Human and Divine Are One

Jesus: Human and Divine

Human and Divine Are One
Monday, March 16, 2015

The shape of God is the shape of reality, and the shape of reality is the shape of God. The Trinity clarifies that God is a fountain fullness of outflowing love. God is relationship itself, and the flow is always in one direction, that of outpouring love. It’s a theological impossibility, if you get the doctrine of Trinity correct, for there to be any hatred, wrath, or pettiness in God. A Trinitarian God is internally and externally the same—infinite generosity.

But, some will say, the Bible talks about God’s wrath. Yes, it does, but I would say that it was the people who were hateful at that point, and we wanted to create a God in our image. So we justify our wrath, our vengeance, and our violence by saying, “God orders us to kill all the Canaanites.” There are those who say that the history of religion and the history of violence are often the same thing. Cheap religion invariably gives us a high level justification for torture, genocide, killing, oppressing, and enslaving others.

Christians must start to believe in the God that Jesus presented. And Jesus presented an image of an entirely loving and merciful God (despite Matthew’s unfortunate and punitive metaphor of Gehenna, Jerusalem’s smoldering garbage dump, to represent the possibility of negative choice). We never need to apologize for Jesus. Yet I don’t know how much effect he’s really had on the formation of Christianity. On the last day of my Church History course in 1969, as our wonderful professor was backing out of the classroom door he said, “After all is said and done, Christianity was much more formed by Plato than it was by Jesus.” We knew that in Platonic philosophy, matter and spirit are utterly separate and even enemies. Plato could not put body and spirit/soul together. This dualism is the most common world view even today, and yet quantum physics now reveals this division to be entirely untrue in the very structure of the universe.

In Jesus, matter and spirit were presented as totally one. Human and Divine were put together in his ordinary body, just as in the rest of humanity. That’s Christianity’s core and central message! It’s the only thing that fully differentiates the Christian religion from other world religions: Christians believe that God chose the human, the material, the physical, the earthly in which to reveal God’s very Self. Two thousand years later this is still a scandal for most of the world. It just doesn’t seem “spiritual” enough!

Gateway to silence:
Jesus came to show God’s Love.

Adapted from Hell, No! (CD, MP3 download) and In the Beginning (CD, MP3 download)

Image credit: Christ surrounded by angels and saints (detail). Mosaic of a Ravennate italian-byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called “Master of Sant’Apollinare,” Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy.