Sunday, August 7, 2011

The whole counsel

The Deity of Christ offers some sage and stinging advice on how we perceive Jesus. The author admonishes us to submit to the whole counsel of Scripture, not just the parts we like and/or agree with. What areas do you believe selectively?

Tradition can save us from ourselves, from the cultural static and distortion of our age. But it too has its limitations. Ultimately, if we are going to unmake our cultural christology and make a biblically faithful christology, we must submit to Scripture. As we turn to Scripture, we need to be reminded that we are required to submit to the whole counsel of God. Of course, we would prefer to pick and choose. We would prefer the loving Jesus, the merciful Jesus, the compassionate Jesus, not the Jesus of judgment, not the Jesus who curses a fig tree for not having figs when it’s not even the season (Mark 11:12–14). All one has to do is read through the
Gospel accounts to see that Jesus continually surprises his followers by challenging their most basic assumptions. We might prefer a Christ who understood the value of social hierarchies and maintained safe distances from the social undesirables—one who kept the marginalized on the margins. Instead, we find a Jesus who rebuked power and cast his lot with the poor, with those of questionable character; we find a Jesus who sat with the blind, with the lame.

Moreover, we would prefer the human Jesus, the man from Nazareth, the one we can relate to, the one who is near and dear. The God-man of dogma stretches our mind beyond that which we can conceive. But it was Paul who declared that in Christ “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9). As Spurgeon once put it, Christ is at once infant and infinite. Such are the marvels of the mystery of our faith. And it is because of the work of him—the infinite-infant, the God-man—on the cross that our trespasses are forgiven and we are raised in newness of life (Col. 2:13). Christ is the God-man, in the ancient words of the creed, “for us and for our salvation.”

(Morgan, Christopher W., and Robert A. Peterson. The Deity of Christ. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. Print. 36-37)

No comments:

Post a Comment