must come up with a theology that in the end gets God off the cross a milli second before death.

    A Lutheran just confesses we don’t care if we have it figured out. God saves in baptism, God has placed himself in the bread and wine and God (don’t ask me how) died on the cross.

  58. Em - again says:

    amen to #56

    #45 – MLD asks who sat in Mary’s womb? nobody “sat” there (i hope dear Mary didn’t have to endure a breach delivery) – i lean toward the man Jesus floating safely there… i seem to remember that it is the man who contributes the blood type and we are told that the “life of the flesh is in the blood” – now theres a ponder … 🙂

    to #55 that sounds like a correct conclusion to me, also … however, if God did place an embryo there, created outside of Mary’s own potential participation as the egg donor, it would still have to have been of the same stuff and from the same source that He used to form Adam, I think… so why bother? Because Jesus was a man, he needed food, air, water and guidance to grow and his body had our limitations of pain and fatigue also. So just use one of Mary’s eggs… and there are more reasons of a theological nature to agree with #55

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But back to the birth of God 😉

  60. Em - again says:

    #57 – it may indeed be an idle ponder … but logic tells me that God and death are not compatible even for a split second

  61. Muff Potter says:

    Xenia @ nr. 55

    Excellent point! Just from reason and common sense. If Messiah was merely implanted as an already existing fetus with Mary as just some form of surrogate, what was the point? If not to fully participate in what we are?

    Which is why I’ll go with the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed and not what Hocking has to say on the matter.

  62. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I must be crazy. I have 4 generations on the boat, led by my 92 yr old mother in law and my 9 yr old grandson is literally racing another boat and I am talking theology on the internet. What a great age we live in.

  63. Jean says:

    Regarding Sproul’s view at #44, if one wants to agree with Sproul then:

    (1) You are going to have to re-interpret a whole bunch of Scripture that explicitly states that the Son of God was crucified.

    (2) You are going to have to explain who or what was placed in the tomb, resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God. Did God leave Jesus before the cross and then re-incarnate Jesus at some point or is Jesus just a man now in heaven?

    (3) If the blood of the Lamb is only human blood, then how does it atone for the sins of the world?

  64. Michael says:

    MLD,

    It is amazing…and you must have done a lot of things right in your family.

  65. Michael says:

    Jean,

    The Reformed recognize that Jesus was fully man and fully God.
    Jesus died in His humanity.
    What we can’t parse is how God could die and the entire universe not dissolve in that instant.

    I spent some time last night examining the different Christologies and the debate is so complex and requires such precision of word and thought that it can’t really be done justice on a blog.

    I think it sufficient to say that both are within orthodoxy and clothed in more than a little mystery.

  66. JoelG says:

    I take comfort that these discussions themselves are covered by the blood of the Lamb and I agree that ultimately these things are beyond our comprehension. But they are interesting to think on.

    I know MLD wants to keep this on the birth of Christ but…..

    What we know of death is physical death, soul separated from body. We know Jesus went through this by means of crucifixion. We know that there’s spiritual death, separation of our spirit God. This is what Jesus went through, no? “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me”? This happened before His Spirit left His body. So God was separated from God.

    Is this what is meant by God dying?

    To quote Em…. “I dunno” ?

  67. JoelG says:

    Ooops I meant seperation of our spirit FROM God.

  68. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I’m just pleased to see this much engagement with the text by our fellow believers no matter the tradition.

  69. Em - again says:

    #63-Jean all three of your ponders do have completely scriptural and logical explanations… questioning is good, so are the answers 🙂
    God keep

  70. Jean says:

    I perceive the gentle nudge of Michael and MLD back to Matthew 1. Michael is correct that the death of Christ is easier to confess in the Creeds than to explain dogmaticly. You can’t really start at the crucifixion. You must begin with the Trinity and work forward. It can’t be given justice on a blog.

    JoelG, if you are interested in a deeper dive, search UTube for Joel Biermann. His 31 episode Systematics II is on the person of Christ. It’s video and very good.

  71. Em - again says:

    #62… this blog reminds me of what i read of the ancients sitting at the city gate discussing…

    your little 9 year old is blessed to SEE Christ living in his family… i pray your MIL is enjoying Christ in her twilight years as much as i am in mine

  72. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Thank you.
    Props for pointing people to online resources for further education…that is very valuable to the readers who want to go deeper than we can here.

  73. JoelG says:

    Thanks Jean. I’m afraid I may be in over my head enough here on this blog. But I will check it out.

  74. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I don’t think you’re over your head at all…and I’m thankful that you’re here and participating.

  75. JoelG says:

    Thank you for allowing us to be here Michael. What a great place this is.

    MLD asks:

    “— from the moment of conception, who sat in Mary’s womb?
    The man Jesus?
    God himself?
    Part of God?”

    The God-man Jesus.

    Interesting how much His death is tied so much to His birth (conception).

  76. Jean says:

    Everybody is different in their discipleship. Some people like to read; others listen to podcasts; some videos; others devotions; combinations; something I’ve left out. Regular worship in a church of course is the common denominator.

    MLD is a podcast mega-consumer. If you want it on podcast, I bet he’s got it. I personally love the podcast offerings (I’ll even plug Michael’s as well as Issues etc.). The problem for me is that if my eyes aren’t busy, my mind wanders. Therefore, for me podcast listening is not a very effective learning tool.

    But, I hope everyone finds what works best for them.

  77. Jean says:

    #75,
    On a related note, Christians often speak of Christ’s *humiliation and His *exaltation, drawing from the Gospels and the epistles, particularly Phil 2.

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The issue is at both ends. As Em said the man Jesus was in Mary”s womb. So when was God added?

    Joel answers the God man – but can they ever be divided. Either God was born and God died or You just have a man being born and God added for 33 years and then removed at the very last minute, or you have…

  79. Xenia says:

    Jesus the Messiah died on the cross. It was evident that His body died. But He descended into Hades, as the Apostle’s Creed states and we have discussed here recently. He told the good thief that “Today we’ll be together in Paradise.” So while the body was dead, the person of Christ was very much alive, holding the universe together. (Although there was some disruption of the physical realm during the transition…. earthquakes and the sun dimming.) Therefore, I believe it is disingenuous to day that “God died” because Christ, the man/God, was very much alive, even after the body died.

    You can’t say the Second Person of the Trinity died because the members of the Trinity are of one essence. The Trinity cannot be divided up into thirds like a pie, with each Member being one slice of pie. Likewise, we are not Sabellians, who believe each Person is a manifestation of the One God. Nor are we tri-theists who believe in three separate deities. So it is not possible for the 2nd Person to blink out of existence because we know that the Son is of one essence with the Father and the Spirit. If the Son died, as in blinking out of existence, the whole universe would disintegrate. But we know He descended into Hades, setting the OT captives free and holding the universe together at the same time.

    So in effect, I agree with RC Sproul, for probably the only time in my life, but I think he’s right about this.

  80. Xenia says:

    There is a valid comparison that can be made, which is what I think MLD is getting at, in the use of the word “Theotokos,” which means “Mother of God.” The Individual Mary gave birth to was God. Likewise, the Individual Who died on the cross was God. But there is a difference, I think, between the 2nd Person taking on human flesh in the Incarnation and the 2nd Person dying. Only bodies can die, spirits and souls do not die. When we speak of death, we can only be talking about a body. Souls, spirits, God…. they do not die, they continue on.

  81. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    I’m surprised at your agreement with Sproul, given the high regard of the EO to the Patristic councils. In #44, are you sure you want to agree with this: “The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ.”

    In any event, I do want to draw attention to the descent into hell. It’s slightly counterintuitive, because descent connotes further suffering and/or humiliation, but in fact, Christ’s descent into hell is the first act of His exaltation. Notice the following:

    “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Pet 3:18-20)

    Christ’s descent into hell is his first act after he is vivified by the Holy Spirit. So, Lutherans, at least, confess that Christ, vivified body and soul, descended into hell to proclaim his victory over Satan.

  82. Xenia says:

    I don’t agree with everything Sproul said in his statement but I do agree with your description of Christ’she descent into Hades. It was a great victory.

  83. JoelG says:

    Sproul: “The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ.”

    If this is not true, couldn’t Jesus have died for our sins without being Incarnated as a human? The perfect humanity of Christ Crucified is key, even if His Divine nature cannot die. Isn’t this what Sproul is saying?

  84. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess this is the question. Who is the only begotten son of John 3:16? Was the 2nd person of the trinity – who I think in any dogmatics book is God himself. That is who the father gave.

  85. Xenia says:

    I’m going to do a little more studying before I say anything more. After reading Jean’s posts I am starting to think it is correct to say God died on the cross and I may need to back track on a few things.

  86. Xenia says:

    “We needed an Incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live. We were put to death together with Him, that we might be cleansed; we rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him; we were glorified with Him, because we rose again with Him.” – St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 45, 28

    I am starting to get some clarity.

  87. JoelG says:

    Ok I will follow your lead Xenia and do some more research before I ask any more questions.

    There’s no question, MLD. Just trying to figure out how God dies without the universe collapsing. Maybe that’s the problem. Us trying to figure it out.

  88. Xenia says:

    In fact, if God didn’t die on the cross, my beloved phrase “That which was not assumed was not healed” doesn’t really make sense.

  89. Xenia says:

    Speculation alert! As I wrote in my (now discredited) #79, the world did begin to disintegrate when the Incarnate Christ died but recovered when He was vivified by the Holy Spirit.

  90. Xenia says:

    Complete about-face on my part. I was temporarily beguiled by Sproul’s logic but I have read some proper EO writings and with the help of Jean and MLD I have recovered myself.

  91. Michael says:

    If God died we wouldn’t exist for three seconds let alone three days.

  92. Em - again says:

    some of the reasoning here makes one wonder if the term death is understood by some
    one can just say, “it is a mystery,” i guess and i’m pretty sure that is acceptable to God
    but to say God died? … would that be like an electrical power interruption or something? out for just enough time to have to reset the clock on the microwave?
    a darkened sky and an earthquake don’t begin to describe what would happen if God died

    a dead God? i’m afraid this is one thing that i just cannot concede as a possibility – it is presumptuous of me, i know – but the order of the universe and how many dimensions God only knows, are God dependent

  93. I just got home from a 7 hour drive across the desert.

    Well I am still asking how Jesus the Christ gets separated from God?

    With all due respect to God (and I do mean this with the utmost respect to God) – this is all slight of hand by God … to our understanding. To the human mind, what kind of sacrifice is a sacrifice if the thing really isn’t dead — as in dead, but knew that he would be brought back to life. If Jesus was to be a real sacrifice, why wasn’t he (1) left dead as a sacrifice and (2) why did he know that he would not stay dead? The answer? We don’t know.

    The same with God dying, and all of the things that your mind can conger up as to why God cannot die — God does it anyway.

    The same question – how did the universe survive with God in Mary’s womb as a zygote? Unless as I challenged earlier, God was added to Jesus later.

    Folks need to back off and just believe what the Bible says — God does not need the protection. I take great breaths of relief that I don’t get a knock at my do saying “OK MLD, your turn to protect God,”

    Perhaps the Muslims have it correct – that it wasn’t God in Jesus Christ who died on the cross, but that it was actually Judas Iscariot.

  94. Ahh, now that I have rested from the trip and am not reading everything on my small screen phone, let me just say my view of theology many times is that we can see crystal clean, what is not meant by a passage, but find it almost impossible to locate the exact meaning. So, we can Isay, “I know it is NOT this, but I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it is meant to be this way and perhaps the scriptures do not allow us to ask the questions — we are to just believe.

    Look how Matthew lays this out and perhaps the simplicity he was trying to get across to his classroom full of new converts.
    V.18 = Here is how it happened
    V. 21 = For this purpose
    V. 22 = Look it was to be expected – the prophet spoke of it long ago
    V. 23 = Who is he? God

    Now I don’t bring this up for the discussion of how God died, but how God Himself was incarnated and the simple precision Matthew applied.

  95. And then for discussion, when did Mary and Joseph ever get around to be officially married?

  96. Josh the Baptist says:

    This is where it doesn’t make sense to me, and I know it makes me a heretic for simply asking, but…God as a Zygote.

    Yes, I believe Jesus is God. I believe He was God from eternity past, WAY before the conception.

    I don’t believe it correct to say that ALL of the Holy Trinity was contained within a zygote. Did the Father step down off his throne and become a zygote? Did the Holy Spirit remove himself from the world and become a Zygote? Did God lose his omniscience and omnipresence at this time?

    I don’t think so. After all, Jesus later prayed to the Father, which would make one ask, “When did that part of God separate from Jesus, if the Trinity were all contained in the zygote?”

    I think insisting upon these things is an incorrect understanding of the Trinity, or just playing with words so the rest of us can feel excluded from the “real Christian” club.

  97. Josh – you aren’t a heretic, but someone needs to answer yes or no – Is Jesus God? (the ral God and / or not just a part of God or the man Jesus had God applied to him for 33 yrs.)
    If Jesus is in fact God, then God was a zygote. If just the man Jesus was a zygote, then when was God added? If we get these 2 questions answered then we can move on to the more important issue of when Joseph and Mary get married.

    Check a box Jesus is God ___ Jesus is not God ____

    I have not brought up the trinity – I didn’t bring up the topic of who died on the cross – I have been trying, as I always have to – to steer the conversation back to the text at hand.

  98. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – re-read my 96. I said this:

    “Yes, I believe Jesus is God. I believe He was God from eternity past, WAY before the conception.”

    Jesus has always been, and there was no point when Jesus was not God. When Jesus was a Zygote, he was still God. 100%God. 100% Zygote.

    That’s why this seems like a trick. I say that as plainly as possible, yet you say “chaeck a box” like I’ve never confirmed the deity of Christ.

  99. Josh – you seemed to be questioning that what was in Mary’s womb was less than God as a zygote.

    “Josh says “This is where it doesn’t make sense to me, and I know it makes me a heretic for simply asking, but…God as a Zygote?”

    If Jesus was always God – then, (and you may agree with my question) why is it so hard for people to believe that he was still God dead on the cross?

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    You added a question mark to my statement.

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I did add the ? as I thought you left it off. You said you were asking a question.

  102. Josh the Baptist says:

    I asked a few. I followed them with question marks.

  103. Josh that’s OK – so we agree – I guess I did not understand the objection and accusation.

    I think my #94 should show I take the moderate position. I agree with Matthews account.

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    So, honestly, could you answer the questions in my 96, please?

  105. I thought my answer was all contained in my post about it being all a God “slight of hand” @93.

    Whenever someone says it can’t be … or it can’t be done, God does it anyway and like a magician, we can’t perceive how he did it — so we keep saying “nope, can’t be done.”

    Matthew said it was done and gives no other details.What I have posted above is what I believe, teach and confess.

  106. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, I think those questions automatically pop-up when you say “God died” or “God was a zygote”.

    I think all here agree that those statements are true, but can’t help but follow up with the questions that I asked in #96.

    Then we are made to feel outside the club for asking those questions. Per your 105, it seems that the answer is “I don’t know”, which is fine…but it doesn’t take away the question.

  107. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why are you asking me the questions? I stated my understanding tell us yours. I have not left anyone out. Do you make claim atRC Sprout and his strong statement – or are you here just to bust my chops?

  108. Xenia says:

    Christ our God “trampled down death by death,” as we sing in the Paschall hymn.

    The God Man Jesus Christ had to enter the gates of hell in order to destroy death. Satan thought he had finally captured the Son of God but didn’t realize that it was Christ’s plan all along to breech the gates of hell. A mere man could not have done this, only the Incarnate Christ. Maybe it would make more sense if the theme from Mission Impossible was playing in the background.

  109. Josh the Baptist says:

    I asked you the question because you are teaching the lesson.

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But you don’t accept “I don’t know” as you keep peppering with the question. I asked what you thought so we could have discussion.

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    A lot of that Sproul quote is just Gobbledy Gook, and making certainties of things are far harder to actually answer.

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    Because you say things like this to people who won’t just shut up and agree with you:

    “Folks need to back off and just believe what the Bible says — God does not need the protection. I take great breaths of relief that I don’t get a knock at my do saying “OK MLD, your turn to protect God,”

    Perhaps the Muslims have it correct – that it wasn’t God in Jesus Christ who died on the cross, but that it was actually Judas Iscariot.”

    You say we don’t believe that bible and compare us to Muslims.

  113. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “You say we don’t believe that bible and compare us to Muslims.”

    Now you are just trolling… you have not engage the text nor the conversation. Early up the thread you took your pot shot and again this morning.

    When I say “folks” why do you think I am addressing anyone here – I am addressing all (like Sproul) who feel this need to protect God.

    The Muslim thing is the same – some people are confused as to who died on the cross — hence the conversation — which you continue to ignore that I did not bring up the topic.

    So, when did Joseph and Mary get married?

  114. Josh the Baptist says:

    Why do you say I am trolling, and where is my pot shot?!?

  115. Josh the Baptist says:

    So, when did Joseph and Mary get married?

    I don’t know. The text never gives us a passage on the wedding. It does appear though, from other parts of the bible, that they had other children, so it could be inferred that the wedding took place at some point.

  116. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – your first paragraph @42 — but I let it pass.

    But let’s be done with this and discuss the actual passage 🙂

  117. Josh the Baptist says:

    My 42 was not a pot-shot. It was a statement of fact, that I think has since been seen to be true. And I still don’t understand the difference between what you believe and what everyone else believes, only that you are right and everyone else doesn’t believe the bible. Kinda like the Muslims.

    The actual passage…

    Calls Mary the wife of Joseph. What was your point about the wedding? I missed it, honestly. Just pointing out that is a detail the Bible doesn’t give?

  118. Jean says:

    Good morning everyone, from sunny St. Louis.

    I would like to add a (hopefully non-controversial) clarification, which I think is important for the purpose of upholding the Incarnation.

    While it is correct to say that the Son of God, or Word or 2nd person of the Trinity pre-existed Jesus Christ from eternity (Jesus, himself, said to the effect “before Abraham was I am”) Jesus Christ, of Nazareth was a historic person who was born around 2,000 years ago. The Word who assumed flesh, this unique personal union of the human and divine natures, did not pre-exist Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb.

    However, the Church historically has confessed that this personal union is permanent. Thus, Jesus Christ was resurrected in this unique personal union of divine and human natures. As a result, Jesus could show Thomas the wounds in his hands and eat with the disciples.

  119. Muff Potter says:

    Xenia wrote @ nr. 89:

    Speculation alert! As I wrote in my (now discredited) #79, the world did begin to disintegrate when the Incarnate Christ died but recovered when He was vivified by the Holy Spirit.

    This also has been my speculation for many years now.

    I doubt very seriously it was a solar eclipse that caused the darkness on the day Messiah died. It is not possible for a solar eclipse to occur on Passover. Nor does the totality at a particular location along the apparent path of any solar eclipse last for as long as the time span spoken of in Scripture.
    I believe it was a supernatural event. The rock of the crustal plate beneath the Levant sobbed and cried out in horror. And the fabric of reality as we know it began to unravel… light was the first to go… Their very Creator had been murdered…

  120. Josh the Baptist says:

    “2nd person of the Trinity pre-existed Jesus Christ from eternity” ?

    So the 2nd person of the Trinity existed before Jesus?!?!

    I think I am not understanding your wording.

  121. Em - again says:

    no coffee in me yet, so i can’t follow this morning’s back and forth…
    God did not die for one second and the reason that it is easy for me to conceptualize and the reason it is impossible for some here to do so is the fact of the three part construct of man: body, soul and spirit
    without Christ the human race has no spirit living in us AND, without this view of man’s makeup, it would be impossible to see how God did not die on that cross, i guess… dunno

    Joseph married Mary before they went down to Bethlehem – it was a quiet ceremony 🙂
    When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

  122. Xenia says:

    I am not sure there ever was a wedding…

    I have a vague recollection of a hymn describing Mary as “the unwedded bride.”

    After yesterday’s blunder I am hesitant to say much about anything today.

  123. Jean says:

    Josh,
    What I mean is the the 2nd person of the Trinity pre-existed from eternity. “And God said” is the first work we hear about from the Word. Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all there in Genesis 1.

    Jesus Christ, however, is the Word made flesh, who was born of the virgin Mary. This is a unique person, fully God, fully man. God united himself with His creation in order to redeem it.

    If we speak about Jesus doing this or that back in the OT, then someone might get the impression that the human nature was either not important or negligible in our thinking about the person of Jesus (not an accusation of anyone here, just a clarification).

  124. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, and I say this not to argue, but because it is a very confusing, hard to understand topic.

    It seems from your description that you would encounter the same questions MLD raised of others in #78:

    “The issue is at both ends. As Em said the man Jesus was in Mary”s womb. So when was God added?

    Joel answers the God man – but can they ever be divided. Either God was born and God died or You just have a man being born and God added for 33 years and then removed at the very last minute, or you have…”

  125. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – do you believe in the eternal sonship of Jesus? Before the incarnation the 2nd person of the trinity was the Son?

    I do.

  126. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yes!

  127. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean – Do you believe what MLD says in 125?

  128. Xenia says:

    The unique Person of Jesus Christ came into being at the Incarnation.

    He had no human component before the Incarnation.

    He will keep the human component for ever and ever, amen.

    He was the Son of God from all eternity but only became the Son of Man at the Incarnation.

  129. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia – is that from a catechism?

  130. Xenia says:

    No, the “amen” was just a rhetorical flourish.

  131. Josh the Baptist says:

    Gotcha.

  132. JoelG says:

    “He was the Son of God from all eternity but only became the Son of Man at the Incarnation.”

    Since this is true, when God dies, then at some point God went from being 3 Persons in One to 2 Persons in One?

  133. JoelG says:

    Until the 2nd Person is raised?

  134. Jean says:

    Josh,
    Yes, I agree with the second sentence of MLD’s 125, and Xenia’s entire 128.

  135. Josh the Baptist says:

    JEan, I take it you don’t agree with MLD’s first sentence?

    “do you believe in the eternal sonship of Jesus?”

  136. JoelG says:

    Or “vivified” I should say.

  137. Xenia says:

    I would say the eternal Sonship of the 2nd Person.

  138. Jean says:

    Josh,

    “do you believe in the eternal sonship of Jesus?”

    I’m not trying to be evasive, but I don’t know what that means. If MLD meant that Jesus is both fully man and fully the eternal Son of God, then, yes, absolutely, I agree with that statement.

  139. Xenia says:

    From reading other msg boards and blogs I get the feeling some people object to the phrase “God died” because they are thinking the entire Trinity was turned off like a light switch until Sunday morning, and they know that’s not possible. A little explaining and I think many of these objections would be cleared up.

    1. The Father and the Spirit did not suffer and die.
    2. Christ (the God/Man) did die but was very much alive right afterwards in Hades, preaching the Gospel to the OT captives.

    So there’s no time gap when God was not in complete control of the universe.

  140. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I worded it sloppy. Xenia’s is what I meant #137.

  141. Josh the Baptist says:

    Are you guys going so far as to say “Jesus” at one point did not exist?

  142. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JoelG – you are working to hard to divide the persons of the trinity.

    To all, when I compare this to God’s slight of hand I meant it. We are baffled and God’s thinking, “this isn’t so hard.

    Has anyoneone here been to a great magic act, say in Vegas or some club? I have and almost each time I have to go to their shop and buy the ‘magic’ – you pay for it and then they take you into a room and show you how it works and you are dumbfounded that it is not only simple but ordinary. I think this is what it will be like in heaven, when God explains it to us – we will say “oh, I guess that was simple and ordinary for you.”

    I still haven’t figured out how David Copperfierld made the 747 disappear – but I am sure it was easy for him 🙂

  143. Xenia says:

    There was never a time when the Son was not.

    He was not the God/Man from eternity but He was always the Son of God.

    The Name “Jesus” applies only to the Incarnated God/Man.

  144. Jean says:

    “Are you guys going so far as to say “Jesus” at one point did not exist?”

    Yes. Jesus was born in a manger, around 2-8 BC.

  145. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The Name “Jesus” applies only to the Incarnated God/Man.”

    Is He Jesus now and forever, or just for 33 years?

  146. Xenia says:

    Since He is still the God/Man He is still Jesus.

  147. Josh the Baptist says:

    Hebrews 13:8 doesn’t apply to eternal past?

  148. Xenia says:

    It’s obvious that He is still God.
    Since He resurrected in His human body and took it to Heaven, He’s still man.
    He’s still the God/Man and therefore, He is still Jesus.

  149. Jean says:

    “Is He Jesus now and forever, or just for 33 years?”

    He is Jesus from the date of his birth and forever.

    He has three offices:

    1) Prophet;
    2) Priest; and
    3) King

  150. Papias says:

    Nicene Creed

    We believe in one God,
    the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    begotten from the Father before all ages,
    God from God,
    Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made;
    of the same essence as the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven;
    he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
    and was made human.
    He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered and was buried.
    The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
    He ascended to heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again with glory
    to judge the living and the dead.
    His kingdom will never end.

    And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the Lord, the giver of life.
    He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
    He spoke through the prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
    We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
    and to life in the world to come. Amen.

  151. Xenia says:

    Josh, surely you don’t believe Christ had a human body before the Incarnation?

  152. Josh the Baptist says:

    “And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    begotten from the Father before all ages,”

  153. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia, I am not putting forth my beliefs, I find the intricacies very confusing and hard to parse. The questions are sincere, not trying to badger or troll.

  154. Jean says:

    Josh,

    I would read, “And in one Lord Jesus Christ,” as something of a heading for the second article (see the headings for the first two). Then it takes you through the full confession of Christ.

  155. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Begotten from the Father before all ages” does seem to be describing “Jesus Christ” though, any way you cut it.

  156. Xenia says:

    But was He called “Jesus” in heaven before the Incarnation?

    I think in the case of the Creed, the name “Jesus” is used so we know Who is being confessed. I think it’s perfectly ok say in reference to an OT theophany “That was Jesus,” even though He was not given the name Jesus until His Incarnation. Until His birth, actually.

    The One by Whom all things were created is now known to us as Jesus. I think “Jesus” is His Incarnational name but when we think back to the actions of the 2nd Person before His incarnation it is natural to refer to Him as Jesus.

  157. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The incarnation stuff is boring – how about the fact that in v 21 Joseph was told the gender of the baby 9 months before birth. In those days, people could only guess — but imagine the bar bets Joseph could win with that information … when you hear it from God, you can take it to the bank.

  158. Em - again says:

    Rev. 22:20 answers the question as to who and where Jesus is now…

    i must persist in saying that those who think any piece of God died (what does ‘dead’ mean?) for even one second has way too small a conceptualization of God… remember “my God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” there was a moment in time when the sinless Lamb of God hung there alone… He who knew no sin (Jesus) became sin for us… that separated Jesus in his humanity to die a human death – but a man to whom Satan could make no claim…

    God most certainly IS a mystery beyond our ken… so, except for the fact that it makes us focus on the most important time in man’s history, a debate on this is a time waste IMHO

  159. Xenia says:

    Josh, I know you are not trolling.

    That’s how these discussions go and how the Creed was developed at the Councils.

    For school we had to write our own version of the Creed and present it to the class who were invited (required, actually) to pick it apart for heresy. All our attempts at writing a Creed contained heresies and we had to keep on refining our words until we had something that wasn’t full of errors. So we would ask each other things like “Are you saying there was a time when the Son was not?” No! I’d better reword it. “Are you saying each person is a manifestation of the One Essence? That sounds like Sabellianism!” No! Let me try again. We went on like this for weeks. If you try to defend God’s unity, you drift into Sabellianism. If you try to defend the uniqueness of each Person, you drift into Arianism or tri-theism. Same with Christological statmements. You want to preserve His divinity without losing His humanity and vice versa. Each word counts. That’s kind of what we are doing here in this thread, refining our views by asking questions. No one’s trolling. 🙂

  160. Xenia says:

    I do not believe there was ever a time (after the Incarnation) when Christ’s divinity was separated from His humanity.

  161. Jean says:

    “remember “my God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” there was a moment in time when the sinless Lamb of God hung there alone… He who knew no sin (Jesus) became sin for us… that separated Jesus in his humanity to die a human death – but a man to whom Satan could make no claim…”

    That is a form of Nestorianism. It was condemned at the council of Calcedon in 451 AD.

  162. Josh the Baptist says:

    “That’s kind of what we are doing here in this thread, refining our views by asking questions. No one’s trolling.”

    Exactly. Questions are irritating,but if we are actually going to discuss these types of matters, they are inevitable.

  163. JoelG says:

    Michael’s #91 vivified my curiosities about Jesus’ death. 🙂

    I think it would take a long, hard study of both the Reformed and Lutheran views of “Communicatio Idiomatum” to even begin to understand both sides.

    I’m ready to move on to Joseph and his bar bets. 🙂

  164. Em - again says:

    #161 – Jean, no it isn’t… to place it under the banner of Nestorianism is a convenient dismissal, but inaccurate
    my #158 makes all the sense in the world to me… thus i pontificate

    since i have no patience with church dogmas, labels and boxes, take it or leave it – you chose your academics and i’ve chosen mine

    Michael left us with a wonderful and more applicable to the day we are in ponder over in Calvin’s Corner… IMV

    God keep

  165. JoelG says:

    I would imagine Joseph might have very well been at the bar knowing he was about to become God’s “dad”. I know I would have. Talk about pressure….

  166. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I wonder a lot.
    Think about this – As Joseph and Mary were returning home, they then realized Jesus was missing. So they searched for him and when Mary found he at the temple she said something like – “Jesus!! where have you been, we have been looking all over for you.” and Jesus answers I must be about my Father’s business – did she reply “I am talking to the boy Jesus – get your butt over here now – the spiritual Jesus can stay and do what he wants”

    Just my wondering about that duality going on 😉

  167. JoelG says:

    Well played, MLD…. well played….

    🙂

  168. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jesus may have been God – but Mary was just a normal mom. She may have even shown up with the wooden spoon as my mom often did. 🙂

  169. JoelG says:

    Yes I know the wooden spoon well too.

    Luke writes that they found Him after 3 days missing. Can you imagine your kid, who is God, missing for 3 days? And He just left without telling them?

    Wow

  170. JoelG says:

    After some more thinking (obsessing) about this, it may very well be the most prudent thing to do is take God at His Word. Since Jesus is God, God was born (Incarnated). Since Jesus died, God died. If Jesus say “This is my body”, then it is His Body. What other choice do we have but to take God at His Word?

  171. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Joel, you got it. You confess what many refuse.
    You get an A in theology. 🙂

  172. Xenia says:

    Amen, Joel.

  173. Jean says:

    “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel’
    (which means, God with us).” (Matt 1:23)

    Consider that the very last thing Jesus says to His disciples in the last verse of this Gospel is “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Could be a theme. Christ came to be with us, He was with His disciples during his earthly ministry, and now the risen Christ is among his disciples to the end of the age.

    As we journey with Him and His first disciples through this Gospel, we will see the ways in which He was with them and how He promises to be with us. Very exciting!

  174. Josh the Baptist says:

    All on this thread agree with JoelG, as far as I can tell. We take God at His word!

    – Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

  175. JoelG says:

    That is such a great comfort to us Jean. Thank you.

    Amen Josh. The debating on this thread all have to do with nuances. I discovered that how we view the attributes of God in Jesus plays itself out in how we view the Eucharist. If all of Jesus is in the womb, then all of Jesus died on the cross. If Jesus says that this is My Body and My Blood, then that it is. To try and parse it out is above my comprehension so I’ll just confess it and be thankful.

  176. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well said.

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