The Case for Christmas 5

Continuing on with Lee Strobel’s book ‘The Case for Christmas‘. This next chapter is called ‘The Profile Evidence: Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God?”

This is an extremely complex and mind-stretching issue writes Strobel, and interviewed Dr. D.A. Carson, the theologian who is considered one of the most distinguished thinkers in Christianity. Dr. Carson, is a research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, he has written or edited more than forty books and earned his doctorate in New Testament at Cambridge University and taught at three other colleges and seminaries.

Strobel “There are some verses that seem to strongly suggest the Jesus was a created being who first came into existence when he was born in Bethlehem. He is called the begotten Son of God or the firstborn over all creation. Doesn’t this imply that Jesus was created, as opposed to being the Creator?” Carson an expert in Greek grammar replies “John 3:16 in the King James Version translates the Greek with the words ‘His only begotten Son’. That is not what the words in Greek mean. It really means ‘unique one.’
“What about the term ‘firstborn?’ “In the custom of the time the word ‘firstborn’ not necessarily meant being born first or having been begotten but more the idea of the authority that comes with the position of being the rightful heir.”
“What would be a better translation?” “Supreme heir would be more appropriate.”

Strobel quotes Dr. Ben Witherington III author of ‘The Christology of Jesus’: “Did Jesus believe he was the Son of God, the anointed one of God? The answer is yes. Did he see himself as the Son of Man? The answer is yes. Did he see himself as the final Messiah? Yes, that’s the way he viewed himself. Did he believe that anyone less than God could save the world? No, I don’t believe he did.”

Jesus said “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.” Loose translation; “When you look at the sketch of God from the Old Testament, you will see a likeness of me”

This has been a very difficult chapter to summarize but I like C.S. Lewis’s statement
(Lewis is the author of the Narnia children’s books, and also many others)

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher, he would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God, or a madman or something worse … but don’t let’s come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He hasn’t left that open to us. He didn’t intend to.” Quote from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

We are about three quarters of the way through the book and I plan to have it done before Christmas, so hopefully that is just one more post.

The Case for Christmas 1

The Case for Christmas 2

The Case for Christmas 3

The Case for Christmas 4

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