Monday, March 2, 2009

The Divinity of Jesus Christ, part 3

This is Part 3 of the apologetic regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ as set forth by Peter Kreeft and Ron Tacelli which I am summarzing here part by part, and lifting large parts of the chapter directly onto here. If I'm inserting my own opinion, or using other sources I will make it clear.

Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.

Some Clues to the Possibility of the Doctrine.
1. C.S. Lewis calls the Incarnation "myth becomes fact." Throughout history are various myths of a god who came down from heaven, some even tell of a god who died and rose for the life of man. Just as the flood story appears in may different traditions and legends, something akin to the Jesus story does too. However, this does not lend credence to the idea that the Jesus story itself is a made up myth, but rather, the more witnesses tell a similar story, the more likely it is to be true. The more foreshadowings for an event, the more likely it is that the event will happen.

2. How does the critic who says the Incarnation is impossible, know so much about God that they know what God can or cannot do, did not do?

If the objection is that the doctrine of the Incarnation claims too much, claims to know too much, the response is that to deny it claims to know much more. Logically, a universal negative proposition is the hardest kind to prove.
3. If God exists, he must be omnipotent, and able to do anything that is possible, anything that is meaningful, and doesn't involve self-contradiction. The Incarnation is not self-contradiction, therefore the Incarnation is possible.

There are several other points, but I'm going to move on to Arguments for Christ's Divinity.

Christ's Trustworthiness
Everyone throughout history agrees that Jesus of Nazareth was a good and wise man, a great and profound teacher. Even nonbelievers such as Ghandi saw him as history's greatest moral teacher. In other words, he is seen by all people as eminently trustworthy. (If you do not see Christ as eminently trustworthy based on the Gospels, you have some other reason for not thinking so--such as skepticism regarding the historical reliability of the Gospels).

If a teacher is trustworthy, he can be trusted particularly when it comes to his own identity. If we do not trust Jesus of Nazareth about his own identity, we cannot say that he is trustworthy.

The size of the gap between what you are and what you think you are is a pretty good index of your insanity. If I believe I am the best writer in America, I am an egotistical fool, but I am not insane. If I believe I am Napoleon, I am probably near the edge. If I believe I am the archangel Gabriel, I am probably well over it. And if I believe I am God? . . . Would you send your children to Sunday school to be taught by a man who thought he was God?
Why then did anyone believe Jesus' claim to be God?

No comments:

Post a Comment