Sunday, January 25, 2009

Anthropomorphizing Christ

Our Sunday school class is currently working through the Christological doctrines and today we began wrapping up the last few weeks' study of Christ's humanity. After hearing examples of contemporary theologians denying the incarnation of Christ, and His divinity, I struck upon two general tendencies among those who perport to present the "real" Jesus.

The first tendency is to make Jesus into an ordinary man, just like us. This is called anthropomorphizing (from the Greek, which means to "change into man"). We deny Christ's divinity and pull Him down from the throne of Heaven to make him a man like everyone else. The Jesus Seminar of the '90s undertook such a demythologizing as this, as those of us who watched the Peter Jennings endorsement can attest.

If they do not make God like man, then critics will make man like God. The Deepak Chopras and others from Oprah's Book Club teach that just as Jesus was fully in touch with his divinity, so too can we be. This is nothing short of "New Age" pantheism, akin to the Gnostic heresies that the Early Church battled. A few years ago, a "documentary" called What The Bleep Do We Know advocated a certain kind of "power of positive thinking" quasi-physics which suggests that someone like Jesus was in on a great secret of reality. If you can concentrate and be "positive" enough, than you can literally affect reality and make it better. All that is required of you is to get "in touch" with that inner spark of god-hood.

Both of these views are flagrant heresy against orthodox Christianity because they make Christ no greater than man, either by pulling Him down to our level or by exaulting man up to His. In the face of such lies, Christians must stand with Scripture and with the great creeds which affirm that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man; one person with two natures. To undermine the doctrines of Christ is to undermine the Gospel itself.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Well, and they're not new heresies, either, are they?

Hence the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon. At least they handled it! We don't even handle it!

My captcha at the bottom is "bookesp" -- awesome.