I just posted a reply to some comments made in response to one of Peter Enns’ recent blogs on Patheos’s evangelical faith channel ( I believe it was called “Forgotten Jesus” – but I have not checked). For those of you who don’t know his blog, I commend it highly.
Because my reply is also relevant to the discussion of Jesus and Caesar that is happening on my blog-site, I post it here as well:
A brief response to those who have raised the question whether Jesus was “really divine,” “actually divine,” in contrast to Caesar who was not really or actually divine.
A respectful question: what do you mean when you say Jesus was “actually” and really divine? Does that mean really biologically conceived by God – whereas the story of Augustus’s divine conception is fiction? Do you mean that Jesus had a divine mind and divine powers like no human being has ever had? Or what do you mean? I am genuinely interested.
One more comment: is the conflict between Jesus and Caesar a conflict about “our guy is really divine and your guy isn’t”? Or is it a conflict about where to see the decisive revelation of God, the Word become flesh and embodied in a human life? Do we see that revelation, that Word, that embodiment in Jesus? Or in the powers that killed him? We can debate the sense in which Jesus was or was not actually divine, But isn’t the more important question – or at least equally important question – the competing visions that we see in Jesus as decisive revelation of God and in Caesar (and thus empire and domination) as the decisive revelation of God?