Four Views on Salvation: John Hick

2 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I'm enjoying your blog because you seem to be truth-seeking, but at the same time differ from many of my thoughts. It's good to have what I'm thinking challenged.

    But I do have some questions on what you wrote.

    Did Jesus ever claim to be God? Did he portray it more as being God, being one with God, or indwelt by God?

    If what Hick says will always be clouded with doubt, doesn't that mean it will also cloud what you believe with doubt? Doesn't doubt show a straddling of two sides, where disbelief would show acceptance of one side?

    If the truth is that we just don't know about the divinity of Christ as him being absolutely God, why must we default to him being God?

    The question of "is Jesus God" was widely present until 300 and some years after Jesus died and rose. This shows that not everyone who followed Jesus took him as being God. And those who decided he was God also put together the books of our Bible. They made the decision of what it was then could choose books to support what they chose.

    I'm interested in your thoughts (I don't know if Hick addresses these, I haven't read him yet).

  2. Charles says:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'll dive right in to trying to answer some of your questions.

    I don't know if there are any translations that have Jesus saying, "I am God," but statements like the following are hard to ignore:

    "I and the Father are one."

    "He who has seen me has seen the Father."

    "I who speak to you am He."

    "Before Abraham was, I am."

    Not to mention the commentary of John: "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God." Paul tells us that Jesus was "in very nature God," and that "the fullness of the deity was pleased to dwell" in him. Yes the last one, if taken alone, could fall into the category of indwelling, bu when taken with these other statements, it means much more.

    And yes, from a scientific and even philosophical point of view, what I believe will always be clouded with doubt, mainly because there were no microphones or camcorders back then. But Hick's position is one that begins with outright denial – to come to the conclusion that Jesus did not say the things attributed to him, you have to make that decision independently from the evidence.

    You're right about the straddling nature of doubt. I'm not quite sure what your point was, though. Hick wasn't straddling, and neither was I.

    We don't default on him being God. The evidence points there. The truth isn't that we "just don't know". We don't (and won't) have a scientific certainty, but we know.

    You'll have to be more specific in your assertion that "the question…was widely present…" I don't know what you mean by "widely". If you mean in the world, then the question has been widely present since he began his ministry. If you mean in the diverse group that claimed to be his followers, not all of the sects had equal validity.

    "Those who decided he was God" did so based on the witness of the believers before them, the writings of the church fathers, and traditions handed down. They chose the books and letters that were already revered by the body.

    You seem to be advocating a position that allows for the possibility of Jesus being God, but doesn't assert it. Jesus had some choice words for the lukewarm.

    I ask you this: if he was not God, what is the good news?

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