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What Does It Mean To Say Jesus Is Divine?


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From the earliest Christians to the modern day one hears that Jesus is divine. However the search for the meaning of Jesus, at least in modern scholarship, questions the account of the Gospels as a bibliography. Strauss, followed by Bultmann, undertook the needed task to demythologize the Gospels. Strauss denied the divinity of Jesus while Bultmann generally supported it, perhaps in some qualifying ways. Does this dymythologization or further demythologization need to find its way further into the very meaning of Jesus? One could say he is divine in the classical (orthodox) sense; one could say Jesus is divine because as a human he nonetheless had a unique relationship and connection with God, or one could say that Jesus is divine in a way that all who seek to be fully human are divine. What does it mean to say Jesus is divine?

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My beliefs have varied over the course of the last 20 years. I'm ok with the orthodox belief that Jesus is an incarnation of God, but I think there are other ways of thinking about it. I like the idea that a spark of divinity is embedded in each of us, and that it can be nurtured into a flame, and that Jesus was absolutely ablaze to the point of being in full communion with God.

 

We nurture that spark in a lot of different was; perhaps depending on the person. Meditation, compassion, service, kindness, grace, forgiveness, prayer, and self sacrifice are some of those ways. It's interesting to think of the roots of the word sacrifice ("holy" "action" to a deity). When we sacrifice ourselves for each other, we make of ourselves a holy gift to God. And so the divinity within us grows. As Christians, we should all strive to become ablaze as Christ was.

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Keith,

 

It's hard to know who Jesus really was when we don't have any account by himself and in fact only have writings (well, copies of writings) by people who may/may not have known him directly and where pen wasn't put to paper until at least 40 years after his death. A lot of exageration and mythology can develp in that time, particularly amongst a society that was looking for a saviour and was focussed on the supernatural.

 

But somewhat like Fatherman above, I think that we call carry a divine spark because we are human, but that perhaps Jesus was more in touch with his humanity than many others at that time.

 

Cheers

Paul

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I also like what fatherman stated. I feel we are all living in a Quantum soup or ocean of pure consciousness what some Christians call God the Father. We have some of that water within our container held together by our identify to the cup. We all have had ecstatic moments where we felt one with everything or the ocean of pure consciousness and then we pop back into our identify. I feel Jesus is teaching me using Christian symbols how to maintain longer in the ecstasy, but I feel there are others who maintain a foot in the cup and one in the ocean who are teaching using different symbols. Many Christian mystics have tasted Divinity and many Christians choose to worship the cup labeled Jesus. I feel it is a choice we all make or choose not to.

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I can't feeling that quantum soup that we exist in has by and large congealed.

 

Also this consciousness we experience is an illusion. After all, my awareness and thoughts are a result of the chemistry and physics going on my brain, which in turn is the result of the universe "unfolding".

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Greg Koukl argues that in order to recognize something as an illusion, two things are required: (1) the presence of a conscious observer who is capable of perception, and (2) the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is illusion. According to Dr. Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, a near-death experience occurs when the quantum information that resides in the nervous system begins to disperse into the universe, but returns to the brain once the physical body is resuscitated. Dr. Sir Roger Penrose a mathematical physicist and philosopher of science with Dr. Hameroff composed the Objective Reduction Theory that states quantum consciousness resides in the microtubules of the brain and forms the soul. Microtubules contain regions where electrons are close enough to become quantum entangled or a condition where particles maintain a connection so an action on one affects the other one even at if separated by a greater distance. This theory supports the idea that consciousness comes from consciousness in contrast to consciousness emerging from matter.

 

We only experience the congealed part of the quantum soup with our 5 senses because they are limited. Our new technology confirms this by showing an invisible world that many previously did not think existed.

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I would add that the dictionary defines divine this way:

 

"of, from, or like God or a god."

 

This is interesting to me because it includes "of, from, and like"

 

In Genesis, one of the story tellers says that humans are created in the image of God. So in the sense that we are like God, we are divine. And if you believe that we come from God, then you are divine. So one way to answer your question is that we are all divine.

 

The question that remains is, what is so different about Jesus' divinity that he is called Son of God? Are we not all sons and daughters of God? I would say yes. Are we all incarnations of God? This is where it gets tricky. We are made in the image of God, but does that mean incarnation? The same dictionary defines incarnation as:

 

"a person who embodies in the flesh a deity, spirit, or abstract quality"

 

I don't claim to be a bodily host to a personal God. I do claim to be made out of "God Stuff". But I make a distinction between the two. My bottle of water contains the stuff that oceans are made of, but it's not an ocean at all. Jesus said that "he who has seen Him (Jesus) has seen the Father" (John 14:9) You could interpret that to mean that Jesus is claiming to be an incarnation of God. So according to our working definition of "divinity" Jesus is not only of God and from God and like God, but he is God. That's the difference between Jesus being divine and me being divine.

 

I would never claim to be sure that Jesus was who he said he was, or even if the Gospel writers understood/quoted him correctly. But then again, I would never claim to be sure that he wasn't.

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fatherman I like what you wrote and to add to the metaphor we are all containers for a part of the ocean of consciousness. If we are aware of it or not, we contain consciousness, but Jesus and I don't think he was, is or will be the only one had the ability to become one with the Father, ocean of pure consciousness. Consequently, if one is one with the ocean they are the ocean.

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