Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The vowel that almost jacked up our world

One vowel almost destroyed the world…

Tonight I spoke at our college ministry on the Supremacy of Christ. In rhetoric we use the term “exigence” to describe how important it is to begin a speech with the “problem.” Exigence raises tension among the listeners so they are inclined to listen to what you have to say. I began the message with what many consider to be the most important argument in the history of the church- the Arian controversy- Was Jesus Christ fully God? By way of summary:

Arius: “No”
Athanasius: “Yes”

Enter: An argument over a vowel.

Homoiousios: “of like substance/being”
Homoousios: “of the same substance/being”

As one 4th century theologian said, “never had there been so much energy spent over a single vowel.” So in 381, theologians from around the world gathered in Nicea to declare that Jesus Christ was “homoousios” with the Father. “This affirmation has since come to be widely regarded as the benchmark of Christological orthodoxy within all the mainstream churches, whether Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox.” (Christian Theology by Alister McGrath p. 287)

Jesus is God. Hooray!

One little iota (the Greek vowel) almost jacked up our world pretty bad because what we believe about Jesus may be the most important thing about us.

Consider the fact that to this day, one iota continues to be the foundation of most every cult.

For the other side of this issue, related to the humanity of Jesus, click here.


Anonymous said...

Mar 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Jesus did not know.

Am I to believe that his humanity could override his deity? How can I be sure that this wasn't happening more often? Or am I to just hear a word like kenosis or hypostatic union and act like that fixes things?

The Father alone is YAHWEH.

Isa 63:16 ...thou, O YAHWEH, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Isa 64:8 But now, O YAHWEH, thou art our father;...

And YAHWEH alone is the true and living God.

Isa 37:16 O YAHWEH of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even THOU ALONE...

Isa 37:20 Now therefore, O YAHWEH our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art YAHWEH, even THOU ONLY...

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know THEE the ONLY true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Jesus said that his Father was the only true God.

Jesus is our master. He was called from the womb, loved by the Father before the world began (as we were foreknew by YAHWEH).

Isa 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; YAHWEH hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Isa 49:2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;

Isa 49:3 And said unto me, Thou ART MY SERVANT, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

Isa 49:4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with YAHWEH, and my work with MY GOD.

Isa 49:5 And now, saith YAHWEH that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of YAHWEH, and MY GOD shall be MY STRENGTH.

His strength was not his own.

Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

And all enemies have been put under his feet, because of the FATHER.

1Co 15:27 For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that HE IS EXCEPTED who put all things in subjection under him.

1Co 15:28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son HIMSELF WILL BE ALSO SUBJECTED to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Why did Paul feel he had to make an exception if he thought that the people understood that Jesus was the true and living God?

Joh 14:28 You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the FATHER IS GREATER THAN I.

Anonymous said...

Isnt this the Jahovah's witnesses position? How would the caveman principle apply to it? Too bad we can't ask that brazilian tribe to give the question a shot, that would be really interesting.

Anonymous said...

If the first "anonymous" was a Jehovah's witness, he probably wouldn't have said YAHWEH.