How can Jesus be God if God is one?

Monday Musings for September 12, 2016

Good morning Musers,

We have a challenge to the Trinity today... or to the deity of Jesus... and probably from a Muslim... but I'm not sure of any of this. 

You see, my questioners can be so stingy with their profile data that when you combine that with a general (rather than a refined) query, it puts me on the spot to cover every reasonable contingency that such a topic generates. Fortunately, these two challenges come up often enough where I have some bodies of work that already address the issues... and today I'll dish out to one of them. But there remains an issue of logic... of reading, writing and of interpreting... that challenges any changes in the information as it progresses naturally through an extended narrative — and that's how we should view the Bible. God is telling his story... and so what if the book titles, the centuries, the locations or the cultures change; it's still one narrative. The Bible is the story of God redeeming humankind. But he usually tells that story through his dealings with "his" people... in whatever form. 

I've gotten this type of query before where a questioner insists that — when it comes to the Bible.... and as differentiated from any other communications paradigm — information should not change... even if it's released over time! This is nuts! Nobody requires that of an author... and this is how God (or any writer) must handle sequential information. 

But God's revelation makes no sense unless we understand that it is progressive by nature. What this means for all revelation (but especially in revelations about God) is that the revelation of the object changes... not the object itself. Additionally, information is additive, so the picture gets clearer (usually!) as we progress through time. So, although God emphasized that he was "one God" back in Deuteronomy, this does not mean that he was not tri-personal at that time. It just means that he was not sharing that aspect of his being with us yet. 

Do you see the problem? This is not actually a biblical issue; it's epistemological. Our questioner has a basic misunderstanding of the relationship between an object's essence and what we can know about that object as the data accumulates.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, AV)  

We are called to reason... to figure things out together... with each other and with God. Let's not forget the process. 

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