Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: The divinity of Christ is absolute’

Return to article »

Published: Thursday, Dec. 13 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Dennis
Harwich, MA

How can the divinity of Christ be absolute?
Have you seen him? Met him? Had a two way conversation with him? Seen a picture of him?
The entire concept of Christ is simply based on faith. The same standard for believe could given to Gandolf, Zeus, Aries, Hercules, Christopher Columbus or anyone else at anytime in history. As long as you can't prove anything you can say anything you want and appoint any attributes you care to.

AGF
Taylorsville, UT

What the author of the title (not necessarily DP) probably means is that a belief in Christ's divinity is absolute to a traditional profession of Christianity. The curious thing is that Mormons from Brigham Young to Bruce McConkie have in part and practice rejected this divinity by insisting that prayer is not appropriately directed to Jesus, thus effectively denying any equation of Jesus and Jehovah. Added to this, we routinely refer to Christ unscripturally as "our Elder Brother," which is hardly in keeping with a profession of his divinity. --AGF

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

As a Jew I can say that this article is unconvincing. First of all, in the Jewish concept, the Messiah was never supposed to be divine. God is one--and ineffable. You simply can't have a physical God in Judaism. And you definitely can't have God "split into three beings" in Judaism.

C.S. Lewis's well-known quote is unconvincing too, because it's based on the premise that everything in the Bible is inherent and infallible. We don't really know which words in it are truly Jesus's and which were put into his mouth by writers with their own platform.

Finally, the Jesus in the picture (a typical one) acconpanying this article simply does not look Semitic in any way.

I don't make these points to tell anyone what to believe or not to believe. But I hope they help non-Jews see why Christianity has had so little attraction as a religon to the overwhelming majority of us Jews.

Kenny_Merriken
Lake City, FL

There is only one God. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." Deuteronomy 6:4// There is only one Savior. "I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:11// There is only one Lord. "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" Ephesians 4:5//Jesus Christ is Savior, Lord and God. He is the Word made flesh at Christmas. John chapter 1.

MAYHEM MIKE
Salt Lake City, UT

@ AGF: Why, logically, is Jesus less divine because, as you state, "prayer is not appropriately directed to Jesus?" If we are counseled to pray to His Father (i.e., as He taught in "the Lord's Prayer," for example), rather than Him, how does that diminish his divine Sonship? His instruction that prayer be directed to his Father, and not Him, bespeaks His absolute respect for, and obedience to, the Supreme Creator whose eternal plan he effected. (". . . not my will, but thine, be done.")

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

Oops, I'm enbarrassed. The phrase I meant about the Bible was "inerrant and infallible," not "inherent and infallible. Should have proofread better!

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The fact is we simply don't know what Jesus was (other than the son of man, of course) and even what his contemporaries thought of him. The Gospel of Mark suggest that he confused everyone, even his own followers. And the other gospels, especially John, paint very different and sometimes contradictory pictures.

Despite Lewis' claims, it seems more likely that Jesus was in fact a great teacher, but was later put on a pedestal (with varying degrees of supernatural qualities) in an effort to convert as many followers as possible. There's no way the Roman empire would have substituted their gods for simply a wise Jewish rabbi.

AGF
Taylorsville, UT

In response to Mayhem:

Much depends on our definition of "divine." More depends on the relationship between "God" and man. In positing a god who is not capable of accepting prayer we create a sort of demigod, unattested in scripture except with the mortal Jesus who laid aside his divinity for a short time. In the Book of Mormon all prayer is addressed to Jesus and answered by Jesus. Likewise the dedication of the Kirtland temple, 7 years later (when absurdly claimed by many, Joseph Smith no longer accepted the fatherhood of Jesus). --AGF

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Through the ages insistence on un provable absolutes has given rise to the most destructive and un-Christ like societies.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

The 10 Commandments do not state there are no other gods - they state that we should have no other gods before God - if God is at the front, we can worship as many other gods as we want.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

The divinity of Jesus is absolute in exactly the same way that the divinity of Zeus is absolute.

The popularity of an idea, or its capacity to make you feel better about yourself, is not a measure of its validity.

coleman51
Orem, UT

I think from the above comments there is a great deal of confusion about Jesus and what role he has played. I, for one, believe the article accurately conveys the correct principle that Jehovah was and is Jesus, and is the God of the old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph Smith was very clear on that point while pointing out that He was the Son of God. It was also clear in the teachings of Paul and is shown throughout the Book of Mormon. That we pray to the Father in behalf of the Son is simply what Christ asked us to do from the scriptures. While I believe that too often referring to Christ as our Elder Brother diminishes His godship, we Latter-Day Saints do point out a correct relationship we have with Him and with His and our Father. The only way, however, to know these things is through the Holy Ghost. That becomes a very personal matter between the worshiper and God and as such cannot be verifiable to any non-believer. Nevertheless, it is a very real experience and cannot be discounted so easily by some.

AGF
Taylorsville, UT

It was the consensus of Jeremiah and the post-exilic prophets that Samaria and Jerusalem were destroyed for their "syncretism" --i.e., their acceptance of gods other than YHWH. In other words, the prophets were monotheistic while Israel was not. --AGF

Getting it Right
Sunnyvale, CA

My faith is that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, our Savior and redeemer. Some of the wise comments here coming from an imperfect and corruptible human beings are philosophies of men mingled with scriptures and their own opinion and beliefs.

Dennis
Harwich, MA

@Kenny......Quoting scripture that was written by "men" doesn't make much of an argument. These men didn't know anything more than we as a society know.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE:Free Agency,As a Jew I can say that this article is unconvincing:

"Deut, 6:4, S/B ("Hear, O Israel! The LORD(YHWH) our God(Elohim) is One(Eschad) LORD(YHWH).!"Jesus is God in the O.T.and N.T..

Isaiah 9:6, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,’Mighty God’, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Luke 2:14-15, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which’ the Lord has told us about.”

By accepting worship, Jesus shows Himself to be the Lord God Almighty. Matthew 28:9-10: And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and Worshiped him.

Luke 24:51-2 they Worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy
.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Before you can talk about the divinity of Jesus, shouldn't you first establish the divinity of the Bible?

That hasn't been proven - not by a long shot.

Otherwise, this is all just so much arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

AGF
Taylorsville, UT

Re, coleman51: "...with His and our Father." It does not escape the attention of the likes of J E Talmage that Jesus never uses the phrase "our Father" except when teaching his disciples to pray. Rather he says "my Father and your Father," reserving for himself a unique relation to the Father that we do not share. This phraseology is retained in the Book of Mormon as well, indicating (depending on one's perspective), a recognition by Nephi or Mormon, or by Joseph Smith, of the distinction made by Jesus as reported in the gospels. --AGF

TheProudDuck
Newport Beach, CA

Interesting, and heartening, to see the Church emphasizing the divinity of Christ. In my experience, an awful lot of Mormons' theological culture is either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the concept. Teaching a youth Sunday School class, I once had a bishop "correct" me after I answered a curious class member's (the bishop's son) question as to whether Christ was God. He insisted that the answer was no.

In my experience, this kind of thing flows from Mormons' perceived need to distinguish themselves from other Christians as to the nature of the Godhead -- after all, the thinking goes, if we're not radically different, what was the point of a great dramatic Restoration of the primitive gospel? And yet in doing this, and striving so hard to distinguish ourselves from some of the potentially problematic details of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, we tend to steamroll clear past the creeds' underlying message: the divinity of Christ -- and throw that out with the "one Being" bathwater.

Again, glad we're fixing that. Hope it sinks in.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

@BLUE,

It depends on if it is a straight pin or a push pin.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments