Is God the Messiah?

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Is God the Messiah?

#1

Post by Christian2 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:58 am

The Qur'an says:

005:072 Pickthal

They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.

It seems to me that to say that God is the Messiah is theologically incorrect.

Because according to Christianity God is the Father and the Son/Word and the Holy Spirit.

Even though the Word who is God incarnated Jesus of Nazareth, it was not the Father nor the Holy Spirit who incarnated Him.

Am I right?

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#2

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:16 am

First off, the Qur'an is not where you wanna go to try to understand Christian theology, so why YOU are doing that is a bit strange to say the least.
Second If the Messiah is saviour to ALL those that believe, then the messiah must be God for only God is saviour.
If the messiah is Son of God, then the messiah must be God ( for what is the Son is not the same nature as The Father?).

See, we go back to the issue that you are trying to address two things in one:
The Nature of God and Christ.
Messiahship of Christ.

You need to understand the first to comprehend the second.

If God is NOT a relational being (Triune according to Christianity) then He is a self-centered being ( a non-relational being).
If God is a non-relational and self-centered being then He would not be God because He would be INFERIOUR to a relational and other-centered being.

If God IS a relational and other-centered being then He MUST be "more than one" and YET still be "ONE".

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#3

Post by RickD » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:16 am

Christian2,

Who then is the Messiah? Is Jesus Christ the Messiah? If He is, is He not God?

I'm not sure I'm understanding the problem.
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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#4

Post by Christian2 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:29 am

PaulSacramento wrote:First off, the Qur'an is not where you wanna go to try to understand Christian theology, so why YOU are doing that is a bit strange to say the least.
Second If the Messiah is saviour to ALL those that believe, then the messiah must be God for only God is saviour.
If the messiah is Son of God, then the messiah must be God ( for what is the Son is not the same nature as The Father?).

See, we go back to the issue that you are trying to address two things in one:
The Nature of God and Christ.
Messiahship of Christ.

You need to understand the first to comprehend the second.

If God is NOT a relational being (Triune according to Christianity) then He is a self-centered being ( a non-relational being).
If God is a non-relational and self-centered being then He would not be God because He would be INFERIOUR to a relational and other-centered being.

If God IS a relational and other-centered being then He MUST be "more than one" and YET still be "ONE".
I am having a debate with a Muslim.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#5

Post by Christian2 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:30 am

RickD wrote:Christian2,

Who then is the Messiah? Is Jesus Christ the Messiah? If He is, is He not God?

I'm not sure I'm understanding the problem.
Who is God according to Christian theology?

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#6

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:44 am

Christian2 wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:First off, the Qur'an is not where you wanna go to try to understand Christian theology, so why YOU are doing that is a bit strange to say the least.
Second If the Messiah is saviour to ALL those that believe, then the messiah must be God for only God is saviour.
If the messiah is Son of God, then the messiah must be God ( for what is the Son is not the same nature as The Father?).

See, we go back to the issue that you are trying to address two things in one:
The Nature of God and Christ.
Messiahship of Christ.

You need to understand the first to comprehend the second.

If God is NOT a relational being (Triune according to Christianity) then He is a self-centered being ( a non-relational being).
If God is a non-relational and self-centered being then He would not be God because He would be INFERIOUR to a relational and other-centered being.

If God IS a relational and other-centered being then He MUST be "more than one" and YET still be "ONE".
I am having a debate with a Muslim.
A debate about what?
Honestly, debating the FINER points of Christianity with a non-christian seems, well, like putting the cart before the horse.

It is one thing to debate IF Christ is the messiah or even if Christ is God BUT to debate BOTH without establishing one or the other seems, well...strange I guess.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#7

Post by Christian2 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:19 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Christian2 wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:First off, the Qur'an is not where you wanna go to try to understand Christian theology, so why YOU are doing that is a bit strange to say the least.
Second If the Messiah is saviour to ALL those that believe, then the messiah must be God for only God is saviour.
If the messiah is Son of God, then the messiah must be God ( for what is the Son is not the same nature as The Father?).

See, we go back to the issue that you are trying to address two things in one:
The Nature of God and Christ.
Messiahship of Christ.

You need to understand the first to comprehend the second.

If God is NOT a relational being (Triune according to Christianity) then He is a self-centered being ( a non-relational being).
If God is a non-relational and self-centered being then He would not be God because He would be INFERIOUR to a relational and other-centered being.

If God IS a relational and other-centered being then He MUST be "more than one" and YET still be "ONE".
I am having a debate with a Muslim.
A debate about what?
Honestly, debating the FINER points of Christianity with a non-christian seems, well, like putting the cart before the horse.

It is one thing to debate IF Christ is the messiah or even if Christ is God BUT to debate BOTH without establishing one or the other seems, well...strange I guess.
I am debating the Surah I cited with a Muslim. I think it is theologically incorrect.

A Christian article I am reading says the same.

Can we, therefore, claim that the New Testament teaches that Jesus is "God"? Yes indeed, provided we constantly bear in mind several factors.

First, to say that "Jesus is God" is true to New Testament thought, but it goes beyond actual New Testament diction. The nearest comparable statements are "the Word was God" (John 1:1), "the only Son, who is God" (John 1:18), and "the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever" (Rom. 9:5). So we must remember that the theological proposition "Jesus is God" is an inference from the New Testament evidence - a necessary and true inference, but nonetheless an inference.

Second, if we make the statement "Jesus is God" without qualification, we are in danger of failing to do justice to the whole truth about Jesus - that he was the incarnate Word, a human being, and that in his present existence in heaven he retains his humanity, although now it is in a glorified form. Jesus is not simply "man" nor only "God," but the God-man.

Third, given English usage of the word God, the simple affirmation "Jesus is God" may be easily misinterpreted. In common English usage God is a proper name, identifying a particular person, not a common noun designating a class.[2] For us God is the God of the Judeao-Chrisitan monotheistsic tradition, or God the Father of Jesus and of the Christan, or the trinitarian Godhead. So when we make the equation in English, "Jesus is God," we are in danger of suggesting that these two terms, "Jesus" and "God," are interchangable, that there is a numerical identity between the two. But while Jesus is God, it is not true that God is Jesus.[*] There are others - the Father and the Spirit - of whom the predicate God may be rightfully used. Jesus is all that God is, without being all there is of God. The person of Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity. So then, when we say, "Jesus is God," we must recognize that we are attaching a meaning to the term God - namely, "God in essence" or "God by nature" - that is not its predominant sense in English.

I don't want to mess this up. That is why I am here.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#8

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:28 am

Those 3 points are well stated.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#9

Post by Christian2 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:59 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Those 3 points are well stated.
Thank you.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#10

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:41 pm

Christian2 wrote:Third, given English usage of the word God, the simple affirmation "Jesus is God" may be easily misinterpreted. In common English usage God is a proper name, identifying a particular erson, not a common noun designating a class.[2] For us God is the God of the Judeao-Chrisitan monotheistsic tradition, or God the Father of Jesus and of the Christan, or the trinitarian Godhead. So when we make the equation in English, "Jesus is God," we are in danger of suggesting that these two terms, "Jesus" and "God," are interchangable, that there is a numerical identity between the two. But while Jesus is God, it is not true that God is Jesus.[*] There are others - the Father and the Spirit - of whom the predicate God may be rightfully used. Jesus is all that God is, without being all there is of God. The person of Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity. So then, when we say, "Jesus is God," we must recognize that we are attaching a meaning to the term God - namely, "God in essence" or "God by nature" - that is not its predominant sense in English.
I appreciate what you are saying and your attempt to be precise. I can agree with a lot of it, but I have a worry here that may or may not be warranted. First, a generl affirmation. We are certainly not modalists, so I agree that there is a sense in which the statement "Jesus is God" can be misinterpreted, as "God" is taken as shorthand for "the Father." So, as always, we have to be careful with our language. And in the care, I think your bolded statement is, as Paul said, well said.

But beyond the care, I worry that you might be running the risk of giving away the farm, too. For while it is true that Jesus is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, I don't think it has to be true that "Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity," and that for two reasons: first, it seems like that statement suggests that there is something in the Father that is not in the Spirit or Son, and something in the Son that is not in the Father or Spirit, and something in the Spirit that is not in the Son or Father. I think this is, in fact, a common misunderstanding regarding the Trinity. We tend to see the Three Persons as each having their own wills, their own intellects, their own selves that are somehow really one on the level of substance or being. But that is not true. There is only one will in God. There is only one intellect. There is only one act of being. We do not divine the will, for instance, into three parts, as if the Father gets a part and the Son gets a part and the Spirit gets a part. Nor do we say that there are three wills and that two of them are just in perfect harmony with the other (presumably, the Father's), such that there is only one will functionally speaking. No. What we say is that there is ONE will, and that the person of the Father is that will. The person of the Son is that will. The person of the Spirit is that will. And so on with everything else. The only thing that distinguishes the three Persons from one another are their relations to one another. So on that, I'm not sure that we cannot say that Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity, since EVERYTHING the Father is, substantially speaking, is what the Son is. The only thing the Son is not with respect to the Father is His relationship to the Father and the Spirit.

The second reason is that I think the whole statement might just be a category error. Thomas Aquinas argued, I think correctly, that "God" is not in a category, anyway. In other words, there is no such thing as "the category of deity." The word "category" itself literally means "classificatory division," which means that it sets limits on what the thing is and is not. But God is neither a thing nor is He limited. He is, on the contrary, completely infinite. God transcends all category. Strictly speaking, the word "God" refers to a concept (which is a category) in our mind, and that category is tied directly to God only insofar as we know Him imperfectly relative to and contrast to all that He is not. As Thomas puts it, "we cannot know what God is, but only what God is not." It is here that faith makes the leap the reason cannot cross. It is here that faith knows God in a way that reason, in principle, cannot. Now, if God is not really in a category, then there is no such thing as "the category of deity." And so it is wrong to talk about Jesus filling up or not filling up that "category" in the first place.

I'm not sure how exactly that effects your argument, but I suspect the problem with your Muslim friend has much to do with an error in anthropomorphisizing God. He's probably trying to attribute things to God in the way he attributes them to humans, which can't be done (and thus the doctrine of analogical language). But I'd have to see it in more detail to say. In any case, I won't say any more at this point. Maybe this is all just wasted space, but I'll let you be the judge. God bless! :)
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#11

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:10 am

The issue, as always, is trying to describe God in human terms.
We always will, quite obviously, fall short.
As humans we end up trying to "categorize" God, which means we end up limiting and "pigeon-hole-ling" God. It becomes a "dumbed down" version of God.
So, as long as we realize that is what we are doing, that whatever words we use they will never come close to truly describing who AND what God is, then we are "ok" BUT we must never fall into the erroneous belief that we have somehow been able to do justice to God, we simply can't.

And on that tone, lets us never forget that limiting God by saying that God can't be this or that ( this or that, that does NOT go against His nature) is just that, limiting God.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#12

Post by Christian2 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:37 am

Jac3510 wrote:
Christian2 wrote:Third, given English usage of the word God, the simple affirmation "Jesus is God" may be easily misinterpreted. In common English usage God is a proper name, identifying a particular erson, not a common noun designating a class.[2] For us God is the God of the Judeao-Chrisitan monotheistsic tradition, or God the Father of Jesus and of the Christan, or the trinitarian Godhead. So when we make the equation in English, "Jesus is God," we are in danger of suggesting that these two terms, "Jesus" and "God," are interchangable, that there is a numerical identity between the two. But while Jesus is God, it is not true that God is Jesus.[*] There are others - the Father and the Spirit - of whom the predicate God may be rightfully used. Jesus is all that God is, without being all there is of God. The person of Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity. So then, when we say, "Jesus is God," we must recognize that we are attaching a meaning to the term God - namely, "God in essence" or "God by nature" - that is not its predominant sense in English.
I appreciate what you are saying and your attempt to be precise. I can agree with a lot of it, but I have a worry here that may or may not be warranted. First, a generl affirmation. We are certainly not modalists, so I agree that there is a sense in which the statement "Jesus is God" can be misinterpreted, as "God" is taken as shorthand for "the Father." So, as always, we have to be careful with our language. And in the care, I think your bolded statement is, as Paul said, well said.

But beyond the care, I worry that you might be running the risk of giving away the farm, too. For while it is true that Jesus is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, I don't think it has to be true that "Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity," and that for two reasons: first, it seems like that statement suggests that there is something in the Father that is not in the Spirit or Son, and something in the Son that is not in the Father or Spirit, and something in the Spirit that is not in the Son or Father. I think this is, in fact, a common misunderstanding regarding the Trinity. We tend to see the Three Persons as each having their own wills, their own intellects, their own selves that are somehow really one on the level of substance or being. But that is not true. There is only one will in God. There is only one intellect. There is only one act of being. We do not divine the will, for instance, into three parts, as if the Father gets a part and the Son gets a part and the Spirit gets a part. Nor do we say that there are three wills and that two of them are just in perfect harmony with the other (presumably, the Father's), such that there is only one will functionally speaking. No. What we say is that there is ONE will, and that the person of the Father is that will. The person of the Son is that will. The person of the Spirit is that will. And so on with everything else. The only thing that distinguishes the three Persons from one another are their relations to one another. So on that, I'm not sure that we cannot say that Jesus does not exhaust the category of deity, since EVERYTHING the Father is, substantially speaking, is what the Son is. The only thing the Son is not with respect to the Father is His relationship to the Father and the Spirit.

The second reason is that I think the whole statement might just be a category error. Thomas Aquinas argued, I think correctly, that "God" is not in a category, anyway. In other words, there is no such thing as "the category of deity." The word "category" itself literally means "classificatory division," which means that it sets limits on what the thing is and is not. But God is neither a thing nor is He limited. He is, on the contrary, completely infinite. God transcends all category. Strictly speaking, the word "God" refers to a concept (which is a category) in our mind, and that category is tied directly to God only insofar as we know Him imperfectly relative to and contrast to all that He is not. As Thomas puts it, "we cannot know what God is, but only what God is not." It is here that faith makes the leap the reason cannot cross. It is here that faith knows God in a way that reason, in principle, cannot. Now, if God is not really in a category, then there is no such thing as "the category of deity." And so it is wrong to talk about Jesus filling up or not filling up that "category" in the first place.

I'm not sure how exactly that effects your argument, but I suspect the problem with your Muslim friend has much to do with an error in anthropomorphisizing God. He's probably trying to attribute things to God in the way he attributes them to humans, which can't be done (and thus the doctrine of analogical language). But I'd have to see it in more detail to say. In any case, I won't say any more at this point. Maybe this is all just wasted space, but I'll let you be the judge. God bless! :)
I appreciate your comments, Jac.

I have a Trinitarian friend who insists I be precise in my terms when discussing the Trinity and that is what I was trying to say.

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#13

Post by Lonewolf » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:12 pm

LOL, I asked the same question under a diff format, and look what it turned into

Link ~> http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... =8&t=39770
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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#14

Post by 1over137 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:29 am

Christian2, when you quote an article post a link too.
Thank you.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Is God the Messiah?

#15

Post by Christian2 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:41 am

1over137 wrote:Christian2, when you quote an article post a link too.
Thank you.
http://www.answering-islam.org/Who/theos.html

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