Thom Stark Debates the Divinity of Jesus
If you’ve ever wanted to read a very good argument that Nicea and Chalcedon were wrong, that Jesus is not divine (at least, in the usual sense that the majority of Christians would understand that term) and that the Scriptures which seem to teach that he was/is divine have been misinterpreted, don’t look to ME to provide it, because I actually think that Nicea and Chalcedon were basically on track–although if the Fathers not lived within the framework of Hellenistic metaphysics, they would probably have phrased things differently at points. I don’t know whether the Council Fathers at Nicea or Chalcedon would judge me orthodox or not, but I basically affirm all the affirmations of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed–with a few mental footnotes. 🙂 (Now, as a Baptist, I generally don’t like creeds AS creeds–that is, I don’t ascribe to human confessions of faith the same kind of authority that creedalist Christians do–but I do think that the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed are fairly good “rough summaries” of what all this Christian stuff is about–with those mental footnotes.)
But if you WERE looking for a very good argument for what appears to me to be a contemporary form of Arianism, then my friend Thom Stark has provided it in 10 parts over on his blog, ThomStark.net, in a series he calls, “Oh My God-Man!” I think Thom can be answered, but my current writing efforts are elsewhere–and he cannot be answered casually. It will take close reading of all 10 of his posts and careful answers, point by point. Thom is smart, reads widely, and has put quite a bit of work into this and it deserves equally careful response–which I cannot give at this time. (Even if I could, I don’t really WANT that kind of argument on that subject just now.) Also, just because I believe Thom’s overall conclusions are mistaken, doesn’t mean he’s wrong at all points. He’s not. Some of his sections are spot-on, such as the fact that the title, “Son of God,” does not, by itself, mean that Jesus is the 2nd Person of the Trinity! It was used, both in Jewish and Greco-Roman culture for kings and others as a way of ascribing majesty, honor, and power to the monarch. So, don’t attempt any Sunday School level response. Bring your best biblical scholarship and your best skills as a theologian to the debate–Thom’s hard work deserves no less.