A different Tory, pro capitalist, good Christians, confused, unique and often dangerous views of the world. I am non partisan and often non nonsensical
Saturday, 12 May 2012
In this piece I seek to explore why God took mortal form and why humanity and God still seem unable to commute fully. There are three main views on why God took human / mortal form. The first is God became human to interweave his reality / himself with our reality; In short he wanted to become present in our world. The second more implicit reason is that God took human form to correct man’s understanding of his law. The third reason is that God became mortal in order to pay the debt of sin with sinless blood and by doing so enable man to reconcile with God. It is of course interesting to note hear that the full reconciliation with God takes place after man and Gods death (they are reconciled in heaven as immortals) this even after God became mortal.
As I wish to suggest another reason for God taking on mortal form, I will look at the three main explanation of this miracle of miracles.
If we look at the first reasons; god was hardly absent in the Old Testament, he does at least intervene in human affairs, though sometimes in rather unsavoury ways. I note that after Christ God left the holy spirit but God could have done this without partaking of human form, no this reason says nothing, it is a by-product not a reason.
If we then look at the second reason: God could have continued to alter the laws via prophets and sacred interventions (indeed it seems to correct the law once then end this task as the era of the prophets ended some time ago) is a little strange if this were God’s aim. Regardless of the logical inconsistency God could have reinforced the law without becoming mortal, indeed if this were his aim a harder touch with humanity may have done more than the gospel of Christ.
Now let us look at the last issue or as I call it the John 3:16 theory. This explanation is the most popular by far but it is wholly illogical or at least inconsistent with an all-powerful God. If we accept God as all powerful he could easily forgive sin, indeed in an odd way God created sin as it was he who laid out right and wrong. Now I do not seek to undermine the heart of this view, that God became mortal in the form of Christ Jesus and died for us but I do not think it was solely for the forgiveness of sin I think God did this in order to better reconcile with us both via the forgiveness of sin and via a better understanding of man.
So why would God have to become mortal in order to better understand man? Well why would you go into a community you knew? Why do anthropologist travel thousands of miles, forsaking modern luxury, to live among indigenous communities they already know about? Well the answer is simple in order to increase their understanding of them. If we accept that, then it is not a giant leap to see that though you can know everything about something, you will not be able to understand it. I the think it is not such a leap to argue that God knows everything about us but sometimes struggles to understand us.
What God does not understand us! Heretic, blasphemer! Undermining God, tiny little human desperately trying to analysis God with your inadequate mind and failing. Well probably so but answer me this, why did God become mortal? I have already dealt with the dogma (none of which is biblically based but is not heresy because it is antique) so why? I happen to think God does not mind when we attempt to better understand him and his will (indeed I think it is an act of adoration) and it only harmful when we think we know the totality of God, when in short we think we know it all.
So what does the unfathomable creation mean? Well the outline of the idea is fairly basic. God made man and there is nothing he does not know about his creation. God could not understand his creation and in order to increase his knowledge and also to become present in the mortal world and forgive sin he chose to become human. Not because it was necessary, not because he had to but because he wanted to. Take a moment here, what I am proposing is God died for our sins not because that was the only way to pay the price of sin but because he wanted to fully understand man (and death is a part of man) and pay the price of sin and who better than the author of sin (the deity of the law) to bear that cost.
So why did an all knowing deity have to come into human form in order to understand his creation? Well, I can’t help but recall Wittgenstein story about talking to a Lion. Wittgenstein proposes that even if we could talk (or know) with a lion, we would still not be unable to understand the lion. This is due to the vast differences in world view, points of reference and even understanding of meaning betwixt us and said Lion. Well think about the trouble God has in understating us.
Now we must be careful here, God can understand us when we speak (though in a different way to what humans think of understanding) and I believe he can understand that facts of humanity (our needs, our wants) but until he became human he could not understand our actions or our almost purposeful disobedience. It is notable that since God intersession with humanity he is far less frustrated due in my view to his increased understanding but still in the same was as we cannot comprehend God, God cannot understand us.
So why even after God became flesh and lived our mortal lives does there still exist a debt of understanding? It would be easy to blame it on sin and I am not opposed to the easy answer. It must be hard for a deity without sin to understand the “will to sin” but this is not the end of the story for me. I think the understanding deficit is partly due to the need for humans to hide their true selves and act often in opposition to this true self which confuses God. God only has a true self, he does not require the mask which humanity adorns itself, even in the person of mortal Jesus God did not experience either sin or self-deception (arts which humanity are experts in) . So once we think that God expect us to act in the true self that we know we can see how he could fail to full understand us or our needs.
The other explanation I hinted at earlier though God has lived (which is a bad choice of words) the immortal and mortal life we have lived only the mortal life, so though God has lived as Man and lion, we have only lived like men. It seems fairly obvious that full communion with God is only possible once we die and become immortal and this share fully in the world of God. Of course it is also helped that once free from the world of man; man will only have a true self as I have said but once we have left the mortal world God will be able to fully understand us and maybe we him.