Are Jesus And God Really The Same Being?

Nonstampcollector’s video “What Would Yahweh Do?” gives the strong impression they’re not.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Lawrence S. Lerner

    I have been puzzled for some time with the view of some fundies – in particular the young-earthers – who call Jesus the Creator. Among most trinitarians, creation is seen as the domain of the father, not the son (even though the son was always there with the father.)
    So I consulted with a theologian colleague of mine, and here’s what he responded:

    My best guess is that what you’re seeing is a remnant (or maybe a revival) of an old-fashioned Evangelical theology, one that more traditional theologians called “Christomonism” in the middle of the 20th century. As you can guess, it’s a kind of unitarianism, but with Jesus becoming the sole member of the Trinity rather than the more usual unitarian focus on the traditional Father as the sole represention of God. Its roots historically were with a kind of frontier piety, but with little sense of the “Old Testament.”

    After writing the paragraph above, I tried finding the term on the web, and got:

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=christomonism&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IE8SRC

  • Matt Scott

    Actually, in the New Testament most of the time Jesus is referred to as the Creator. Sometimes the same writers will refer to God as the Creator. It seems that since Jesus is God (or part of the God-head) the two names are used interchangably in this matter. I feel that some of the difficulty is that there is only a perceivable distinction when Jesus is in a human body, therefore not in heaven. So it is impossible to properly disctinguish between what the Father does as opposed to the Son. I wish I could understand/explain it better, but the finite will never fully comprehend the infinite.

  • http://stewartsstruggles2.blogspot.com/ Stewart

    ‘the finite will never fully comprehend the infinite’

    You are joking, right?

  • Matt Scott

    No, if I was joking I would say “a horse walked into a bar . . . “

  • http://zachvoch.blogspot.com Zach Voch

    Matt,

    Not sure if you’re thinking of different verses, but all NT references to Jesus as Creator are very indirect, at least so far as I am aware. In John (where almost all of these occur) primarily but also elsewhere, it appears to be through the identification of Jesus with `Word’.

    The other example I found is Ephesians 9, but only in some versions (especially the KJVs): “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: …”

    Even here, the context (and the consequently varying interpretations) appears to be the same issue of identifying Jesus with Logos/Word.

    So for this: “It seems that since Jesus is God (or part of the God-head) the two names are used interchangably in this matter. I feel that some of the difficulty is that there is only a perceivable distinction when Jesus is in a human body, therefore not in heaven. So it is impossible to properly disctinguish between what the Father does as opposed to the Son. I wish I could understand/explain it better, but the finite will never fully comprehend the infinite.”

    The distinction appears to be primarily between Jesus and Word, where Word is minimally an instance or elucidation of God/God’s will, not necessarily an equivalence. John draws this equivalence explicitly (1.1), but this is an addition, if not a complete departure, of John to the synoptic gospels.

    I would say that identifying Jesus as “Creator” is tenable as an interpretation of NT (putting aside the more general troubles with Trinitarianism), but it is a deviance.

    On a side note, I really hope that you do not sincerely subscribe to “the finite will never fully comprehend the infinite,” particularly if you are supposed to believe in the “infinite.”

    (ugh abuse of mathy terms).


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