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Archive for the ‘Questions about Jesus/Trinity’ Category

From MJ:
 
Dear Liberal Preacher,
 
Can you explain the Holy Trinity? If God and Jesus are the same was Jesus talking to himself from the cross when he said “forgive them father for they know not what they do”?
 
MJ
 
Dear MJ,
 
No, I can’t explain the Trinity.  That graph above helps me about as much as a sore throat helps me.
 
Three in one.  Monotheism but trinity too.  Sounds like talking out of both sides of your mouth.
 
Well, I guess with God you are trying to explain the unexplainable.  We have to make attempts at God-talk, at theology.  My problem is with religious folk who think they’ve given the final answer.  It’s not like we are on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
 
Here’s a question I have.  Let’s suppose all this conservative theology is correct.  Here’s my question:  Why God, why make “it”, why make theology, so complicated?  Life is hard enough without God making theology so darn confusing.  Why not spell it  out.  If you are going to provide us with Scripture, how about some Scripture that is clear?  Blaming theological and biblical confusion on the limited brains and understanding of humans – that little manuever is not going to work.
 
MJ, I don’t know if Jesus on the cross talking to God was Jesus talking to himself or not.  I talk to myself all the time, but then again I’m not God. 
 
Thanks for your question.  I like your questions more than the Christians’ answers.
 
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From MJ:
 
 
Dear Liberal Preacher,
 
I believe Jesus was a good man and I follow his teachings, but I don’t know or care if he was the son of God.   Again I do follow his teachings because they are the right thing to do; so am I condemned to hell?
 
MJ
 
 
Dear MJ,
 
Like you, I too find much about Jesus that is appealing.  (For the record, there are a few texts in the gospels which reveal a Jesus who either was having a bad day or a Jesus we should not imitate.  Yeah, we’ve got to be honest about those texts too.)
 
And like you, I’m sure I don’t have Jesus’ personhood, Christology, etc. all figured out.  I’m also sure the people who think they are sure shouldn’t be so sure.
 
So no, you aren’t going to hell.  Hell doesn’t exist.
 
As for Jesus being the son of God (or Son of God), well, we really can’t even be 100% sure of what “Son of God” means.   I will not get into all the scholarship on this matter.  What I will do is encourage you to read Bart Ehrman’s Lost Christianities and you will discover just how diverse early Christianity was, including diversity on who Jesus was.  The diversity will astound you.
 
Before closing, I also want to mention a guy by the name of Arius (AD 256 – 336).  The first ecumenical council of the church, the First Council of Nicaea, excommunicated the fellah because they didn’t like his understanding of Jesus.   That’s what the church does with folk who don’t sign  on the dotted line; they excommunicate them.  And, the church sends them to hell.
 
I’m a Baptist.  We are not creedal.  (Some Baptists have not figured this out yet.)  I will not sign on any dotted line, including that of The First Council of Nicea or any other church council.
 
Or put another way, it’s good to have you as my Jesus-sister.
 

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