Originally posted by hawkiye
Speaking of translations it is better translated as "unique" ... Just like there is only one of you? Do you have children or brothers and sisters if
so is the oldest unique? Is there only one of him/her?
This analogy brings out a very important point, but you aren't really attending to it.
The point is that there are different kinds of uniqueness.
Barak Obama is unique as a person, just as we all are, but he is not unique as a President (because there are many Presidents in the world), but he
unique as "current President of the United States".
I have a younger brother, so I am unique as a person, but I am not unique as a son
to my father.
The whole point of the phrase MONOGENES UIOS is that Christ was not just unique as a person, but as a Son
to the Father.
So in what sense can the rest of us be sons?
There is a difference, which you are studiously ignoring, between the natural
Son and the adopted
I will go through the Galatians passage again, slowly.
Galatians ch4 v 6; "When the time had come, God sent forth his Son...to redeem those who were under the Law"
SENT FORTH- This is the imagery of "Sending down to rescue" which I mentioned before.
The object of the exercise is that, as part of the mechanism of redemption, "we might receive ADOPTION as sons"- v5
The first Son was "born" into the family- we are "adopted".
As part of the adoption process, we receive the Holy Spirit, which is also described as "the Spirit of his Son". -v6
We become sons by being taken under the umbrella, so to speak, of the original Son.
I don't know what the law is nowadays, but when I was a child, children did not need separate passports. If they were acompanying their parents, they
simply travelled under their parents' passports. That is the analogy of the Christian teaching. Christ, the Son, is the one who has his own passport
into heaven. The rest of us are entering under the Son's passport. "Halt! Who goes there?" "Jesus Christ" "OK, pass friend".
All the rest of the NT language about being sons and being re-born etc. needs to be understood in the light of this distinction.
How could anyone be qualified to be the judge of humanity if he had not already experienced everything humanity does and will
Yes, Christian theology has got that point covered.
It is expressed in the New Testament as one of the reasons for the Incarnation, the act of becoming
part of humanity.
Thus Philippians ch2 (vv6-7) outlines how Christ was "in the form of God" (EN MORPHE THEOU), but "emptied himself", in order to become
taking on the "form of a servant" (MORPHEN DOULOU); that is, taking on humanity.
Similarly in Hebrews; The writer describes how the Son was the one "through whom" God created the world- ch1 v1.
Nevertheless, he was made human- "for a little while was made lower than the angels"- ch2 v9.
Why? Because the route to helping humanity lay through joining them;
"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the
power of death"- ch2 v14
One of the side-effects of this experience is that it puts him in a position to sympathise with human experience;
"For because he has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted"- ch2 v18
"For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without
sin"- ch4 v15
All this deals with the point you raised, but it does not deal with it by saying, as you were suggesting, that he started at our level and rose.
The clear teaching in the New Testament is that he started at the higher level, came down to "collect us", as it were, and then took us back with him.
Providing we were willing to accept the ride instead of trying to do it on our own.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a
lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Yes, but this coresponds to the same distinction I was making earlier.
The only kind of "begetting" that is available to us, as this verse indicates, is through, by means of
the power of the resurection of Christ
from the dead. The original "begetting" of the original "Son" was obviously not dependent on this. So there is implicit here the same distinction
between the Son "belonging to the family" and the "adopted" sons.
Paul means exactly the same thing in the quotation from Romans ch8 about "first-born of many brethren". I've drawn your attention to what Paul said in
Galatians, and he doesn't actually change his mind between the writing of Galatians and the writing of Romans.
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a
prophet unto the nations.
So Jeremiah was with God also before he came to earth oops I thought Jesus was the only one?
There is nothing here about Jeremiah existing before he was conceived.
This is about the timelessness of God's knowledge, which follows from the timelessness of God.
Hence also the timelessness of God's plans for Jeremiah.
John 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
So how could have this man sinned before he was born? Clearly the Disciples thought it possible and that he existed before he was born into the flesh?
And Jesus did not correct them and say no man existed before he was born except me.
Yes, I will concede that all humans have an existence before they are born.
It is the condition known to medical science as "being in the womb".
That is what the disciples are talking about.
There is nothing here about the man existing before he was conceived.
old teatament god who is angry and vengeful is quite different from the new testament loving god
This is a common misunderstanding based on a very superficial knowledge of the Bible.
In the first place, Jesus and everybody else in the New Testament regarded them as the same God.
They all understood what God was doing in their own time as the continuation and completion of what he had been doing with Israel.
If you think that the "loving God" is absent from the Old Testament, go to a concordance and look up words like "mercy" and "lovingkindness".
And, on the other hand, the wrathful judgement of God is present in the New Testament as well. Apart from the scenes at the end of Revalation, one of
the elements in Paul's teaching is that Jesus is one who delivers us "from the wrath to come"- 1 Thessalonians ch1 v10
Those two aspects of God are not contradictory at all, but necessarily belong together- but that's a massive subject in itself.
I do understand because I once believed similarly. I know you don't believe it now however the day will come when you will question those
beliefs and then a whole new horizon will open up to you.
There is unconscious humour in that remark.
Question beliefs? "Been there, done that". Yes, I've been through the adolescent phase of giving up Christian beliefs. Forty years ago almost to the
day (and I've got the detailed diaries to prove it) my college room-mate and I were up to four o'clock in the morning arguing about the relative
merits of my atheism and his agnosticism. When I returned to Christianity,I did it with my eyes open.
So your patronising comments can be retorted back at you. I used to believe, like you, that traditional Christianity was nonsense. But the day may
come when something gets past those blinkers, and then a whole new horizon will open up to you.
edit on 19-11-2010 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)