Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Bodily Form" means "Bodily Functions"

I would, straightaway, like to apologize for the following content, but I do think it is necessary for us to touch on this topic in a more serious and dignified way than is typically done:

To many people the notion of God becoming human makes the Creator seem more relatable. Certainly around the time of the holidays traditionally celebrated by Christians in the winter the mental image of their deity as a small infant can be particularly endearing to many. Yet as anyone who has been a parent knows, infants have less endearing practices...along with taking on "bodily form" means the necessity of "bodily functions."

Messianic/Christian apologist Michael Brown takes great exception to this being pointed out:

When attacking the New Testament -- that is exactly what the anti-missionaries do -- they often use a three-pronged approach: hyper-literality, alleged contradictions, and alleged misquotations.

In terms of hyper-literality, they will ask....Or, in abusing the concept of the incarnation (I doubt that many of our opponents actually try to understand the incarnation in any serious way) they will use coarse quips such as, “Does your God wear diapers?”  The overall effect of their hyper-literality is to try and make our faith seem idiotic and absurd. (http://web.archive.org/web/20041113145406/http://www.icnministries.org/Materials/Unequal_Weights/unequal_weights.htm)


Emotions run high over this, and misunderstanding is the rule not the exception. The objections raised here are sometimes crude, such as, "Your god wore diapers. Our God sits enthroned in heaven." (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol 2, page 15).

First of all we must point out that the idea that the Nazarene had to perform such bodily functions as urination and excretion, that he wore diapers", is neither "hyper-literal" nor is it a "misunderstanding", it is a straightforward implication of the doctrine that the Nazarene was not only 100% divine but 100% human.
Because the divine Christ became a man in the Incarnation, he as our Priest is able to intercede in prayer for us. Since Jesus was truly one of us, experiencing all of the temptations and trials of human existence, he is fully able to understand and empathize with us in our struggles as human beings. (Christ Before the Manger, page 206)
The theology of the Christian Bible is dependent upon the Nazarene having a fully human life experience. There is zero basis in the Christian Bible to exclude natural bodily functions for that experience and to do so would undermine Christian teachings.

And although I can, to a degree, sympathize with Michael Brown's predicament, his complaint about "crude" and "coarse quips" isn't against man...but against what God said through His prophet:

And it was at noontime, Elijah ridiculed them [the "prophets" of Ba'al], and said "Cry out in a loud voice, for he is a god! Perhaps he is conversing or pursuing [enemies], or relieving himself; perhaps he is asleep and he will awaken! (1 Kings 18:27)

The divinely inspired prophet mocked their grossly anthropomorphic view of the divine by exaggeration. Yet for Christianity it is no exaggeration. We are expected to believe that  God put Himself in the very same position that He mocked the false gods about!?

We have already argued that in addition to being unsupported by the Hebrew Bible, and in addition to conflicting with the monotheistic view of the Hebrew Bible, time and again Christian theology under-minds the very arguments and criticism's which the Hebrew Bible makes to present and support it's vision of monotheism. Michael Brown and other's may find it distasteful to make jokes about the Nazarene wearing diapers (and I would tend to believe that such tactics are not effective ways at communicating our position in a way others will be able to hear) but the Bible itself points out the absurdity of deities who need to relieve themselves.


Brian said...

Yes, these are problems for the Nazarene. My big problem ties into your Kenosis post.

That is, that the church says god existed as one incorporeal spirit in three personages before creation. Then at incarnation, one of the spirit personages (the son) joined himself to humanity in the form of the god-man. 100%god 100%man. Now the son has become bi-natured. Two natures in one being. And since by definition, the god nature of the son, shares nature with the "father" and the "HS", then by definition, they also share their nature with the god-man. So, really, it isnt a trinity at all but a bi-natured trinity or in some sense a quadrinity, 3 god personages (in one) and humanity.

The major overall point being, that G-d does not change. Yet here we have a incorporeal "god" can not change and become a hybrid of two natures.

Brian said...

Yet here we have a incorporeal "god" that is not supossed to change but does and become a hybrid of two natures. (I mean)

Yirmiahu said...

Sounds like you're pretty much right on. The idea of "taking on" a human nature, even if conceivable, is a direct attack at G-d's immutability.

Having human nature that is really separate from the divine nature belies the claim that there are three persons with one nature (since one person has at least two).