Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Who "Thinkers" Say Jesus Is

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning" (John 1:1–2).

Previously I wrote about who men have said Jesus is, who Jesus Himself claimed to be, and who the Father said Jesus is. Today we want to look briefly at who Christian philosophers and theologians have said Jesus is.

The oldest philosophical question is the problem of unity and diversity. What is this problem? It is the problem of understanding how all the diverse aspects of life hang together. The ancient philosopher would ask, “Is there any rhyme or reason to all this? How do all these things fit together? How are we to make sense of all these different parts of human experience?” In other words, they were asking the question, “Does life make sense? Is there any ultimate coherence in life?”

The very word universe is composed of uni from unity, and verse from diversity. It expresses the idea that all the diverse things in existence are related to one another, and are united in some sense.

The Christian answer addresses this issue in two ways. First, Christianity calls attention to the doctrine of the Trinity, that God is both one and three at the same time. Ultimately, the unity and diversity of all things find their resolution in God Himself.

But beyond this, however, the Christian sees that the Word of God is the reference point for all creation. As John puts it, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). Now, the idea of an abstract reference point for the universe was not new to the ancient world, but the teaching that this reference point is a person was radical. How do we make sense out of the diversity of life? By having a personal relationship with the person who gives unity to all things.

The Christian has no need to shrink from the most profound philosophical questions. For centuries, Christian philosophers have taken on secular thinkers and shown the truth of biblical religion. Yet, the most profound philosophical question has the most simple of all answers: a personal relationship. Every Christian walks daily with the cosmic Christ, the Person who gives meaning to all life. It is before the face of Christ, the Word of God, that we find coherence, not only in the universe but in our daily lives.