Can unbelievers understand the New Testament? Can they read its pages, see the portrayal of Christ in the gospels and the early correspondence of the Church and not see that extraordinary claims are made for the person of Christ? Can they fail to see that he claimed to be be God in the flesh? Can the see that the New Testament Jesus claims to be God and yet reject that as truth? The answer is clearly, yes.
It is a conundrum that the person who wrote the following words does not believe in the divinity of Christ.
“Traditional orthodoxy says the Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate . . . who became man to die for the sins of the world and who founded the church to proclaim this to the ends of the earth, so that all who sincerely take Jesus as their Lord and Savior are justified by his atoning death and will inherit eternal life. It follows from this that Christianity, alone among the world religions, was founded by God in person. God came down from heaven to earth and launched the salvific movement that came to be known a Christianity. From this premise it seems obvious that God must wish all human beings to enter this stream of saved life, so that Christianity shall supersede all the other world faiths. They may perhaps have some good in them and be able to function to some extent as a preparation for the gospel, but nevertheless Christianity alone is God’s own religion. . . . It is therefore divinely intended for all men and women without exception. All this follows logically form the central dogma of the deity of Jesus.”
—John Hick, quoted in
Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Jesus,
What might we learn from this?
- that Christian faith in the deity of Christ has a logical consistency to it.
- that conversion to Christ is not a mere intellectual or logical construct.
- that the miracle of the new birth is nothing less than a miracle.
- that thanksgiving for the faith we have is always a reasonable point of worship.