Why Do We Have to Believe Jesus is Fully God and Fully Human to be a Christian?

Mendalla

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I don't know that Jesus was fictional, but given how bloody important and influential he appears in the Bible, and not just how little information we have from contemporary sources, but also how sources like Josephus were clearly forged into his Antiquities of the Jews, I think it's reasonable to say that Jesus possibly, if not probably never existed in the first place. Not in the way as was recorded in the Bible.
Speaking as a classicist, I can say that is true of many historical figures from that era. Socrates never wrote anything himself and given Plato's penchant for using him as a mouthpiece for his views, one could be forgiven for thinking Socrates was a fictional creation of Plato if you only looked at Plato. In fact, the best source for proving Socrates' existence is Aristophanes The Clouds. You don't generally satirize fictional figures (It's an absolutely hilarious play if you know the historical and philosophical context, BTW). Xenophon, another pupil of Socrates, helps as well.

But Socrates is a rare example who has some good evidence. There are many figures taken as written who have as little support as Jesus. In ancient history, preponderance of evidence is often the only evidence. And the large number of writings about or mentioning Jesus (including Paul's letters) produced in the couple centuries after his death, both canonical and non (yes, non-canonical matters here), suggests some fire behind the smoke. Not necessarily that he lived as written, but that there was someone who made enough of a mark to inspire the Christian movement and its early writers like Paul and the Gospel writers.

So I (and many, if not most, classicists and ancient historians) do tend to regard Jesus as historical, but regard much of what the church says about him as a matter of faith and more reflective of that faith than of biography or history. Including, of course, Jesus as incarnate deity.

BTW, much the same could be said of Siddhartha Gautama/The Buddha.
 

revsdd

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Why do we have to believe that Jesus is Fully God and Fully Human to be considered part of Christianity?
Who decides who is "considered part of Christianity"? Since there is no arbiter, the question is pointless. Those who are part of Christianity are those who consider themselves part of Christianity. Having said that, there will be various Christian bodies and churches that will not accept some who consider themselves to be Christians as Christians. I suspect there are many who consider themselves Christians who do not accept the idea of the dual nature of Jesus, and there is no one body that has the authority to say that they aren't Christians.

Waterfall said:
Is it impossible to think that we could follow Jesus even if he is fully human but anointed and chosen by God rather than believing he is God Himself? Would it really have affected Christianity if Jesus was fully human?
Same as what I said above. Since there are many who consider themselves Christians who do not accept the dual nature of Jesus, then what you suggest is far from impossible. It is, in fact, demonstrably possible.

Waterfall said:
Give me your best argument why you believe Jesus is God/or not.
I'm not particularly interested in giving you an "argument." I will state my belief. I believe Jesus to be both fully human and fully divine. That makes sense to me. I believe the witness of Scripture that "God is love." The witness of Scripture matches my personal experiences of God. I believe that "God so loved the world ..." I believe that if God loved the world - if God loves the whole creation - then it makes sense that God would choose to be a part of the creation. The incarnation of God in Jesus makes sense to me as the ultimate sign of divine love for humanity. God loved us so much that God chose to be one of us and one with us - to experience all that we might experience, both positive and negative, up to and including a horrible death. To me, this is love. If God did not become incarnate in Jesus (thus making Jesus both fullynhuman and fully divine) then that is a sign that God's love for us is limited. I do not fully understand the incarnation. But the concept makes sense to me, and so I believe it.
 

Luce NDs

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But "the love" is said to be irrational ... enlightening the situation of people believing Gods that come later ... because they believe not in nothing.

Nothing is debatable as there is lack of evidence ... considering all that's been lost in history! Consider all the myths that have been burned as narratives of the folk lure ... a story teller in a wasteland ... when overcome by love the lights go out ... christological evacuation?

Some cyclic logic is required to get you head all around it!

It isn't a straight liner ...
 

chansen

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I left out dozens, probably hundreds. I was giving examples, not an exhaustive list.
Thousands, last I knew.

And that's just it. Humans have documented belief in so many gods and their prophets. But somehow, in this endless supply of supposedly divine beings, Christians have stumbled upon the one true god (who they actually call "God" so you know he's a god) and his son, who may or may not be a god or even "God" himself. They're the ones who finally got it right. Muslims and everyone who came along later are back to making things up.

And then I'm told it's because this one makes sense.

It just doesn't. It's a farce with the advantage of wizard robes and impressive architecture. And when the leaders of the faith - the ones who try to tell others how to live to be more like Jesus - lie and cheat and steal and rape and commit fraud, that supposedly doesn't change the idea that this is still the correct religion. Excuses are made.

I can't throw down with any of the above. It fails at first, second, and third glance.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I looked up Wesleyan Quadrilateral, because I'd never heard of it before, so I hope you don't mind if I post a definition using Wiki so that others will be aware also:
Of course I don't mind!
The UCA is like the UCC - a combination of former Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational members. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral comes from our former Methodist members. (I just assumed it would also feature in UCC discourse?)

At the lay preachers course we learnt that, when preaching, we should be mindful of its requirements....
 

chansen

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The Wesleyan Quadrilateral comes from our former Methodist members. (I just assumed it would also feature in UCC discourse?)

At the lay preachers course we learnt that, when preaching, we should be mindful of its requirements....
The sum of the internal angles must be equal to 360 degrees?
 

PilgrimsProgress

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To me it is very important to see Jesus as fully human, someone we can identify with and trust to identify with us. We read of Jesus growing not only in stature but in understanding. We see him impatient, tired, disappointed, frustrated, and angry. We see him thirsty or hungry. We see him praying for guidance. And we see him changing water to wine at a wedding, celebrating, rejoicing, talking to children, showing empathy with the poor and disadvantaged. Human qualities. And we see him changing his mind – at least on one occasion. This is the Jesus I follow – fully human.
A wonderful description of a fully human Jesus!
(On a humorous note - I seem to have missed out on the human ability to change water into wine - and me - a fan of a good glass of red!) ;)
 

GeoFee

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Hi,

The bible is a collection of diverse narratives intended to shine light in our human darkness. Tragically, some prefer rendering the bible as the static definition of God's will for us. Those who submit to this literal presentation of the bible are admitted into the heavenly realms. Those who do not are relegated to the pit of hell. Such thinking rooted in Plato, who noticed that fear of hell was useful for exercise of population control, more than the gospel narratives.

My intuitions and insights, while reading narratives about God and Jesus, are grounded in my love of metaphor, as a means for conveying that which cannot be conveyed factually; literally. With this in mind, I find it hard to argue about anything. The whole matter of who is right and who is wrong. This dichotomous realm had no existence prior to human being transgressing the bounds of natural order. It has seduced and dominated many along their historical journey. That seduction is metaphorically expressed in the temptation of Jesus, by the one who seeks division between persons and God. The refusal of Jesus indicates his reunion with the spirit which gave him life. Prior to baptism Jesus lived under the jurisdiction of diverse worldly powers. Rising from the water Jesus is affirmed as the beloved of God; dead to many ways and alive to one way. The way of human being as a steward of the natural order and not as its master. As we engage the historic (rather than historical) Jesus we discern the presence of God. That presence being hostile to those who live the life of power; whether religious or political.

My human being is spirit and my habitation is matter.

George
 
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Mendalla

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Looking at the quadrilateral, it kind of makes sense. But I would point out that Experience and Reason are largely why I ended up abandoning Scripture and Tradition so make of that what you will.:unsure:
 

chansen

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Looking at the quadrilateral, it kind of makes sense. But I would point out that Experience and Reason are largely why I ended up abandoning Scripture and Tradition so make of that what you will.:unsure:
We're acutely aware of your reasons.


You just can't help yourself, can you, lol!
Christians seem to love geometry. I love geometry. That's probably the only parallel between us.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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You, too, eh? Seems to me there's some decent stuff coming out of your country now, too. I think I've had an Aussie Red somewhere recently.
I seem to remember visiting a vineyard with Pinga and bette the red in Canada. Of course, I did my best to talk up our Aussie reds. :)

True story - when I went to the original Wondercafe picnic at Five Oaks I bought an Aussie red with me. As I only had the one bottle I just poured folks a thimbleful.

A certain lawyer - who shall remain nameless - said to me as he surveyed the inch at the bottom of his glass,
"In Canada we usually leave an inch at the top of the glass!"
 

PilgrimsProgress

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Looking at the quadrilateral, it kind of makes sense. But I would point out that Experience and Reason are largely why I ended up abandoning Scripture and Tradition so make of that what you will
Experience was the door to my faith - and, as for reason, that's why Process Theology appeals..........
 

Luce NDs

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I seem to remember visiting a vineyard with Pinga and bette the red in Canada. Of course, I did my best to talk up our Aussie reds. :)

True story - when I went to the original Wondercafe picnic at Five Oaks I bought an Aussie red with me. As I only had the one bottle I just poured folks a thimbleful.

A certain lawyer - who shall remain nameless - said to me as he surveyed the inch at the bottom of his glass,
"In Canada we usually leave an inch at the top of the glass!"
Half a grei llness? Sad over the short age of whine!
 

Luce NDs

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Numbers allows a later development of nominality ... an untouchable concept! If you can name what's beyond comprehension ...

It is something to be worked at eternally ... a spatial Job! Consider the Erinyes ... later to become Furies ... blossoming red faced Eris Cis?
 
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