Archive for March 3rd, 2008

There are some who would think it far worse to be considered unfashionable than to be thought unchristian. To be unchristian would be but such a common accusation that they might submit to it; but to be unfashionable would be horrible indeed! Young men in London get to be affected by this.

If the young men in the house are going to such-and-such an entertainment—they all read a certain class of books—if they are dissipated and skeptical, then the temptation is to chime in with them, and only the man who is strong, and hath the word of God abiding in him, will overcome the wicked one by doing the right alone. “Faithful among the faithless found.”

–Charles Spurgeon

HT: Pyromaniacs

This couldn’t fit the ODMs any better. They’re told constantly the way they conduct themselves is unChristian, and they tolerate that quite well, in fact they revel in their harshness and half-truths knowing their slander and unChristian tone will bring them accolades from other ODMs and their hanger-ons, as well as link love and google hits.

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It seems as if CRN will never tire of re-hashing the same old tired arguments concerning Rob Bell. The Editor claims this piece demonstrates the “propensity of Rob Bell of the emerging church to over-emphasize the humanity of Christ Jesus of Nazareth and turn our Creator into a first century rabbi.”

So does Rob Bell over-emphasize the humanity of Jesus? It seems like a very odd claim to me. After all Jesus was both fully God and fully man. There of course is much of this union that will always be a mystery to us. However to claim that Jesus didn’t learn, wasn’t at all affected by the culture He grew up, and somehow wasn’t quite all human seems to go against many of the details we’re given in the Gospels.

First, we aren’t given a lot of details about Jesus’ childhood and adolescent years. Luke 2:52 says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” This is the sum of the information we’re given about Jesus’ life between the ages of 12 and 30. Interestingly enough, this is the exact phrase used in 1 Samuel 2:26 to describe Samuel’s development while he served in the temple. It seems that Luke was trying to tell us something about Jesus’ education. It seems very likely that Jesus would have studied using the same methods as other Jewish children at the time.

The fact that Jesus was viewed as an average Jewish man prior to the beginning of His ministry is emphasized later in Luke 4. Jesus is at the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth, and is asked to read (a very common practice for a Jewish man at sysnagogue), and He reads from Isaiah 61. After reading, we are told Jesus

“rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ “

This outraged the people from His hometown. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. It seems to me that they had no reason to suspect Jesus was anything but a common working man prior to this.

So, even from this brief look at Scripture, we get a picture of Jesus that paints Him as fully human. This in no way denies He was fully divine, but it does enforce that Jesus was a real person in history, in Israel, and entrenched in Jewish society at the time. Jesus wasn’t born with all Scriptures in His head. He worked to memorize them. He studied, and he humbled himself to learn from other people.

When we think of how much God humbled himself to live on this planet, it is truly amazing. So let’s not fall prey to an old heresy that Jesus only looked human. Let’s embrace the mystery of the Incarnation in it’s full beauty.

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