What ‘Son of God’ Really Means…

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Christianity
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Herein we have aim to elucidate with simplicity and clarity the ‘true’ meaning of the ever controversial and contentious term ‘Son of God’. Christian brothers and sisters are advised to read thoroughly and express their esteemed opinion or dissent (if any) on what is an honest attempt to find the real Jesus[p].

Advertisements
Comments
  1. methodus says:

    Greetings,

    It has been a while 6sman. Having read through the above article I am reminded of our earlier exchange. Now to make a long story short, do you still believe what you have written in the above (as it concerns what the phrase “Son of God”) or have you changed your opinion in light of our exchange? With all due respect, I do not believe that you have understood Christianity nearly as well as you might think and the above article more than proves this. Once again, I do not mean to sound condescending but reason compels me to state that your articles suffer from some insurmountable problems.

    • 6sman says:

      Salam,

      Here’s someone who knows a thing or two about Christianity and he says: “the relation of Jesus as Son to the Father may be summarized with primitive Christianity as ‘obedience’” [Worfhart Pannenberg, Jesus God and Man, p.159]. Am I wrong to think likewise?

      God bless you!

      • methodus says:

        Hello again,

        I’ll be quite honest and state that I have great difficulty in understanding how the above could at all hurt the Christian understanding of Christ’s sonship? Christians have claimed this since the very beginning–yes, Christ was indeed perfectly obedient to the Father. Our whole theology is built on this in fact! Furthermore, the very author whom you quote believes Christ to be God!

        As we have seen, Jesus’ unity with God in the revelatory event of his resurrection from the dead can be understood only as his unity with God’s eternal essence, so that the eternal divinity of God cannot be appropriately conceived except in relation to Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’ unity with God, insofar as it belongs to God’s eternal essence, precedes, however, the time of Jesus’ earthly life.
        From the idea of revelation we attain access to the understanding of the old concept of Jesus’ preexistence. At least this concept appears as a meaningful expression for a material concern that we, too, must retain, namely, for Jesus’ full and complete affiliation with the eternal God. Jesus’ revelational unity with the God who is from eternity to eternity forces us conceptually to the thought that Jesus as the “Son of God” is preexistent. — [Worfhart Pannenberg, Jesus God and Man, pg. 150]

        If the above weren’t enough, you also do not give the author’s words in full and in fact make them imply something that they do not. Here is the actual quote with its surrounding context:

        It has been shown–and this remains the point of departure for all further considerations–that Jesus’ person cannot be separated from God’s essence if Jesus in person is God’s self-revelation. However, Jesus understood himself as set over against the God whom he called Father. He distinguished the Father from himself. […] if Jesus’ history and his person now belong to the essence, to the divinity of God, then the distinction that Jesus maintained between himself and the Father also belongs to the divinity of God. The relation of Jesus as Son to the Father may be summarized with primitive Christianity as “obedience.” It is therefore a relation proper to the essence of God himself. God is not only “Father,” but as the God who is revealed through Jesus’ resurrection he is in his eternal essence also “Son.” [Worfhart Pannenberg, Jesus God and Man, pg. 158-9]

        Clearly, it is the case that you have misunderstood the author in this case. I will here reiterate the fact that you have not understood Christianity and a proper understanding would silence all your objections. That said, I am more than ready to continue our discussion; if for no other reason than to have a pleasant conversation between a Muslim and a Christian.

  2. 6sman says:

    Salam,
    You’re quite right in saying I haven’t understood Christianity when I’m led to believe something Jesus[p] claimed to the contrary. You’ve identified the problem well, it’s very hard to understand the Trinity when, if true, should be quite reasonable. It seems we’re over-reliant on ambiguities and interpretations when Jesus[p] would have believe concepts entirely Jewish in origin as well as nature. Looking forward – as always – to a meaningful exchange of views.

    God bless!

    • methodus says:

      You’ve identified the problem well, it’s very hard to understand the Trinity when, if true, should be quite reasonable.

      Greetings 6sman,

      I see no force in the above argument. The doctrine of the Trinity speaks expressly of the infinite God as he is in himself. It necessarily follows that we finite creatures should have a decent amount of difficulty in understanding it. The fact of the matter is that we have great difficulty in understanding things of lesser caliber. To this day, scientists can not properly explain what gravity is, nor is anyone able to give a complete account of God’s relation to time, or to space, or matter etc. If we have difficulty understanding the created order, how then can you propose that we should not have difficulty in understanding a being who is uncreated? Once again, should I also discount the doctrine of God’s aseity seeing as it is very difficult to imagine a being without a beginning? In any case, difficulty is not a real objection to the doctrine of the Trinity. Yet I suppose that you mean to imply that this doctrine is illogical. If so, I would take issue with that for I do not believe this to be the case. If you would indulge me, I would ask you to read this article documenting a discussion I had on the logical soundness of the trinity:

      http://godomnipotent.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/something-different-an-exchange/

      Please do find the time to read it and tell me what you think.

      Also as you are already aware, Jesus did speak of his divinity in terms that are purely Jewish. Remember how i pointed this out in my article when it came to his trial before the Sanhedrin and how the High Priest tore his robe when Christ claimed that they shall see the son of man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. This was a claim that the highest jewish authority understood as complete blasphemy seeing as this was a claim to divinity. Notice how the Muslim position cannot be the correct position seeing as even today, Jews read this passage as blasphemy of the highest order.

      • 6sman says:

        Salam,

        At first, do let me apologies for my absence from internet activity, especially da’wah (propagational). But such are my business concerns and power crises in Pakistan that I find little time at best to do this. You may think I’m a full-timer but I’m not, I do this part-time and only when in sound spirit. I will read that discussion you alluded in due time (God-willing) but beg to differ with you and those Jewish authorities who were hellbent on ridding Jesus[p] by any means necessary, and believe I did bring that point to light that none of Sanhedrin’s witnesses, leave aside verdict, is acceptable with regards to alleged blasphemy by Jesus[p]. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true based on an evidential overview; http://wp.me/p1kG44-4z

        God bless and happy Easter!

  3. methodus says:

    I hope that everything works out for you and thanks for the Easter wishes. We can start up this discussion again whenever you find the time. I don’t recall reading your point about the matter of verdict as concerns the Sanhedrin but I highly doubt it would change the matter. That said, I am quite interested in reading the evidence for an opposite viewpoint yet your link seems not to be working, I keep getting a “Page not found” error message.

    God bless you too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s