Jesus and godhead

Norman Geisler has a specific book entitled “Creating God in the Image of Man”. In this book, Geisler criticizes Open Theists for not accepting the negative attributes (Simple, perfect, eternal (in the timeless sense), omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, impeccable, ineffable, invisible, infinite, unknowable) of God. Geisler argues that God is: Aseity, Simplicity, Necessity, Immutability, Impassability, Eternity, and Unity. If these do not sound like Biblical concepts, it is because they are not. They come straight from the pages of Plato and Plotinus.

The Apostle Paul fought the same Gnostics in his day. In the time of Jesus and Paul, Platonism taught that the physical was evil and inferior to the metaphysical. The goal of Platonism was to escape the physical. When the Gnostics began merging Platonism and Christianity, they had a real problem: Jesus’ divinity. Gnostics began building complicated theories on how Jesus could be divine but have physical aspects. In other words, the Gnostics built a negative theology concerning Jesus. Paul responds:

Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Colossians 2 is all about Platonism. Paul critiques, mocks, and counters Platonism throughout this text. In Colossians 2:8 and 9, Paul writes not to let anyone cheat “you through philosophy”. Paul explains his meaning in the next verse: In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Paul was countering the Gnostic claim that physical humanity could not be divine. Jesus is our picture of God. God is not a list of negative attributes, but living and breathing.

Geisler and Calvinists like him represent the modern Gnostics. The Calvinists argue time and time again that Jesus “lay aside his divine attributes (such as omniscience)”. The Calvinists begin creating complicated theories on how Jesus could be man yet divine. Paul counters this Gnosticism. Paul says “look at Jesus” and “that is God”. The physical is not separate from the divine. The negative attributes of God are not Godhead. Paul was countering Calvinism when it was still known as Gnosticism.

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8 Responses to Jesus and godhead

  1. craigfisher says:

    John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father;
    This is so true. How can Jesus say he who sees me has seen the Father. There is nothing in the negative attributes that resembles a human body. There is nothing infinite in the appearance of Jesus.

  2. Pingback: Jesus – lower than the angels | reality is not optional

  3. truescience7 says:

    I recently became an Open Theists due to my rejection of Neo-platonism, my holding to of the Revelationist/Scripturalist Epistemology and the Plenary Verbal Inspiration of Scripture. But this doctrine of Yeshua being God is cut from the same Neo-platonist cloth.

    • Perhaps, but I’d recommend watching the below lecture which might make you more sympathetic to the idea of a multiplicity of godhead in the Old Testament. Personally, and people might not like me for saying so, it’s kinda a non-issue. It wasn’t important for the authors of the New Testament. Not too important for me.

      • truescience7 says:

        Well look, here’s the deal. The OT very clearly sees it as an importance. The Hebrew Creed the Shema is clear and in Isaiah Yehovah expands upon this and shows he is very serious about it when he says he is the only God and there is not beside him. When he is saying this, he is speaking in the first person. If language means anything we clearly see that God is properly one person. He did not say, we are Yehovah God, the only one, and there is no other.

        The NT lays out its Christology quite clearly once you get all of the false ideas of sophistry out of your mind and don’t have a double standard when reading the language of the Bible for God and Christ versus other things. And clearly by giving us facts about it they wanted us to have the knowledge to have a correct opinion on it.

        I’ve adopted the Semi-Arian position. And how I explain certain things that would cause one to doubt, I do in the Patriarchal way of the Hebrews as here:

        “It is very clear why people make the connection. John 8 has the awkward statement: “Before Abraham was, I am.” Normally if one was merely trying to get across their preexistence without any reference to deity, they would just say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” Yeshua is clearly trying to get across more than just his preexistence.
        There is no doubt that in the Bible the Son is at time identified with God, YHVH, and I AM.
        People make the mistake that this is ontologically, however. These are the reasons I have deduced from my reading of Scripture:
        – Yeshua is the actually Seed of YHVH and share the name of YHVH as a family name. He carries the name in the Patriarchal sense. Like Jacob/Israel’s descendants are called after his name but are not the person Jacob/Israel and do not have his precise nature. Yeshua is also called David because he is his son but he is not actually the person David, and carrying his precise nature.
        – He shares divine authority with YHVH and many, many divine attributes are bestowed upon him from God.
        – He’s the image of the unseen God YHVH and carries within him the fullness of the Divinity bodily, he has the full measure of the Spirit of God. The Fullness of God is in him and he is the Angel of YHVH’s presence in whom YHVH’s name is. Ex. “My name is in him.”
        – He is the chief Word/Spokesman of God who was the one speaking for God in the OT. Like it says that no has ever seen God but it was the Son who has declared him. And it says the Jews never say the Father. All in the John’s Gospel.
        That’s my understanding. If you have any problems with this, let me know.”

        To buttress the idea of co-equal Trinity one must hold to the Monad Huperousia of Divine Simplicity where God is a divine nature rather than a person. Thus the Father, Son, and Spirit become emanations from a Monad rather than God being the Father who begot a Son and has a Spirit which continually proceeds from him. What this doctrine does is conflate the economic activities of God with the being of God. It does this because they must have God absolutely simple. But in doing so, the logical conclusion is Pantheism.

        Trinity is foundation for Communism. It has been documented that Engels used the Trinity as his foundation for Communism. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all absolutely co-equal because they shared the same nature. Therefore since humans all share a human nature, we are all equal. Communism is blatantly anti-Torah. The Torah reflect the unchanging character for Yehovah. So why would Yehovah’s being be contrary to his character? It makes no sense. Communism also has its foundation in the Pantheistic system of Buddhism and was later integrated into the Catholic Churches.

        Most of what has come down to us as Christianity is one big mess of the poison wine of Mystery Babylon.

        Even pagans, like Hindus, if you confront them on their pagan idolatry, they will tell you that their many gods are really just emanations from one. That would be the One. Hinduism has its own co-equal Trinity which persons/beings all are emanations, divine expression of a first Principle. How can Christians than defend their view while hypocritically criticizing the Pantheist heathen?

        • truescience7 says:

          I recommend the book ;Conquering the Verbal Sorcery of Trinitarianism’ by Drake Shelton.

          I’ve seen some of Heiser’s work on this issue before. Back then I agreed with him. But I’ve come to see him as a sophist. I’ve especially lost respect for him and see him this way with his admittance if the Bible teaching Flat Earth Geocentrism and yet claim Heliocentrism and saying it is merely God speaking baby talk to the Israelites in ways they saw things but he didn’t mean it, as if they couldn’t have grasped it. That right there just totally throws out Plenary Verbal Inspiration out of the window. But Christians today are mystics and believe God is totally other, even nonsensically beyond being. He transcends even all categories of language, logic, distinctions, and even being itself. Therefore the God knowledge is totally other and all we have is meaningless analogies when he speaks to us. So revelation is analogous instead univocal.

          • Yeah, I will try to track down that book. It is interesting reading. I think about though, the events on Sinai. Yahweh has dinner with the elders. Elders depart. Moses goes upwards. In Exo 33, Moses requests to see God’s face. God says no man can see it and live, but they just had dinner with Yahweh? There is then a scene in which God covers Moses with His hand and the reveals His backside. The logistics are interesting.

            • truescience7 says:

              The book is free here in PDF in the author’s Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwWXp8taFrb9WWlSb3ZvNVZqSUk But he also has the paper format for sale somewhere, I think on LULU and Google Books.

              Yeah, I acknowledge fully passages like that, like also how Jacob wrestled with El and saw him face-to-face, and how the Word was God and Yeshua awkwardly said before Abraham was I AM. As mentioned before, this is my understanding which I have come to which I am convinced does not amount to word sorcery merely explaining things away:

              ““It is very clear why people make the connection. John 8 has the awkward statement: “Before Abraham was, I am.” Normally if one was merely trying to get across their preexistence without any reference to deity, they would just say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” Yeshua is clearly trying to get across more than just his preexistence.
              There is no doubt that in the Bible the Son is at time identified with God, YHVH, and I AM.
              People make the mistake that this is ontologically, however. These are the reasons I have deduced from my reading of Scripture:
              – Yeshua is the actually Seed of YHVH and share the name of YHVH as a family name. He carries the name in the Patriarchal sense. Like Jacob/Israel’s descendants are called after his name but are not the person Jacob/Israel and do not have his precise nature. Yeshua is also called David because he is his son but he is not actually the person David, and carrying his precise nature.
              – He shares divine authority with YHVH and many, many divine attributes are bestowed upon him from God.
              – He’s the image of the unseen God YHVH and carries within him the fullness of the Divinity bodily, he has the full measure of the Spirit of God. The Fullness of God is in him and he is the Angel of YHVH’s presence in whom YHVH’s name is. Ex. “My name is in him.”
              – He is the chief Word/Spokesman of God who was the one speaking for God in the OT. Like it says that no has ever seen God but it was the Son who has declared him. And it says the Jews never say the Father. All in the John’s Gospel.
              That’s my understanding. If you have any problems with this, let me know.””

              Surely there is no doubt that the Son is not absolutely co-equal and that he is fully dependent upon his Father and can’t do anything without him. So even if he was one with the being of God, I would have to still hold to subordinationalism. But I see nowhere is Scripture the it uses a word for an emanation from God but that it says begotten. It seems to me the language is quite clear Yeshua and his Father are separate beings and also that God speaks of himself in the first person as a single person when he says he is the only God and there isn’t any other, as I mentioned before.

              Anyway, happy studying.

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