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Unread 01-17-2005, 10:43 PM   #1
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Jesus as a little God?

i've a friend who has a theory that the trinity has a heirarchy. that God the father is on top, than the Holy Spirit, then Jesus.

id like to know the best response cos ive tried over and over.
to prove his points he says that blasphemy against Jesus is forgivable, while blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. and therefore the Holy Spirit is above Jesus on the heirarchy.

how do you prove that theyre equal?

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Unread 01-17-2005, 11:07 PM   #2
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1 Corinthians 11 places the Father above Christ and it seems that passages like John 14-15 that speak of the Spirit being sent by the Father and Christ put the Holy Spirit below Christ.

Of course, this is all regarding authority and not nature/essence. All three persons are God, and yet one God, so none of them are superior or inferior, they just have different roles.

The appeal to blasphemy against the Spirit is pretty weak, as his conclusion doesn't really have to follow from the passage, and the teaching there is pretty confusing, anyway. It's a poor passage to base a belief like this on.
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Unread 01-17-2005, 11:49 PM   #3
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Little Jesus--All the omnipotence of God, but one-eighth His size.
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Unread 01-18-2005, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miller
i've a friend who has a theory that the trinity has a heirarchy. that God the father is on top, than the Holy Spirit, then Jesus.

id like to know the best response cos ive tried over and over.
to prove his points he says that blasphemy against Jesus is forgivable, while blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. and therefore the Holy Spirit is above Jesus on the heirarchy.

how do you prove that theyre equal?
This is a form of "subordinationism", which is a confusion of the economy of the trinity that goes all the way back to the founding of the Church...for instance, it is found in the writings of Origen and Tertullian. It has been a stream of thought that begat Arianism, and according to Richard Muller, was essential to Arminius' Christology.

The history of it aside...I'll try to answer the question simply.

Question 1: Is Jesus Lord?
If answered in the affirmative, as I hope your friend would, we'd have to take into account what this would mean to those who would first have declared Jesus as such.

In naming Jesus as Lord (adon) the 1st century Jewish believer would be equating Christ with adonai, the name used in place of YWHW (God's personal name) in the public reading of the Scriptures. To call anyone other than YHWH "Lord" would be troublesome for a 1st century Jew as it carried deitistic meaning in both the religious and secular arenas. For instance, Caesar was called "Lord" not just as a title (Lord Badleymouth III) but as a declaration of his divinity. It was an act of worship, and religious Jews and Christians alike were slain for not naming him as such.

To call Jesus Lord was to call Jesus YHWH, the God of the Old Testament.

This may seem like a silly first step, but it demonstrates that both Jesus and his 1st Century disciples believed him to be "fully God".

Question 2: Can God be less than God?
What things are ascribed to God? All knowing, all loving, all just, etc, etc. Can then Jesus as God be less than God? To make him less than another member of the Trinity, ontologically (in his very essence), would make him creaturely in his very essence, and thus not God.

So if Jesus is a "little God" could he have been equated with YHWH? I do not believe so, for he would not have all of the attributes of YHWH (as one of the attributes of YWHW is he has all of his attributes in fullness). Hence, calling him Lord would have been a lie.

Question 3: Can a fully God Son operate differently than a fully God Father?
Yes, a resounding yes! One of the things that probably brings this on in your friend's thought is the willing submission of the Son to the Father in Scripture. This, however, is an issue of economy...not of essence. In the divine economy of the Trinity, there is a functional subordinationism. It would be moving too far to jump from this functional distinction to breaking the unity of essense in the trinity.

Question 4: Can a fully God Jesus be less than fully God?
No, and Christian belief necessitates a fully God-fully man redeemer. To make Jesus less than "the real God" (the Father) is to undermine one's whole system of belief. If there is something (in essence) greater than Jesus, than he is not God...and by necessity one will become a Unitarian. Jesus becomes a "role-filler", instead of "God made flesh". He cannot be called "Immanuel", for God (YHWH) is not really with us in him. His promises of "I will be with until the end of the age" are less than the promises of YHWH to the prophets of Israel when he promised "I will be with you".

In the end, to ontologically subordinate is to break Jesus' divinity, and in the process turn him and the Bible into liars...and if that is all done, to denounce Christianity as a whole.

The same kind of rationale can be applied to thinking on the Holy Spirit, but since the title was asking about Jesus...I responded to that first. I hope this helps.
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Unread 01-18-2005, 02:46 PM   #5
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Simple answer...

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD.

It sounds to me like they're pretty equal if you ask me.

Now read Matthew 28:18
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'"

If anything it sounds to me like Jesus is more powerful than the rest, but that's looking alittle too far into it. But anyway, I believe that they are equal for the simple fact that the Trinity is not seperate beings, it is 3 ways in which GOD has shown Himself. How can GOD be greater than GOD?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Unread 01-18-2005, 09:12 PM   #6
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hey everyone, thanks for all the responses. assuming he's objective this material should be more than enough.

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Unread 01-19-2005, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
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hey everyone, thanks for all the responses. assuming he's objective this material should be more than enough.

miller
anytime man...anytime....
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