The Divinity of Jesus. Part Three: Did the Council of Nicaea Vote to Make Jesus God?

10705253_10205011570707862_1084112105_nA lot of confusion has arisen over exactly what took place at the Council of Nicaea, with some making the assertion that Christians voted to make Jesus God in 325 AD. This was a very tumultuous time period in early church history, and the scope of this article cannot address all the various facets of events which contributed to it. However, this article will focus on the early Christian understanding of Jesus in relationship to his divinity.

In part two of this series, I addressed some seemingly contradictory statements by Jesus as to his divinity. In the first two examples below, Jesus is making a clear distinction between himself and his Father.

“I ascend to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.”  (John 20: 17).

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”  (John 14:28).

And yet in these next two passages, Jesus accepts worship and the attribution of divinity, and claims equality with God.

“Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:28-29)

“I and the Father are one.”  The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:30-33). [Read more…]

Call for submissions to winter edition of EQUIPPED

CAA Newsletter Cover 500x250We are excited to announce the second issue of the Christian Apologetics Alliance publication, EQUIPPED, is in production, with an anticipated release the week of December 15. This second issue, titled “‘The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Amongst Us’ – John 1:14,” will focus on Jesus’ incarnation. [Review the first issue of EQUIPPED, released two weeks ago.]

EQUIPPED invites all members of the apologetics community to submit articles for consideration by December 1. If you plan to write an article, please email caanewsletter@christianapologeticsalliance.com and let us know on which topic:

  • Historical evidence for Jesus
  • The Incarnation (virgin birth, Holy Spirit)
  • The deity of Jesus (logos)
  • The two natures of Christ (divine, human, hypostatic union)
  • Messianic prophecy
  • The teachings of Jesus
  • The Trinity
  • John 1

Please bear in mind the Resurrection will be the subject of the third issue of EQUIPPED. Discussing the Resurrection at length should be reserved for the coming spring edition of EQUIPPED.

In Him who set us free,

Glen Richmond

Editor, EQUIPPED

The Divinity of Jesus. Part Two: Did Jesus Claim to be God?

10711345_10205083632189354_578938308_nDid Jesus claim to be God?

This is a weighted question. The God of the Jews is “God the Father” from a Christian perspective. Did Jesus ever claim to be God the Father? Confusion over this issue has led to modalism, known today as the “Oneness” doctrine, which in the simplest terms is the idea that God was the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Holy Spirit from the days of the book of Acts forward.

Beyond Jesus’ baptism, which shows all three ‘persons’ of God present at one time, Jesus makes a clear distinction between himself and his Father. Examples include:

“I ascend to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.”  (John 20: 17).

“If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”  (John 14:28).

So Jesus did not claim to be his Father, and he recognized his Father’s sovereignty. However, Jesus did not refute the claim that he was God: “Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:28-29)

Jesus also claimed equality with God: “I and the Father are one.”  The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:30-33). [Read more…]

Book Review: “The Resurrection of Jesus” by Mike Licona

cover_image.aspWhen it comes to the truth of Christianity, no subject is more important than the Resurrection. The entire Christian faith hinges on it, and without it our faith becomes pointless. The apologetic task of defending the Resurrection is tantamount to defending Christianity itself, or at least defending its most defining facet.

Thanks to the work of Josh McDowell, Gary Habermas, and many others, apologists have been well equipped thus far to defend the resurrection. By examining the resurrection in a different light,  Mike Licona and his new book “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach” attempts to set a new path forward for contemporary apologists. Using the tools of the historian, Licona builds his own case for the resurrection that many apologists will be able to identify with, but with several twists of his own to make a unique case.

Lets start with the good of this book: Mike Licona is a scholar and a gentlemen in the truest sense. While he sharply critiques the works and positions of many people in this book, not once does he treat or speak of them in a less-than-respectful manner. He is humble and honest to admit the strengths of other positions, and he attempts to represent them well. Licona’s example in this book (and elsewhere) is a shining example of a Christ-like character in apologetics. [Read more…]

Frozen- The Eyewitness of “No Greater Love”

DISNEY-FROZEN-618-618x400Before I go into any content about this movie, I want to warn the reader that there are major spoilers in this post. A thorough examination of the message behind the movie is not the intention of this post, rather I want to focus on one important detail in the movie that has value for understanding the force behind the eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ disciples. If you have not seen Frozen yet, please do. The main force behind what is written below is best read in the context of having seen the film first. [Read more…]