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One of the oldest arguements: Is Jesus God?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by oracle, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. EnhancedSpirit

    EnhancedSpirit High Priestess

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    Jesus did not come to earth as a target of worship. He came as a teacher, and prove to us that a 'human' can in fact give unconditional love and forgiveness no matter how bad it gets. Jesus said that we are just like him, and can also do all these miracles. Don't put Jesus on a pedestal, put him in your heart.
     
  2. oracle

    oracle Active Member

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    This here is to show what I mean by things being ultimately subjective or ultimately everything is a conscious experience. If you alter the brain, then reality or the interpretation of it changes. Does it mean that objective reality changes? No. But because it can be altered by altering the brain, our experience of reality is ultimately subjective, a conscious experience, an experience that the mind produces like a projection screen:
    “Some of the most striking indications of the inescapable unity of conscious experience come from the examination of certain pathological phenomina. Many neurophysical disorders demonstrate that the conscoiusness can bend or shrink and, at times, even split, but it does not tolerate breaks of coherence. For example, although a stroke in the right hemishpere leaves many people with their left sides paralyzed and affected with complete sensory loss, a number of them deny their paraysis, a phenomenon called anosognia. If confronted with the evidence that their left arms and legs do not move, some of these people may even deny that these limbs belong to them, and they may treat them like extraneous objects. Some people with massive bilateral occipital damage cannot see anything, yet they do not recognize that they are blind (Anton's syndrome). People with split-brains provide another demonstration that consciousness abhors holes or discontinuities. After the surgery, the visual field of each hemisphere is split in tow at the middle. However, people with split brains typically do not report any halving of their vision or any sharp boundery between vision and blindness on the midline. In fact, if the left hemisphere is shown only the right half of a face, the person reports seeing an entire face. People with hemineglect, a complex neuropsychological syndrone often seen when there are lesions of the right perietal lobe, are aware of only the left side of things, sometimes even the entire left hald of the world. For example, one man with this syndrome would only dress his right side; shave the right side of his face; read the right side of words, such as cream for ice cream and ball for football; ignore any visual or tactile stimuli presented to the left side; and draw only the right side of things. With all this, he would deny that anything was wrong with him. Twenty-four hours before, his consciousness had suffered a terrible blow in the form of a stroke that had created a gaping hole in his right parietal brain and thereby in his ability to percieve the left side of things. Yet, his consciousness rapidly closed around this hole and sealed it off.” -A Universe of Consciousness By Gerald M. Edelman and Guilio Tononi.

    This is one part of the arguement, however it has a different agenda behind it, which is to confirm how reality becomes subjective, or that nothing can exist if there is nothing to interpret it. Does it still exist? Yes. However subjectivey and objectivity become entirely independant at some point, yet one cannot exist without the other. You cannot have a conscious mind without matter, and matter cannot exist without a consiousness being aware of it [this statement is very abstract]. Objective reality is never changing, it is always there, it is all unified. However our subjective reality becomes an ultimate reality for an individual, and it is always changing because the interpretation is changing. It is always personal. A person's interpretation of reality does not change what is objectively there, however their subjective reality becomes their ultimate reality in a personal sense. This is the other part of my argument.

    While a Christian may see the cross as a symbol of salvation, a Jew may see it as a symbol of anti-semitism. Does the cross objectively exist? Yes. This is not what I am trying to argue. Their subjective reality of the cross are different, and it is becomes their ultimate reality in a personal sense.

    Because each of our conscious mind's are limited, not capable of grasping everything in existence, all of our realities become different in this sense. Imagine if that Christian was able to understand this Jew. Would the bad relationship between the Catholic church and the Jews have existed? What is objectively there is never changing. Yet all our subjective realities are extracted from this objective reality that is never changing. They are all personal and different, yet people do not understand that we are all unified in a deeper sense.

    It's something that I am beginning to understand, and it is very difficult for me to explain. I don't like telling someone that their beliefs aren't true. I don't like telling someone that their religion is wrong and mine is the right one. My interpretation of Truth is my own interpretation. Why should I force it upon another person? And why should another person do the same with me? Their experiences are different than mine. It's not right to put down a person's belief that Jesus is God, and it's not right to put down a person's belief that Jesus is not God. What would happen if both sides understood each other instead of argue with each other that their personal belief is the right one? We all percieve truth differently.
     
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  3. angellous_evangellous

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    You do not have a significant arugment to sustain that: My interpretation of Truth is my own interpretation by which we can conclude with you Why should I force it upon another person? And why should another person do the same with me?

    We have already agreed that we cannot force someone else to believe something, and you have not yet addressed my suggestion that you are being selective and impractical.

    You are allowing your theory to be applied only to religion, which is selective (yet are giving examples concerning the brain, which would affect every area of life).

    You are impractical because we force our "perceptions" on other people all the time, but we cannot force them to believe what is true. For example, a person can think that other people are pink goblins and try to kill other people. We can force them not to kill other people, we can tell them the truth, and try to convince them that they are wrong, but we cannot force them to believe something that they refuse, which is fine. We see the same principles in medical science and every form of law.

    The problem with your "subjectivity" theory is that humans perceive reality in about the same way unless there is a chemical imbalance in the sensories or in the brain. Since we can sense things about the same way, our experience is not as subjective as you suppose, we sense it together and it becomes objective.

    Unless you can come up with a way to address these issues, I see no point in continuing conversation here and will bow out. Thanks for everything.
     
  4. oracle

    oracle Active Member

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    Did I say that it only applies to religion? I just gave religion as an example. This is a religious debate forum. Please don't put words in my mouth that I didn't say and don't interpolate on what I am trying to discuss.

    This is what I basically what I already stated previously.

    That is not what I am arguing. I already understand this, I study a lot of psychology. I don't know, maybe this is my fault, maybe I'm not using the right terms, but you keep pointing out what is already obvious.

    What you don't understand is that there are values placed on people, objects, persons, and things, through each memory and everything we experience. I am not arguing from a physiological point in regards to perception. It's obvious that the christian and the Jew sees the same cross. It's their [subjective] values that are placed on something [that objectively exists] that are different, and it makes the cross different to them on a personal level. The Christians sees it as a symbol of salvation, while the Jew sees it as a symbol of anti-semitism, because of their values placed due to memory and experiences. They both see the same cross, but their values make it different. Why do you keep bringing this up? One part of my arguement is to show how our experiences are entirely subjective. Everything you experience is a replication of an outer, objective reality in which the mind creates like a projection screen. Because it can change do to damage, it goes to show how our experiences are entirely subjective. The other other arguement is to show how our values are different, yet everything is extracted from an objective reality that never changes and is always the same.

    A child who has never seen the coils on a hot red stove glow red, may arouse curiousity to the point that the child wants to touch it.
    The child has no experience with being burnt, and no experience with the stove, so the child touches it, gets burned, and now the child's value changed do to that experience.
    A child and an adult both see a burning hot stove. But compared to the child, the adult's value placed on the stove is different because he/she already has enough experiences to interpret the stove as being harmful. the child does not.

    ON a physiological aspect, the brain in both the child and the adult projects the same thing, they both see a stove. However this is a subjective/conscious experience, a replication or extraction of an objective reality. I am not arguing that they see a different stove.

    A Christian sees the cross as a symbol of salvation, because he/she grew up in the church and it is what they learn and perhaps desire to believe. This person loves the cross and what it stands for. A Jew sees the cross as a symbol of anti-semitism, because he/she grew up being persecuted by the Christian church, because "they killed their God" [this is something that did happen early in christian history]. This person hates the cross and what it stands for. Our values are what's real to us on personal levels. This is not due to a difference of chemicals in the brain.

    Another example is scripture in the bible. We all see the same words, but we all interpret the message differently. This is not because a difference of chemicals in the brain.

    I've just never felt right in trying to argue my interpretation of the bible. It actually makes me feel low about myself.
     
  5. angellous_evangellous

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    I've just never felt right in trying to argue my interpretation of the bible. It actually makes me feel low about myself.

    Oracle,

    I am sorry to hear this. Perhaps a book or some training in biblical interpretation and logic can give you some confidence. We were given the Bible for the edification (building up) of the church and education of the world in the nature of God. Its purpose is to give us strength, build our character, and shape us into better people by teaching us to be submissive to God and to love other people.

    We have agreed that it is impossible to force belief onto another person. However, since we experience reality in such a similar fashion, we can come to the Bible as a community and attempt to approach the text rationally and responsibly. When one or several of us approach the text with incorrect presuppositions (eg, that God is a purple octopus or Jesus is a red balloon) and another attempts to correct the misunderstanding, it is not forcing one to believe something else, but rather attempting to guide them to right understanding if we can prove by reason that their presupposition is false. False presuppositions lead to false conclusions.

    There is no reason to feel low about yourself. No one can master the interpretation of Scripture. We all sit under it, none of us are above it. We can struggle with its message or we can reject it. That is why the cross means different things to Jews and Christians, not because of our subjective experience but because of our interpretation of Scripture, which can be objectively because we interpret information similarly.

    The Jews do not believe that the cross is God's plan of salvation, so it is an object of scorn. The message of salvation is rejected, plain and simple. Christians accept the message of salvation and the cross is the object that sybolizes Christ's gift to humanity. This observation is not because of subjective interpretation of subjective truth, but rather a conclusion that the message is true or untrue in and of itself (we can conclude together that the message is true just as we can conclude that a stop sign is on a corner- we all have eyes, brains, etc).

    We all observe the objective Scriptures similarly and we can come up with similar conclusions: we accept it or reject it. The message of salvation and reality that Jesus is God does not change - as we agree that reality does not change due to misconceptions.
     
  6. oracle

    oracle Active Member

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    I was a Chrisitian for 18 years, I am well aware of mainstream interpretations of the bible. The reason why I would feel low about myself, is because a person sees something in their own individual way, from their own perspective. Our perceptions are as unique as our fingerprints. If I try to argue or force an opinion or belief, it really doesn't accomplish anything, and sometimes pride or the ego is aroused in the process. In between we seem to forget about human lives and place our dogmas above human life. The "I'm right and your wrong" sort of thing. This isn't spiritually satisfying for me. There is a reason why someone who is Jewish does not believe in the cross as a means of salvation [and it seems reasonable in their case]. Instead of arguing with them, it is better to understand, because argueing or forcing an opinion is what leads to wars and discension. There was a point I was trying to get at, but it seemed like I expressed it in a more complicated manner than what was necassary. Religion sometimes divides people, instead of uniting people. It can be discriminative and serve as means of prejudice. Mankind can argue over who is right and who is wrong until the end of this world, but argueing can sometimes accomplish nothing. Understanding is different. God "speaks" to us all in different ways. There are 500+ Christian denominations that percieve the bible in their own ways.
    Is God's love conditional? Or is it unconditional? What is love? I don't feel or see love when I am arguing my beliefs or opinions.
    I really don't want to affiliate myself with any religion, I just have my own perspective on life and truth and reality. I take my own path for truth, because truth often seems from my own perspective, distorted by others. I just feel bad because I have forced MY opinion or belief on others before, and totally ignored their human worth and dignity. If we are supposed to externalize love, then such a thing is pointless. Humility is not "I'm right your wrong", and it's not alientating other people because you think that they are wrong. It's to be the servent, not make others serve you.

    I've been on a spiritual and religious roller coaster. I'm not as spiritual and religious like I was before, I've succumbed to my own ego. When I was Christain, I knew that there is a difference between preaching about love, and showing what love is, in humility and respect and in turning the other cheek. Showing what love is, is being a light into the world. Externalizing it, is what makes a difference in peoples lives, people are drawn to you when you show them. And some, take advantage of this and persecute you. But even then, that is a chance to externalize love, when you endure suffering. And when some people see this, it makes a difference in their lives, it makes a difference when you show love back to those who persecute you. When you show and externalize love, you make it a reality, and it reaches far beyond a testimony of words. I knew and was able to see why sin is all the same in God's eyes. Because ALL sin is selfish: it alienates, it discriminates, it divides. Whether it is a lie, theft, or it is a murder, the motive is still the same. I am not this person anymore, but I try to find my way back.

    I appreciate your sympathy or effort to help AE, in regards to what I was saying about feeling low about myself.

    "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the creative light of
    altruism or the darkness of selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's
    persistent and most urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"
    -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
     
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  7. andddd

    andddd Member

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    but its just not getting to me. Someone with a human form and charac. is a god? Ahh
    anyways..thats what u guys beleive..i know..

    but hey... how come u guys make statues of jesus in different ways all around the world? even in pictures..like in Japan u would see jesus looking like a japanese person..or in Canada..ud find him looking english..etc... which is his true form?
     
  8. Ziroc

    Ziroc Member

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    After all the reading, I have not yet FOUND anyone answering almikhfar's question. Do you ignore his questions because you don't have the time to answer it, or... is it because you CAN'T answer it because you know that it makes sense but your mind just don't want to accept the logic? Here are the questions and some additional ones(from me):

    1.Why would Jesus do this: when he was dying on the cross, he says, father why have you forsaken me? Jesus is God, why call for Fathers help while Jesus is a God himself?
    2. When he was in the desert doing his spiritual thing, satan comes to him and offers things like kingdoms, food, water, gold, etc. Why would satan dare to tempt God, because satan knows that God cannot be tempted. Satan is God's creation and for that, Satan knows that God cannot be tempted.

    I also wanted to add a few additional questions:

    3. From Matthew 4:5 it is said that satan carried Jesus to a holy place. Is it logic God to be carried by satan? How can satan be so brave to do that to A GOD?
    4. In the Bible, there are many places you can find that states that Jesus is not God or even the son of God. Such as, Matthew 26:2 and Matthew 16:27. Why do you still claim Jesus is God?
    5. If Jesus is God, why is he born from a human? Jesus is human because he was born from a human being. It is a very strange fact that human gives birth to God. Can our mind accept that God was born from a human being?
     
  9. Ziroc

    Ziroc Member

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    No one can answer?
     
  10. angellous_evangellous

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    I have time to answer this question. Jesus was quoting a psalm that is a prophetic meditation on His sufferings, resurrection, and glorification. It is Psalm 22, available at http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=23&chapter=22&version=31

    As for #2, God made himself approachable through Jesus Christ. In Christian and Hebrew theology, Satan dared to rebel against God in heaven and was cast out. It is not unlikely that one who would dare to rebel against God in all of His unapproachable Glory would dare to test Him as a human. Satan's knowledge of God is irrelevant to him tempting God - he knew that God was holy before he rebelled in the first place.

    As for #3, most interpreters consider the tempting of Satan here as a vision. The Christian book of Hebrews says that Jesus was tempted just like a regular person, only He was not prone to sin. That is, because of his nature as God, Jesus could not sin against his will or by accident as humans can. However, he could be tempted in his mind like us. Furthermore, I think that the language allows for "carry" to be "take" like holding someone's hand and taking them across the street. However, the vision interpretation is better.

    As for #4, Son of Man is a prophetic title for Messiah, and Jesus defines the role of Messiah as the Son of God. The Son of Man was the title for Daniel, an OT prophet. In apocalyptic literature of Jesus's day, the Son of Man title took on divine qualities in the book of Enoch, who came down from heaven as the son of God and later became the apocalyptic judge. Thus, Son of Man was a prophetic claim and was not exclusive of divine claims, but rather enforced them. Furthermore, it may have been indirect enough to keep Jesus from being killed for blasphemy earlier in his career.

    Finally, for #5, Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. He could not have been human had he not been born of a woman. He is divine by the work and power of God.
     
  11. Ziroc

    Ziroc Member

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    Your answer seems so forced. It seems too unlogical, too complicated. Why would you believe in a religion with too many things to get questioned?
     
  12. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Like Angellous_Evangellous said, this is a quotation of a prophetic Psalm.

    Remember this is the same Satan that rebelled and tried to overthrow God, and that Jesus is also fully human and fully God in one person. His divinity cannot be tempted, but his humanity can, because He assumed humanity with all its desires and passions, and the Adversary would attack at any point to undermine the work of Christ.

    I come from a different, older school interpretation than AE here. We believe it quite literal. However, Christ has become fully human and has submitted to all the tests and temptations of this life. If God submits to it, then it is certainly logical that it can happen. Logic is ruled entirely by its premises, and so the premises here make it logical: 1). God has become man and placed Himself into all the tribulations humanity faces. 2). Satan is the great enemy of humanity and seeks to destroy them and rebel against God with every means at his disposal. Conclusion: Satan can and will use his power to tempt God if it were ever made possible. It is logically consistent. You just do not accept the premises.

    As for Satan's courage, he was brave enough to rebel against an omnipotent deity in the first place. I'd say he has a good measure of courage there. The objection about Stan's bravery must ignore that detail to carry weight.

    You're more than welcome to provide a passage where Jesus says "I am not the Son of God," but I don't think you'll find it.

    The title "Son of Man" serves two purposes. First it was given to the prophets before Christ and had a strong messianic air. All this is just as AE described. It appears in both Daniel and the Book of Enoch. Secondly, Jesus was fully human. The title signifies that. He wasn't half human or anything like that, but fully human. Christian belief, though, also asserts that He is fully God as well. There is no contradiction between "Son of Man" and "Son of God," so these passages do not provide any pressure for us to change our beliefs.

    To accomplish the salavation of humanity by restoring the divine image within us and defeating the power of death, which is something only He could do. I would explain that more, but I doubt it would be beneficial.

    Actually, your answer seems forced. You said AE's response was illogical, but you have offered no explanation. In fact, I don't think you understand logic here, because "too complicated" is not synonomous with "unlogical." Deductive logic is dominated by its presuppositions, and the most complicated argument may be sound while the simplest illogical. Inductive logic is not so ruled by presuppositions, but it still may be either complicated or simple.

    Lastly, it is respectful to point out the weaknesses in a person's argument. It's awfully easy to say it's "forced" or to say it's "unlogical," but it takes real work to show the weaknesses, and that work is a sign of respect. The absence of it of disrespect. I hope you show respect to me in your response. I would assume you believe God teaches you to respect other people as well.
     
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  13. angellous_evangellous

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    Unfortunately, you are not indicating precisely what is forced in my answer. If you are dismissing all of it as forced, I must assume that you did not want any answer in the first place.
     
  14. Ziroc

    Ziroc Member

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    Prophetic meditation? So you do admit Jesus is a prophet.

    The rebellion of satan against God in heaven is not the the same as satan trying to tempt God. And you cannot say that: If satan rebelled against God then it is unlikely for satan to test God. God being tested? Man! That is just not right! Satan would never try to tempt God cause satan knows that it is invain. But rebelling is something that satan can do. Jesus is not God, he is a prophet, a normal human that could be tempted by satan.

    What do you mean by vision interpretation? What does it have to do with satan carrying Jesus to a holy place?

    According to Matthew 16:27, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."

    So the son of man is Jesus, cause it says ...shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels. Ok, I see a contradiction there: son of man. And christians claim that Jesus is the son of God. So Matthew 16:27 should've said "the son of God", not the son of man. Or which one is true? Both?

    Wow, that is strange, God is born. A human gave birth to a God. And then God died. What kind of God is he?
     
  15. angellous_evangellous

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    Yes, Christians confess that Jesus is a prophet, but not in the same way that Muslims do. As Messiah, he had a prophetic role. However, I did not claim that Jesus was a prophet. I said that Psalm 22 is a prophetic text concerning Jesus. He was claiming that the text referred to his role as Messiah - that he was going to die and rise again.

    If Satan rebelled against God to his face, we must assume that there is no limit to his vanity.

    By interpreting the temptation as a vision I mean that some interpreters think that Jesus was taken in his mind to the mountain and tempted by Satan.

    You got it: Son of Man and Son of God at the same time. It is a bit hard to understand, and it goes against Islamic thinking. We don't follow Islamic thinking. God is able to work the miracle of the Incarnation and be fully God and fully man at the same time: Son of Man, and Son of God.

    You left out a few steps here: "Wow, that is strange, God is born. A human gave birth to a God. And then God died. What kind of God is he?" Christians confess that Jesus was always God, was incarnated, born of a woman, crucified, resurrected, and returned to glory.
     
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  16. betweenangelsandinsects

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    The christian religion for ages and ages have tried to explain what no one could understand. They did this metaphorically, everyone knows no one was around at the beging of time so how would anyone know what God made first. They don't it is just a way of trying to help people understand it. I agree with ANGELLOUS EVANGELLOUS -------You got it: Son of Man and Son of God at the same time. It is a bit hard to understand, and it goes against Islamic thinking. We don't follow Islamic thinking. God is able to work the miracle of the Incarnation and be fully God and fully man at the same time: Son of Man, and Son of God.------

    In the Christian faith we have something we call faith. We don't know what is true and we can only beleive what we want to. So in our faith we beleive that Jesus is and was God and human. How would anyone know that Jesus was God or not. No matter what way you argue it he was and is God you could even use the gnostic gospels if you wish but in the Christian faith he is God. Hence the name Christian, we worship Jesus Christ. In other religions such as Judaism they beleive he was only prophet if that. Other religions like Islam only metion Mary in their holy book instead of revering Jesus as prophet or God. So in short in the Christian religion we beleive Jesus is God.

    Betweenagelsandinsects
     
  17. Ziroc

    Ziroc Member

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    Why would he do such a thing like that? And like I said to Angellous_Evangellous as well, then you admit Jesus is a prophet? Cause why would he do a prophetic psalm if Jesus was a God.

    So when Jesus was human, he was fully human, thus satan can tempt Jesus? But you said that Jesus was also fully God. God cannot be tempted. If Jesus has humanity, than Jesus is not God anymore, cause God do not have such humanity.

    So you're tempting me to use my intelligence of Discrete Mathemetics and I am more than willing to serve your wish. Here's what premises that we can make from your statements:

    p: God has become man
    q: God placed Himself into all the humanity faces
    r: Satan is the great enemy of humanity
    s: Satan seeks to tempt human
    t: Satan seeks to rebel against God

    Here,you made an argument:

    p AND q
    r -> (s AND t)
    ----------------
    so, r -> t

    Where on earth did you learn that? I tell you, there are no such logic arguments such as that.

    Not a direct statement like that, but I can sure find some verses that indicates that Jesus is not God, like in John 5:30:

    "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

    This clearly tells us that Jesus claim himself not to be God. But the messenger of God. It also tells us that Jesus cannot do anything of his own will but the will of the Father. So is it logic that a God cannot do things He will? And can you accept that a God is sent to be a messenger?

    That is why I seperate my statement with commas :).
     
  18. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    He's quoting one, not composing one.

    No, Jesus was one person, who had humanity as part of the equation. Humanity can be tempted. His divinity could not be tempted.

    If you want to outline my argument, you could at least not mix answers to different questions. I'll do it for you, though.

    Major premise: Jesus became man and subjected Himself to that which we are subject to.
    Minor premise: Satan, the enemy of men, has dominion and control over humanity.
    Conclusion: Jesus subjected Himself to Satan.

    I can quote isolated Scriptures as well: "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." and again "I and the Father are one." (John 14.9, 10.30). In the latter passage, He said this and it elicted a charge of blasphemy that He was claiming to be God. He did not deny it.


    Actually in your post, an English construction, words are frequently further defined by constructs like that. If you wanted to demonstrate two completely separate ideas, then you should not use a comma but a conjunction like and.
     
  19. angellous_evangellous

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    Quoting No*s

    "Major premise: Jesus became man and subjected Himself to that which we are subject to.
    Minor premise: Satan, the enemy of men, has dominion and control over humanity.
    Conclusion: Jesus subjected Himself to Satan."

    Jeez, this is hard to swallow, No*s. Excellent point, I have never thought of it that way. What an incredilble paradox.
     
  20. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Yes it is, but if the Ma.P. and Mi.P. are granted, it is logical. However, it is also fantastic. It's not outside the power of God, though, to whom all things are possible :).
     
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