In this blog of the “Tough Issues of Christianity” series, we will examine one of the longest standing and most controversial issues of the Christian Faith. The purpose of this blog is not to solicit responses, although they are welcome, but to foster deep thinking into the very foundation of Christian Faith – Christology.
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15 NIV)
Jesus asked this question of His disciples. I believe He asks the same of us today.
Very briefly, Christology is the study of the nature of Jesus Christ, His human nature and His deity. In the Western Church, we generally have come to believe that Jesus was/is both fully human and fully God. One of the great mysteries of Christianity is “how can this be?”
Another great mystery is the Holy Trinity. How can three distinct persons be One?
From the very earliest days of Christianity these two questions have plagued Christians. Seeking to answer them has led to great divisions in the universal church which are still with us today.
Resolving these two questions has led to a great deal of political intrigue, especially in the 4th through the 6th centuries. It has led to wars and purges. Differing beliefs on the nature of Jesus (Christology) was a major factor leading to the division and eventual fall of the Roman Empire. (There’s a lot of history surrounding Attila the Hum, known as the Scourge of God, involved here that I’ll not delve into.)
In several places in the Gospels, Jesus says that He and the Father are One? (If you know Me, you know the Father also.)
Yet He also says “The Father is greater than I.”
How can this be?
Human man is born into “original sin”, the sin of Adam.
If Jesus was/is fully human, how could He be sinless?
The answers to just these two questions confound many, Christians and non-Christians alike. So, for now, I’ll leave you with just these two.
Ponder them. How would you respond to a non-believer or to your child should they ask these questions (and the children will!)
I don’t have the answers myself. I’m dong some very serious pondering… and praying!