God Has Revealed Himself Definitively and Finally in Jesus Christ - An Arrogant & Offensive Claim?
Garner, Gary O. (2004) God Has Revealed Himself Definitively and Finally in Jesus Christ - An Arrogant & Offensive Claim? (Unpublished)
To many people, claiming exclusivity with the suggestion that God’s revelation is definitively made through Jesus Christ, constitutes the "ultimate offence". Various religions have even sought to unify their theology with Christianity on the basis of examining parallels of their religion with the common thread of Christian values and behaviour. However, the situation inevitably falls apart when the prospect of an exclusive saviour, through Jesus Christ, is proposed. The vital questions usually centre around the proposition, not whether Jesus lived, but who He was. What was the purpose of Jesus’ life? How can he be God, yet fully human? How does all this relate to salvation?
Even orthodox Christian views on the deity of Jesus has come under fire, even since the days of the early Church. Various Gnostic teachings that seek to remove Jesus' humanity, or his divinity, or both, have plagued the Church since the first century. In an effort to combat this, theological understanding has been expressed by the development of statements of faith, or creeds, some of which have been in use for nearly two thousand years (e.g. the Apostles Creed, and the Nicene Creed). They seek to succinctly express one's confession of faith, upholding what is seen to be the essential and non-negotiable Christian doctrines.
The biblical Christian holds that God has revealed Himself in very personal way, even to the extent of his divine personality, to humankind. Aside from evidence made manifest via the apparent plan and design of creation itself, this has also been achieved through Holy Scriptures - the Bible. This implication that God is keen to develop a close and personal relationship to us as individuals is profoundly and further demonstrated in Jesus, who came to earth as a man yet still fully God. That Christ came to us in this way is the ultimate revelation of God as being someone who wants us to know Him in a more intimate way. Most of all, it demonstrates the vast love that God has for us, his children, since this act provides the means for the rescue and salvation of humankind.
The finality of God’s revelation must surely, therefore, be found in Jesus, whom, through his redemptive act, provides the means for the liberation of humans. We are not left - as humanists would have it - to save ourselves. Through Christ we are given a key that opens the doors to both heaven and earth.
However, a slight irony exists in that the revelation in one sense is not yet fully complete. The revelation that occurred with Jesus on the cross and His subsequent resurrection, still awaits the revelation of the glory and salvation of God at the parousia (second coming) of Christ. It is only at that time will the revelation of God be fully complete
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|Keywords:||God, Jesus Christ, religions, theology, Christianity, salvation, orthodox, early Church, Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, doctrines|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS (220400) > Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History) (220401)|
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2004 Gary O. Garner|
|Deposited On:||27 Apr 2007 00:00|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 12:39|
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