Women and the Gender of God– Dialogue Part Five

Women and the Gender of God– Dialogue Part Five March 25, 2023

Q. For me one crucial text to understanding all this is Phil. 2.5-11, and it is one of the keys to understanding why we have exhortations to imitate Christ or to have the same mental attitude about life and follow his example. I take what that text says very seriously.  God the Son could have taken advantage of being equal to God the Father, but instead, to be genuinely human without in any way giving up his divinity, he put all the omnis on hold and accepted all the natural limitations of being human— limitations of time, space, knowledge, power, and mortality.  He was genuinely human and could be tempted.   He was like us in all respects save without sin— he was Adam gone right. And his life was not a charade.  When the text says he grew in knowledge, or when Jesus says he didn’t know something, the text is not fibbing.  When he asks who touched me, he doesn’t know.   Now I would say he had access to such divine knowledge and power etc. but chose not to draw on it.

Notice in the temptation stories in Luke 4 and in Matthew these are very odd temptations.  And they read ‘if you are (the divine) Son of God then turn these stones into bread’.  Now I’ve known some people who could turn bread into stones, but not the reverse.  Only a divine person could turn stones into bread. But notice Jesus doesn’t say—’ I’m God, God can’t be tempted to sin, go away Satan’. No, he resists temptation using the two resources we have to do so— the Word of God, and the Spirit of God.  And he also performed his miracles by the power of the Spirit.  In other words, when Jesus calls his disciples to follow his example, and use the resources he used to resist temptation and do good works, even miracles, we can follow his example, because we have those resources, and God’s grace as well.   Jesus is truly our model for godly and good behavior.   In short, divine condescension means self-limitation for the divine Son of God, and some of his temptations are ones only a divine Son of God would have— like asking to not drink from the cup, and bypass the cross and atone for our sins. The best book I ever read on this whole matter is Tom V. Morris’s The Logic of God Incarnate.  Jesus was both 100% divine and 100% human, and the only way that works is by divine self-limitation. Does this make sense to you?


A. Yes, for sure! That is a beautiful recounting of the grace of God as revealed in the humility of Jesus Christ, the Son.


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