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WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 01:49 PM
Philippians 2:5-8

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. The Message


Some believe, "Jesus was able to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, cast out demons, walk on water, feed 5,000 with a few loaves and two fish, turn water into wine, even raise the dead...etc. BECAUSE he was God!"

Yet, the Philippians passage above states that he gave up the divine privileges. He emptied himself, in other words. And if he emptied himself of the divine attribute of "power", then where did his power to do these things originate?

If He was like us in every way but one, "He was without sin," then it would seem reflexive...that we are like him in every way but one, "We sin."

That being said, If Jesus could give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, make the lame to walk...etc., then we should be able to do the same. But this would only be true IF Jesus, like us, was powerless and received his power from another source.

So, is it possible for us to do the same things Jesus did?

Firefighter
Feb 14th 2011, 02:09 PM
Yes. Jesus said we would do GREATER things.

notuptome
Feb 14th 2011, 03:05 PM
Yes. Jesus said we would do GREATER things.
What would those greater things be?

As long as we are in this vile body we are impaired by sin.

Jesus took for Himself a body like ours. Jesus laid aside His glory which He had in heaven with His Father. Jesus was never nor could ever be less than God. By His own authority He laid down His life and He took it up again.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Neanias
Feb 14th 2011, 03:23 PM
We can walk like Him! Isn't that the beauty and the power of the new covenant?

When you come to think about it, this has already been answered. Didn't Paul, Peter, John and many others raise the dead and heal the sick as Jesus? Didn't they walk as he did?

Think about this, someone touched Jesus' garment and was healed... Someone was simply in the shadow of Peter and was healed!

Almost no one believes it today, although the book of acts is full of it, but we can walk in the same power as Christ and be like Him! Isn't it wonderful! :)

BroRog
Feb 14th 2011, 03:46 PM
Philippians 2:5-8

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. The Message


Some believe, "Jesus was able to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, cast out demons, walk on water, feed 5,000 with a few loaves and two fish, turn water into wine, even raise the dead...etc. BECAUSE he was God!"

Yet, the Philippians passage above states that he gave up the divine privileges. He emptied himself, in other words. And if he emptied himself of the divine attribute of "power", then where did his power to do these things originate?

If He was like us in every way but one, "He was without sin," then it would seem reflexive...that we are like him in every way but one, "We sin."

That being said, If Jesus could give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, make the lame to walk...etc., then we should be able to do the same. But this would only be true IF Jesus, like us, was powerless and received his power from another source.

So, is it possible for us to do the same things Jesus did?When Jesus performed the miracles, Jesus didn't actually do the miracles; God did them. This is an important distinction because Jesus makes a big deal about the idea that God was a witness to the fact that he was the messiah.

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 03:56 PM
The Message paraphrase is not a good source of doctrine. The word "emptied himself" does not imply "emptied himself of the power of Deity." That's Eugene Peterson's take on the passage.

The nature of the incarnation does not require, by any stretch of the imagination, the teaching that Jesus functioned only as a human man without regard to his Deity. To reduce the mystery of the Incarnation to say that Jesus was nothing more than a mere human that operated in the power of the Holy Spirit is a bit disingenuous.

It makes for nice pop theology, but is not necessarily required from Scripture.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 04:33 PM
The Message paraphrase is not a good source of doctrine. The word "emptied himself" does not imply "emptied himself of the power of Deity." That's Eugene Peterson's take on the passage.

The nature of the incarnation does not require, by any stretch of the imagination, the teaching that Jesus functioned only as a human man without regard to his Deity. To reduce the mystery of the Incarnation to say that Jesus was nothing more than a mere human that operated in the power of the Holy Spirit is a bit disingenuous.

It makes for nice pop theology, but is not necessarily required from Scripture.


Actually, the Message translates it, "he set aside the privileges of deity..." Another version says, "emptied himself."

It's not pop theology. Jesus himself said it, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has annointed me...." Mark begins his gospel with the baptism of Jesus, where the Spirit, like a dove, descended upon him. It's after this, and time in the wilderness, that Jesus began to move in power! For Mark, the gospel of the Kingdom began with the coming of the Spirit upon the Son, for it's after his baptism that Jesus began preaching, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel!"

Jesus didn't simply function as a human being. He WAS a human being!

notuptome
Feb 14th 2011, 05:42 PM
Jesus didn't simply function as a human being. He WAS a human being!
Jesus was also God. You cannot separate the two.

Col 2:9 In Him dewlt the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 05:43 PM
Actually, the Message translates it, "he set aside the privileges of deity..." Another version says, "emptied himself."

It's not pop theology. Jesus himself said it, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has annointed me...." Mark begins his gospel with the baptism of Jesus, where the Spirit, like a dove, descended upon him. It's after this, and time in the wilderness, that Jesus began to move in power! For Mark, the gospel of the Kingdom began with the coming of the Spirit upon the Son, for it's after his baptism that Jesus began preaching, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel!"

Jesus didn't simply function as a human being. He WAS a human being!

Please be clear.

The MESSAGE doesn't TRANSLATE anything. It is a paraphrase.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 07:15 PM
Jesus was also God. You cannot separate the two.

Col 2:9 In Him dewlt the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

For the cause of Christ
Roger


Jesus was also God. But what does that look like? Does this mean that Jesus had all the divine attributes?

1. Was Jesus omnipresent (existing everywhere)? Nope! He had a body, and having a body means existing in one place at one time.
2. Was Jesus omniscient (all-knowing)? Nope! "...of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son...." or how about when Jesus spun around to see who it was who touched him, and asked, "Who touched my garments?"
3. Was Jesus self sufficient? Nope! He knew what it was to hunger and thirst. He required sleep. He needed sustenance to survive.

The list goes on. We know that Jesus did not possess the above attributes, ones we ascribe to God.

So here is the question: What is it about Jesus that makes him divine, if not these attributes? Answer: His perfect obedience to the Father because of his perfect communion with the Father. He was the Son! "He was tempted like us in every way but remained sinless."

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 07:36 PM
Wrong.

Attributes do not "make" something that is not into something that is.

Jesus was deity because He is God. Attributes flow from essence; they do not create essence.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 07:40 PM
Wrong.

Attributes do not "make" something that is not into something that is.

Jesus was deity because He is God. Attributes flow from essence; they do not create essence.


So we're going to play word games?

Well, let's keep it simple then. Do you believe Jesus of Nazareth knew Einstein's physics?

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 14th 2011, 07:51 PM
Philippians 2:5-8

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. The Message


Some believe, "Jesus was able to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, cast out demons, walk on water, feed 5,000 with a few loaves and two fish, turn water into wine, even raise the dead...etc. BECAUSE he was God!"

Yet, the Philippians passage above states that he gave up the divine privileges. He emptied himself, in other words. And if he emptied himself of the divine attribute of "power", then where did his power to do these things originate?

If He was like us in every way but one, "He was without sin," then it would seem reflexive...that we are like him in every way but one, "We sin."

That being said, If Jesus could give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, make the lame to walk...etc., then we should be able to do the same. But this would only be true IF Jesus, like us, was powerless and received his power from another source.

So, is it possible for us to do the same things Jesus did?

First, I've personally observed and/or participated in virtually every type of miracle to which you're referring. We are delegated that authority.

Most importantly, this passage has much more significance than English readings convey; and though I was waiting for one of the trinis to actually present the Deity of Jesus before doing so, one of the strongest foundations for it is in this passage.

5"Let*this*mind*be (phroneo G5426) in (en G1722) you, which was also (kai G2532) in (en G1722) Christ Jesus; 6Who, being (huparcho G5225) in (en G1722) the form (morphe G3444) of God, thought (hegeomai G2233) it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made*himself*of*no*reputation (kenoo G2758), and took upon him (lambano G2983) the form (morphe G3444) of a servant (doulos G1401), and was made (ginomai G1096) in (en G1722) the likeness (homoioma G3667) of men (anthropos G444): 8And being found (heurisko G2147) in fashion (schema G4976) as (hos G5613) a man (anthropos G444), he humbled (tapeinoo G5013) himself (heautou G1438), and became (ginomai G1096) obedient (hupekoos G5255) unto (mechri G3360) death (thanatos G2288), even the death (thanatos G2288) of the cross."



Morphe and schema both appear in Phil. 2:5-8. These two words together are objective for the form AND the fashion of a thing would exist if it were alone in existence, whether or not anyone were there to behold it. They cannot represent subjective ideas of non-existing entities. The word idea [(G2397), from ideo, eido (G1492), to see, which in turn is from eidos (G1491), appearance, visible form], idea, concept of the mind, is subjective. The appearance of morphe or schema implies someone to whom this appearance is made. There needs to be a seer before something can be seen. It becomes objectively real by its subjective realization. There may be a concept (to nooumenon G3539pap, to conceive, exercise the mind) without becoming apparent or externally visible. The conceptual may remain such or may become (phainomenon (G5316pap, to appear), visible with a shape, which can be observed. The use of morphe AND schema implies that an appearance is made in a visible form AND fashion.

Morphe presumes an objective reality. No one could be in the form (morphe) of God who was not God. However, morphe is not the shaping of pure thought. It is the utterance of the inner life, a life that bespeaks the existence of God. He who had been [I]morphe Theou, in the form of God, took at Incarnation morphen doulou, a form of a servant. The fact that Jesus continued to be God during His state of humiliation is denomstrated by the pres. part. huparchon, "being" in the form of God. Huparcho (G5225) involves continuing to be what one was before.. Nothing appeared that was not an objective reality from the beginning. In the Incarnation, The Word took the form (morphe) of a servant by taking the shape (schema) of a man. The morphe/schema is the outward form of appearance AND the essential inner being of essence/substance. The eternal, infinite form of God took upon Himself flesh; not just by identity, but by nature. The "emptying" was of attributes related to that condescension to the comparatively lesser form, not the "emptying" of His total Deity.

Summary:
Morphe is the necessary fundamental expression, mode, or form of an object's substance (hupostasis G5287).

Schema is the fashion, style, or apparent arrangement of an object (yet no less true and real than its form).

The Deity of Christ in the Incarnation is affirmed by the use of morphe.

Paul asserts that the Incarnation was one who existed as the substance form of God (The Logos). Inherent in The Word's mode of existence was that He humbled Himself and assumed the form of a servant. Servanthood was the mode of existence which the Son of God assumed with humanity being the receptacle into which He poured Himself.

This was not a separate God-person becoming flesh; this was God's own Rhema-word substance content and Logos-word reason, spoken forth as the morphe of HIMSELF to take on the form and fashion (morphe and schema) of the God-man, Jesus.

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 07:55 PM
So we're going to play word games?

Well, let's keep it simple then. Do you believe Jesus of Nazareth knew Einstein's physics?

Hard to know in contemporary time something that did not yet exist.

But, yes, to the same degree that He chose to foreknow Einstein, He knew whatever it was that Einstein would know As a matter of fact, I think Jesus actually wrote those laws of physics.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 09:02 PM
Hard to know in contemporary time something that did not yet exist.

But, yes, to the same degree that He chose to foreknow Einstein, He knew whatever it was that Einstein would know As a matter of fact, I think Jesus actually wrote those laws of physics.

Then is there any difference between your Jesus and the *docetic* Christ?

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 09:09 PM
Don't use big words you don't understand.

I have clearly used the word "incarnation" any number of times in this thread. Jesus was fully human in flesh and blood and bone and fully divine. Not even close to docetism.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 09:27 PM
Don't use big words you don't understand.

I have clearly used the word "incarnation" any number of times in this thread. Jesus was fully human in flesh and blood and bone and fully divine. Not even close to docetism.

But your use of the term "foreknow" when speaking of Jesus' knowledge of Einstein, as well as your belief that Jesus knew what Einstein knew, suggests a Jesus that had omniscience (all knowledge)? I don't think he had omniscience, and the two scriptures I provided say as much.

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 09:33 PM
But your use of the term "foreknow" when speaking of Jesus' knowledge of Einstein, as well as your belief that Jesus knew what Einstein knew, suggests a Jesus that had omniscience (all knowledge)? I don't think he had omniscience, and the two scriptures I provided say as much.

But that has absolutely nothing to do with your question about docetism... Where did that come from?

Yes, I believe Christ was both fully divine and fully human at the same time, having access to all of God and all of man at the same time. That's the beauty of the mystery of the incarnation. How can God die and be resurrected?

Having access to all knowledge as God and using access to all knowledge are not synonymous and having access to all knowledge and choosing not to access all knowledge are not mutually exclusive.

One of the perks of being God is having the power to choose what power of God you wish to empty yourself of.

notuptome
Feb 14th 2011, 09:36 PM
Jesus was also God. But what does that look like? Does this mean that Jesus had all the divine attributes?
Yes.

1. Was Jesus omnipresent (existing everywhere)? Nope! He had a body, and having a body means existing in one place at one time.
Yes. Jesus was the Father, Jehovah God so while He was in the flesh He was also running the universe.

2. Was Jesus omniscient (all-knowing)? Nope! "...of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son...." or how about when Jesus spun around to see who it was who touched him, and asked, "Who touched my garments?"
Yes. He asked for our benefit not His. The Father knows and the Son is not going to reveal it.

3. Was Jesus self sufficient? Nope! He knew what it was to hunger and thirst. He required sleep. He needed sustenance to survive.
Yes. Jesus could have made bread out of rocks but He restrained Himself. No man can go forty days without food and water and surrive. Not physically possible. At the well Jesus said I have meat to eat that you know not of. John 4:32

The list goes on. We know that Jesus did not possess the above attributes, ones we ascribe to God.
Seems you are missing the obvious.

So here is the question: What is it about Jesus that makes him divine, if not these attributes? Answer: His perfect obedience to the Father because of his perfect communion with the Father. He was the Son! "He was tempted like us in every way but remained sinless."
Jesus was perfectly obedient because He was God not that He might be like God. Jesus was God Who took upon Himself the attributes of man.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 09:39 PM
Nothing makes someone divine in essence. Having "attributes" flows from essence, not the other way around. The absence of perceived "attributes" or the absence of use of attributes does not lessen the essence.


If you are trying to argue, as it appears that you are, that "perfect obedience" makes one divine, then such a belief has been condemned by the church at large for centuries.

But it fits in nicely with Mormonism.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 10:09 PM
Yes.

Yes. Jesus was the Father, Jehovah God so while He was in the flesh He was also running the universe.

Yes. He asked for our benefit not His. The Father knows and the Son is not going to reveal it.

Yes. Jesus could have made bread out of rocks but He restrained Himself. No man can go forty days without food and water and surrive. Not physically possible. At the well Jesus said I have meat to eat that you know not of. John 4:32

Seems you are missing the obvious.

Jesus was perfectly obedient because He was God not that He might be like God. Jesus was God Who took upon Himself the attributes of man.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Jesus was not the Father, and was not the Holy Spirit. Oneness theology is bad theology.

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 10:12 PM
Nothing makes someone divine in essence. Having "attributes" flows from essence, not the other way around. The absence of perceived "attributes" or the absence of use of attributes does not lessen the essence.


If you are trying to argue, as it appears that you are, that "perfect obedience" makes one divine, then such a belief has been condemned by the church at large for centuries.

But it fits in nicely with Mormonism.


What is divine *essence*?

RabbiKnife
Feb 14th 2011, 10:15 PM
"Essence" is a fairly clear word. It relates to substance, basic composition. Jesus was and is God ontologically, as a matter of being, not because of what He did.

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 14th 2011, 10:51 PM
Yes. Jesus was the Father, Jehovah God so while He was in the flesh He was also running the universe.

This is the humorously-infuriating aspect of trinity for the rest of us; conveniently switching between "persons" for every difficult explanation when actual trinity doctrinal formulation expressly precludes it. None of the "persons" are either of the others in trinity. Augustine did that regularly... placing attribute before person when expedient.


Yes. He asked for our benefit not His. The Father knows and the Son is not going to reveal it.

Or... the simple explanation is in the definition of eido (G1492-pin) when Jesus isn't a 1-of-3 God-person.

notuptome
Feb 14th 2011, 11:00 PM
Jesus was not the Father, and was not the Holy Spirit. Oneness theology is bad theology.
John 10:30 I and My Father are One.

Only God can be God.

And God said let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness. Gen 1:26

For the cause of Christ
Roger

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 11:01 PM
"Essence" is a fairly clear word. It relates to substance, basic composition. Jesus was and is God ontologically, as a matter of being, not because of what He did.

Essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity.

And if essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make a substance what it is, then what is/are the attributes of divine essence or substance? What are the attributes that flow from Jesus' divine essence?

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 11:05 PM
John 10:30 I and My Father are One.

Only God can be God.

And God said let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness. Gen 1:26

For the cause of Christ
Roger

And God would not engage in a charade. If the Son is the Father, yet prayed to the Father, the Son is engaging in some kind of charade for the supposed benefit of his creatures? If not a charade, then language is meaningless.

Diggindeeper
Feb 14th 2011, 11:10 PM
And God would not engage in a charade. If the Son prayed to the Father, the Son is engaging is some kind of charade for the supposed benefit of his creatures? If not a charade, then language is meaningless.

I seriously think you need to get into a good Bible-teaching church and learn! Your interpretations are well...strange.

Vince777
Feb 14th 2011, 11:13 PM
Jesus and God are one. He sent his son the messiah in human form to save us from original sin. Jesus had to deal with many temptations while on Earth but conquered lucifer and rose from the dead:)

WSGAC
Feb 14th 2011, 11:17 PM
I seriously think you need to get into a good Bible-teaching church and learn! Your interpretations are well...strange.

I failed to qualify the sentence. "If the Son is the Father, yet prayed to the Father, the Son is engaging in a charade...

It's fixed now.

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 15th 2011, 12:26 AM
And God would not engage in a charade. If the Son is the Father, yet prayed to the Father, the Son is engaging in some kind of charade for the supposed benefit of his creatures? If not a charade, then language is meaningless.

I'm not sure yet from all this what your Divinity belief is. Possibly trinitarian, more likely Unitarian; and you seem to lean toward Universalism. Any other clues? It might be interesting to see where you stand. Any JW or LDS leanings?

WSGAC
Feb 15th 2011, 12:55 AM
I'm not sure yet from all this what your Divinity belief is. Possibly trinitarian, more likely Unitarian; and you seem to lean toward Universalism. Any other clues? It might be interesting to see where you stand. Any JW or LDS leanings?

I am trinitarian. Persons have personal attributes. All three have them.
No to JW or LDS.

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 15th 2011, 02:25 AM
I am trinitarian. Persons have personal attributes. All three have them.
No to JW or LDS.

Thanks. :-)..........

percho
Feb 15th 2011, 05:15 AM
For the wages of sin [is] death; Now because most if not all here, myself excluded believes this means something besides cease to be then in this verse, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; Died here has to mean the very same thing and being this is also said, But God raised him from the dead: Whatever it means it lasted three days and three nights plus about three hours. God is spirit yet the Word who in the beginning was God and was with God was made flesh. It is through his Spirit God does everything. Who only hath immortality, that is life within himself. When the Word was made flesh did he have this or was it given him at his resurrection. Why did Paul say this? for if dead persons do not rise, neither hath Christ risen, He would still be dead. Titus 1:2 says before time of ages eternal life was promised. Who was in existence at that time that would be made flesh for the purpose of death, slain from the foundation of the world. Something dead needs to be given life. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; God is spirit the Word was made flesh. By the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; That is what God as Father and Son did in order to save us, that is give us eternal life.
This can be seen in the baptism of Jesus, Death, Regeneration, renewal of Holy Spirit in form of dove, declared to be Son.

Slug1
Feb 15th 2011, 01:57 PM
Jesus didn't simply function as a human being. He WAS a human being!If this was even remotely true then satan would have been wasting his time tempting Jesus in the desert for those 40 days. Even satan knew that Jesus was God the Son, yet tempted Him because at that time (33 years of time and at the very beginning of 3 years of ministry before His death), He was in the flesh. The Holy Spirit empowered Him during this period of time... same as the Holy Spirit empowers all Christians.

RabbiKnife
Feb 15th 2011, 02:55 PM
Essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity.

And if essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make a substance what it is, then what is/are the attributes of divine essence or substance? What are the attributes that flow from Jesus' divine essence?

I will completely disagree with your definition of "essence" = "attributes". This is simply not the case. The essence of God is self-existence. Everything else flows from God's self-existence, including whether or not He chooses to exercise any power that He may have.

BroRog
Feb 15th 2011, 04:31 PM
What is divine *essence*?As I understand it, the Greeks attempted to define a thing's essence. As an example, take the chair on which I am sitting. It's a computer chair made of cloth and metal. It has five legs with a central pillar that acts as a pneumatic height adjustment. The back is made of foam and cloth and has a lever that allows it to recline or it locks in place to keep it from reclining. I have another chair in the room also. It's a rocking chair with four legs attached to two rockers. It is made of wood and has a cloth seat and a cloth back. In addition to that, I used to have four dining room chairs, made of wood with no cloth on the back and no cushion on the seat.

Each of these chairs has many attributes different, some attributes are the same. But even though each of these chairs is made of different materials, shaped differently, and function differently, they are all chairs. The Greeks would say that they all participate in "chair-ness." The physical attributes will change from one chair design to another chair design, but in any case, each chair design participates in "chair-ness." Whether we are talking about an American colonial antique chair, or an art-deco bean bag chair, or a plastic chair will small metal legs, each chair design participates in the "essence" of chairness.

The essence of a thing is not defined by it's attributes, but quite apart from it's attributes. Whether the chair is red or blue or green, it's still a chair. But let's consider a tree. A tree starts off as a seed, sprouts from the ground and eventually reaches a mature height. As the tree grows, each year it changes as the seasons change. In the spring, th tree is full of leaves, and through the summer it might continue to produce fruit. As summer turns to autumn, the tree begins to lose it's leaves and the leaves change colors from green to yellows, reds, and oranges. As autumn turns to winter, the tree has dropped it's leaves altogether and the tree looks dead. Amazingly, and with fascination we see the tree return to life in the spring as buds form and the tree gains new leaves. We know this is the same tree. And yet, the physical attributes of the tree changed over time. The essence of the tree remains even as the tree changes form and color. The essence remains the same even as the tree grew from a sapling to a mature tree. The physical attributes changed over time but the essence of the tree remained the same. The tree continued to participate in "tree-ness." Also, the numerical identity of the tree remained the same. The same tree I planted in the front yard, is the same tree that grew up to shade the house, is the same tree that gains leaves in the spring and loses them in the fall. Even as the tree goes through a transformation over time, it continues to be the same tree, not a different tree.

We could multiply examples but the point is, the essence of a thing is something other than the combination of it's attributes, which philosophers call it's "accidents." While the "accidents" of an individual tree may change over time, and the accidents may be different from one tree to another tree, these changes do not affect its essence. The tree participates in "tree-ness" even as the accidents change, or become different from specimen to specimen.

Christian theologians have used this idea to help them understand the nature of God and especially as it pertains to his son Jesus Christ. They would say that Jesus participates in "God-ness" or "Yahweh-ness" even though Jesus and Yahweh don't share the same accidents, i.e. physical attributes. Jesus is God in his essence, not in his physical attributes. Just as a single individual tree, is the exact same tree as it progress through its seasonal physical changes, Jesus and Yahweh share a common essence, even though Jesus does not share all of the same accidents as Yahweh.

One of the differences between the various Trinitarian formulations is a discussion about which accidents Jesus and Yahweh have in common. Some Christian theologians would say, for example, that Jesus and Yahweh share the accident "omniscience", suggesting that both Jesus and Yahweh know everything. Others would disagree that Jesus and Yahweh share the accident "omniscience", but continue to maintain that Jesus and Yahweh share the same essence -- suggesting that omniscience isn't part of God's essence.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight into what people are thinking, at least this is how I see it. If anyone would like to correct me, go ahead, please do.

WSGAC
Feb 15th 2011, 06:58 PM
I will completely disagree with your definition of "essence" = "attributes". This is simply not the case. The essence of God is self-existence. Everything else flows from God's self-existence, including whether or not He chooses to exercise any power that He may have.


Self existence has been considered an *attribute* of the divine throughout Christian history.

RabbiKnife
Feb 15th 2011, 07:04 PM
Maybe, but it's not an attribute.

Self-existence is the essence of divinity. Everything else flows from it. Self-existence is being, and without self-existence, nothing else flows.

There is a vast difference between what something is ontologically and what characteristics something possesses.

WSGAC
Feb 15th 2011, 07:13 PM
As I understand it, the Greeks attempted to define a thing's essence. As an example, take the chair on which I am sitting. It's a computer chair made of cloth and metal. It has five legs with a central pillar that acts as a pneumatic height adjustment. The back is made of foam and cloth and has a lever that allows it to recline or it locks in place to keep it from reclining. I have another chair in the room also. It's a rocking chair with four legs attached to two rockers. It is made of wood and has a cloth seat and a cloth back. In addition to that, I used to have four dining room chairs, made of wood with no cloth on the back and no cushion on the seat.

Each of these chairs has many attributes different, some attributes are the same. But even though each of these chairs is made of different materials, shaped differently, and function differently, they are all chairs. The Greeks would say that they all participate in "chair-ness." The physical attributes will change from one chair design to another chair design, but in any case, each chair design participates in "chair-ness." Whether we are talking about an American colonial antique chair, or an art-deco bean bag chair, or a plastic chair will small metal legs, each chair design participates in the "essence" of chairness.

The essence of a thing is not defined by it's attributes, but quite apart from it's attributes. Whether the chair is red or blue or green, it's still a chair. But let's consider a tree. A tree starts off as a seed, sprouts from the ground and eventually reaches a mature height. As the tree grows, each year it changes as the seasons change. In the spring, th tree is full of leaves, and through the summer it might continue to produce fruit. As summer turns to autumn, the tree begins to lose it's leaves and the leaves change colors from green to yellows, reds, and oranges. As autumn turns to winter, the tree has dropped it's leaves altogether and the tree looks dead. Amazingly, and with fascination we see the tree return to life in the spring as buds form and the tree gains new leaves. We know this is the same tree. And yet, the physical attributes of the tree changed over time. The essence of the tree remains even as the tree changes form and color. The essence remains the same even as the tree grew from a sapling to a mature tree. The physical attributes changed over time but the essence of the tree remained the same. The tree continued to participate in "tree-ness." Also, the numerical identity of the tree remained the same. The same tree I planted in the front yard, is the same tree that grew up to shade the house, is the same tree that gains leaves in the spring and loses them in the fall. Even as the tree goes through a transformation over time, it continues to be the same tree, not a different tree.

We could multiply examples but the point is, the essence of a thing is something other than the combination of it's attributes, which philosophers call it's "accidents." While the "accidents" of an individual tree may change over time, and the accidents may be different from one tree to another tree, these changes do not affect its essence. The tree participates in "tree-ness" even as the accidents change, or become different from specimen to specimen.

Christian theologians have used this idea to help them understand the nature of God and especially as it pertains to his son Jesus Christ. They would say that Jesus participates in "God-ness" or "Yahweh-ness" even though Jesus and Yahweh don't share the same accidents, i.e. physical attributes. Jesus is God in his essence, not in his physical attributes. Just as a single individual tree, is the exact same tree as it progress through its seasonal physical changes, Jesus and Yahweh share a common essence, even though Jesus does not share all of the same accidents as Yahweh.

One of the differences between the various Trinitarian formulations is a discussion about which accidents Jesus and Yahweh have in common. Some Christian theologians would say, for example, that Jesus and Yahweh share the accident "omniscience", suggesting that both Jesus and Yahweh know everything. Others would disagree that Jesus and Yahweh share the accident "omniscience", but continue to maintain that Jesus and Yahweh share the same essence -- suggesting that omniscience isn't part of God's essence.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight into what people are thinking, at least this is how I see it. If anyone would like to correct me, go ahead, please do.


Agreed, the *essence* of a chair is *chair-ness.* One chair might be made of wood, another metal, another a mixture, but all share the same essence of chair-ness. The same is true of trees and tree-ness. But what is the difference between chair-ness and tree-ness? I'm sure we all know the difference between chairs and trees, but what is chair-ness and tree-ness, such that we can distinguish between the two?

Ultimately you're going to have to begin defining it, or else *essence* = *chair-ness*, and
*chair-ness* = *essence*...circular reasoning that has the sound of profundity, but isn't saying anything.

WSGAC
Feb 15th 2011, 07:14 PM
Maybe, but it's not an attribute.

Self-existence is the essence of divinity. Everything else flows from it. Self-existence is being, and without self-existence, nothing else flows.

There is a vast difference between what something is ontologically and what characteristics something possesses.

This sounds like Paul Tillich. Are you a Tillichian?

episkopos
Feb 15th 2011, 07:29 PM
Jesus walked as a prototype of the new man or new creation. In other words just as Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh, we then are the flesh made word, so to speak, as we meet with Him. He reconciles our natures by being obedient unto death. He meets us halfway. When we surrender to Him and receive of His Spirit, we become as He was on the earth. We walk in His new creation.

Only when we give all to be joined to Him does this transformation take place. We are filled with the Spirit. As Jesus only did what He saw His Father do, so now we only do as we see Jesus do.

It's not WWJD (what would Jesus do?) It's WIJD (what is Jesus doing!?)

RabbiKnife
Feb 15th 2011, 07:30 PM
This sounds like Paul Tillich. Are you a Tillichian?

Never heard of him, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once.

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 15th 2011, 07:41 PM
Jesus walked as a prototype of the new man or new creation. In other words just as Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh, we then are the flesh made word, so to speak, as we meet with Him. He reconciles our natures by being obedient unto death. He meets us halfway. When we surrender to Him and receive of His Spirit, we become as He was on the earth. We walk in His new creation.

Only when we give all to be joined to Him does this transformation take place. We are filled with the Spirit. As Jesus only did what He saw His Father do, so now we only do as we see Jesus do.

It's not WWJD (what would Jesus do?) It's WIJD (what is Jesus doing!?)


^ YEEEEES!!!! ^ The eikon (G1504). And... the doxa (G1391).

Go on... I'm now listening.

WSGAC
Feb 15th 2011, 07:45 PM
Jesus walked as a prototype of the new man or new creation. In other words just as Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh, we then are the flesh made word, so to speak, as we meet with Him. He reconciles our natures by being obedient unto death. He meets us halfway. When we surrender to Him and receive of His Spirit, we become as He was on the earth. We walk in His new creation.

Only when we give all to be joined to Him does this transformation take place. We are filled with the Spirit. As Jesus only did what He saw His Father do, so now we only do as we see Jesus do.

It's not WWJD (what would Jesus do?) It's WIJD (what is Jesus doing!?)


Good stuff! Well said!

episkopos
Feb 15th 2011, 07:52 PM
^ YEEEEES!!!! ^ The eikon (G1504). And... the doxa (G1391).

Go on... I'm now listening.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: John 1:12


We receive this power as grace from above. The Word was made flesh. This is the Logos. But to become active in our lives this must become directed AT US in the form of rhema. It is not enough to simply believe in the logos. The logos speaks to us. We must surrender all to it. But without an EMPOWERED calling (rhema) we will not be able to do this.

"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God." (not the logos). God commands and it happens. So the sacrifice of ourselves by faith must first be approved by God. THEN the fire comes down and consumes it. So it was at Pentecost. So it is when we offer our all to be joined with Christ.

THEN we walk as Jesus did on the earth. In HIS power. The resurrection power of the new creation in Christ Jesus. This is how we abide in Him. :)

episkopos
Feb 15th 2011, 07:56 PM
An example of power from heaven through a rhema (word)

But Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"

Here Peter gave a rhema. We read of it in the written logos of the bible. But there is no power in it. If we recite the verses over a paralytic he will not walk. But if we abide in the light, then we MAY receive a rhema to do the same work as was recorded in the bible.

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 15th 2011, 08:08 PM
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: John 1:12


We receive this power as grace from above. The Word was made flesh. This is the Logos. But to become active in our lives this must become directed AT US in the form of rhema. It is not enough to simply believe in the logos. The logos speaks to us. We must surrender all to it. But without an EMPOWERED calling (rhema) we will not be able to do this.

"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God." (not the logos). God commands and it happens. So the sacrifice of ourselves by faith must first be approved by God. THEN the fire comes down and consumes it. So it was at Pentecost. So it is when we offer our all to be joined with Christ.

THEN we walk as Jesus did on the earth. In HIS power. The resurrection power of the new creation in Christ Jesus. This is how we abide in Him. :)


An example of power from heaven through a rhema (word)

But Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"

Here Peter gave a rhema. We read of it in the written logos of the bible. But there is no power in it. If we recite the verses over a paralytic he will not walk. But if we abide in the light, then we MAY receive a rhema to do the same work as was recorded in the bible.

Yes, exactly. There can be no logos without rhema. That's just lego, or worse, laleo.

This is aletheia. Preach on.

WSGAC
Feb 15th 2011, 10:09 PM
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: John 1:12


We receive this power as grace from above. The Word was made flesh. This is the Logos. But to become active in our lives this must become directed AT US in the form of rhema. It is not enough to simply believe in the logos. The logos speaks to us. We must surrender all to it. But without an EMPOWERED calling (rhema) we will not be able to do this.

"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God." (not the logos). God commands and it happens. So the sacrifice of ourselves by faith must first be approved by God. THEN the fire comes down and consumes it. So it was at Pentecost. So it is when we offer our all to be joined with Christ.

THEN we walk as Jesus did on the earth. In HIS power. The resurrection power of the new creation in Christ Jesus. This is how we abide in Him. :)

The loss of gospel power…that same power that was everywhere with Jesus…that LIFE he spoke of and gave in every healing moment, is what needs to be recovered. The loss can be illustrated in a story – probably apocryphal – that is told about one of the great thinkers of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas. The story goes that, while walking amid the splendors of Rome, a friend said to St. Thomas, “We Christians certainly no longer have to say to the world, ‘Silver and gold have we none.’” To this St. Thomas replied: “But neither can we say to the lame man, ‘In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk.’”

As the dissipation settled in, the power diminished, just as St. Thomas Aquinas saw it. The church of his time could profess to dispense forgiveness…just like the church of our time…but it could not command a healing life force (not that we can command it, but it certainly isn't given to us.) And it is for this that the Church of today is most irrelevant. All we can say is “Believe in Jesus, you will be forgiven, and you get to go to heaven!” In a nutshell, that is what the gospel of Christ has become. And that is why the church is a dud when it comes to transformative power....a power that heals...brings new kind of Life, truly good news to the world!

Where is our Christ, who is alive and lives in power? In the preaching of our churches he has become a beautiful ideal, or the one who dispenses the latest in pop-psychology. He has been turned into a myth or reduced to some principle we follow to acquire material blessings. He is one who gives out forgiveness, and yet the “abundant life” he claims to give is far from us…not to be experienced now, but postponed till the here-after (Pie in the Sky). The church has become an organization of well meaning idealists who know nothing of the presence and power to move mountains. Instead, the gospel has been reduced to mere forgiveness of sins! Alas!

episkopos
Feb 15th 2011, 10:24 PM
The loss of gospel power…that same power that was everywhere with Jesus…that LIFE he spoke of and gave in every healing moment, is what needs to be recovered. The loss can be illustrated in a story – probably apocryphal – that is told about one of the great thinkers of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas. The story goes that, while walking amid the splendors of Rome, a friend said to St. Thomas, “We Christians certainly no longer have to say to the world, ‘Silver and gold have we none.’” To this St. Thomas replied: “But neither can we say to the lame man, ‘In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk.’”

As the dissipation settled in, the power diminished, just as St. Thomas Aquinas saw it. The church of his time could profess to dispense forgiveness…just like the church of our time…but it could not command a healing life force (not that we can command it, but it certainly isn't given to us.) And it is for this that the Church of today is most irrelevant. All we can say is “Believe in Jesus, you will be forgiven, and you get to go to heaven!” In a nutshell, that is what the gospel of Christ has become. And that is why the church is a dud when it comes to transformative power....a power that heals...brings new kind of Life, truly good news to the world!

Where is our Christ, who is alive and lives in power? In the preaching of our churches he has become a beautiful ideal, or the one who dispenses the latest in pop-psychology. He has been turned into a myth or reduced to some principle we follow to acquire material blessings. He is one who gives out forgiveness, and yet the “abundant life” he claims to give is far from us…not to be experienced now, but postponed till the here-after (Pie in the Sky). The church has become an organization of well meaning idealists who know nothing of the presence and power to move mountains. Instead, the gospel has been reduced to mere forgiveness of sins! Alas!

Well spoken! There are crumbs that fall from the table, however. I HAVE experienced this power, walked in light etc... But as you say, it is not what people are talking about. People are satisfied with religion. :(

What I see at work is the diminishing from holiness to righteousness. From righteousness to filthiness, and from filthiness to wickedness and on down the scale.

Holiness in Christ is no longer believed, taught, or understood. Christendom now denies that non-Christians can do anything righteous as they have bullied themselves into being EXCLUSIVELY righteous. So the parable of the Samaritan is payed lip-service but not understood.

But the truth remains! We can STILL enter into the divine reality of light through a FULL CONSECRATION. We must see it through to the end, never wavering.

Today's society waits for no one...not even God! We who are OF this society follow suit.

So few will find this fulness in Christ that any posibiblity of a church that is IN the truth become remote indeed.

We still have many righteous brethren, however, and as long as these do not boast falsely then at least we can have brotherly fellowship together. Perhaps not at the depth of the gospel, but at least as people hopefully learning to give their all! :)

the rookie
Feb 15th 2011, 10:42 PM
Yet, astonishingly, this is the Church that Jesus has betrothed Himself to. I think we want to be careful about how we speak about another man's wife ;)

I like to pay attention to how Paul prayed for the churches in his epistles. For the church that was immature and abusive and carnal in the gifts of the Spirit, he prayed for more gifts! (1 Corinthians 1:7) Rather than praying about what they were not, Paul tended to pray along the lines of who they could be in Christ. Praying in this manner checks us a bit and helps us not make these things an "us" versus "them" thing with the church's deficiencies (as if we are not a part of the church). If the church is deficient, then we are deficient. We're all in this together. Anyone can disparage someone's wife; I'd rather serve her ;)

Just my little exhortation - just because it's true doesn't mean we get to say it however we want. Again, there are lots of things true with my friends' wives. How I talk about them, however, defines just about everything about who I am as a man before God.

Dani H
Feb 16th 2011, 07:34 PM
To the OP:

Do you currently attend a local church?

By "attend" I mean "physically set foot in and stay until the service is over" several times a month ... or at least several times a year.

Yes or no?

If no ... I can't take your word for anything, honestly, cause you're not making yourself available as a solution to the problem you attack, and you've lost your right to say anything. Honestly.

WSGAC
Feb 16th 2011, 10:56 PM
To the OP:

Do you currently attend a local church?

By "attend" I mean "physically set foot in and stay until the service is over" several times a month ... or at least several times a year.

Yes or no?

If no ... I can't take your word for anything, honestly, cause you're not making yourself available as a solution to the problem you attack, and you've lost your right to say anything. Honestly.

Yes, I physically set foot in a church, and stay until the service is over, several times a month. So you can take my word for everything! ;)

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 17th 2011, 12:20 AM
Yes, I physically set foot in a church, and stay until the service is over, several times a month. So you can take my word for everything! ;)

No offense to Dani, but THAT was funny. But, hey... Buddhist temples don't count, anyway. :-)

Dani H
Feb 17th 2011, 12:30 AM
Yes, I physically set foot in a church, and stay until the service is over, several times a month. So you can take my word for everything! ;)

Listen, no offense to you, but experience has taught me that there are way too many ranting and railing against how "the church" gets everything wrong, and you poke a little bit, and you find out that they haven't been to any church in years, they're not under pastoral authority, they're not being an active solution to whatever problem they've managed to identify. There's no such thing as the ideal church. We're all broken and in need of correction. But I give kudos to those who are at least trying. Which is far better than somebody who does nothing. Except criticize.

I mean, really, at the very least, get your hiney in a church service and sit there praying and asking God to make the needed changes. Don't just be hiding behind some offense as you hurl accusations from behind some keyboard/monitor combination. Not "you" specifically. Just ... whoever does those things.

Know what I mean?

You understand that in the age of the internet where everyone is an expert and critic, that certain questions must be asked. :)

I'm still not taking your word for everything ... but thanks for answering anyway. :D

Slug1
Feb 17th 2011, 01:27 AM
Listen, no offense to you, but experience has taught me that there are way too many ranting and railing against how "the church" gets everything wrong, and you poke a little bit, and you find out that they haven't been to any church in years, they're not under pastoral authority, they're not being an active solution to whatever problem they've managed to identify. There's no such thing as the ideal church. We're all broken and in need of correction. But I give kudos to those who are at least trying. Which is far better than somebody who does nothing. Except criticize.

I mean, really, at the very least, get your hiney in a church service and sit there praying and asking God to make the needed changes. Don't just be hiding behind some offense as you hurl accusations from behind some keyboard/monitor combination. Not "you" specifically. Just ... whoever does those things.

Know what I mean?

You understand that in the age of the internet where everyone is an expert and critic, that certain questions must be asked. :)

I'm still not taking your word for everything ... but thanks for answering anyway. :DHooah... for years I attended church several times a month and I had NO CLUE. Then I began to do something different... I began to SERVE in the churches I attended over the years and then a WHOLE new world of just HOW God operates THROUGH a church, opened up before my eyes.

OK... in general for the thread: I was very proficient at keeping that pew heated several times a month... now, due to serving, I haven't sat down in the pew for these last 3 years and I'm at church several times a week now. Getting people out of the pews and serving God in their relationship with Him is what enables the Body of Christ to experience God WORKING through them and the question... "Why doesn't God do something" doesn't have to be asked any more. Thet KNOW the answer why God isn't doing anything... it's because they're not doing a service where God has a vessel to work through. Get up, get out and do service, ministry, volunteer, etc. Then people will see more of God doing mighty work all around them. It won't be JUST those in the church either... out there in the streets with the lost, doing God's work and allowing God to do HIS WORK... it's how we take Jesus WITH US where ever we go. We go to SERVE others and the Holy Spirit will do what He needs to do, to draw the lost to God.