06 March 2005

Credit Card Theology

A friend recently commented about how "real" the Incarnation and Crucifixion could have been.

"If Jesus was truly God and truly Man, then wasn't it like a kid leaving home, but taking Daddy's credit card?" he asked.

To me, the phrase, "truly God and truly Man" means that, in the Incarnation, God became an ordinary human being, just like the rest of us. No Divine Credit Card included. Jesus would have been able to buy his way out of the Crucifixion, if he had that. It was all as real for him as it is for you and me.

All of which strikes me as capturing a major difference between Islam on one hand, and Judaism and Christianity on the other. In Islam, all the Prophets got the Credit Card, in order to maintain the Dignity of God. In Judaism and Christianity, all the Prophets got was a message to deliver, and the barest of instructions. They did what was asked of them, often at great cost to themselves, to show their Devotion to God.

2 comments:

jiveturkey said...

I pose the arguement that Jesus couldn't sin, even if he wanted to...That is I don't beleive he was an ordinary man. Although he did make the choice to have things that way.

If Jesus was God and is God and sinning is disobeying the will of God. Jesus would have a hard time disobeying his own will.

Scooper said...

And yet, Jesus was God cut off from God. At least, he didn't appear to experience a constant, direct connection. Otherwise, why did he need to go off to pray? Why did he cry from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

The "cut off" state, the state of Free Will, makes it possible to Sin. So, I think Jesus knew the possibility of Sin. How else could he have been "tempted" by the Devil after his Baptism by John? When he chose not to give in to temptation, it was a real choice. It wasn't done on autopilot.

When the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, the Word didn't go halfway. The Word went all the way, and then some.