There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On the Nature of Jesus

Every explanation of Jesus that is possible has been proposed. To borrow from C S Lewis (Mere Christianity):

the first dimension is a line. the 2nd dimension is made out of lines, and makes a square, which is more than a line. the 3rd dimension is made out of squares..., but is a cube... and so on with the 4th dimension, which is made out of cubes, but we can't really imagine it. you just kinda get told it follows the same pattern, and accept it because it's logical to. To understand how Jesus is God is to try to see the fourth dimension. To begin the analogy the same way, imagine a spider, ant, or a goldfish. It exists, it has being & is one being but has no personality. It isn't a person. A human is a human being and is a human person. One person per being, and only one being per person, that's what we're used to, that's 3D for us. Now it gets complicated & really there is no good terminology for beyond one person & one being together. God is three persons in one being. If you think of the analogy of how squares make a cube, it helps a little, but not very much. There is only one God, but God has/is made of three separate "persons" (in quotes because that's the closest word we have to describe it... it's like trying to describe a cube by saying its sides are squares). The Father is a divine person. the Holy Spirit is a divine person. Jesus is a divine person as much as the other two are. Jesus didn't at any point stop being a divine person. To be safe & use Bible language, Jesus "emptied himself, taking the form of a (human)". He was a human being in every way, but He was not a "human person", he remained a divine "person".

On our level, it would be like giving up your personality, becoming a ant to save the ants from ant traps and Raid and to show the ants how to get into the fridge.

Another interesting, picky, terminology thing is the whole create-beget question. God is the creator of the universe. But the universe is not of the same substance of God: it is not one with God, like you are not a scarf you knit. I can tell the scarf was made by you, but the scarf is not you. Creation is then used mainly to talk about the coming of existence of things that are not of the same type, as yourself... i can't think of a better word, but begetting is the coming of existence of things that are like yourself. People don't create children, they beget children... which isn't very commonly used now that we say people "have" children, when "have" is also a term of ownership rather than the coming of existence of someone. But in the Creed of Nicea (look it up, not just Catholics accept it) Jesus is said to be "begotten, not made, one in being with the Father."... Jesus himself said "The Father and I are one" and showed his power as God by forgiving sins (which freaked out the religious leaders of the day to no end). The Father beget the Son... the Son is like the Father... only more one than a human father and son, due to the ability for more than one "person" to be in one "being." Jesus isn't a human who God went into... Jesus wasn't just pretending to be human... He was unexplanably both, and needs to be in order for His sacrifice on the cross to work in the Pandorica (just that a human takes the consequences for a human mistake)-Tardis (only God can possibly make the sacrifice be for everyone's sins) sense.

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