religion

Biblical Unitarian on The Word (John 1:1)

The Word

 1 In The beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

…And the Word became flesh…

This passage is one of those really contested ones. I will start out with the most common Trinitarian interpretation and then give my rebuff. On average a person interprets it something like “Jesus is the Word, Jesus was in the beginning, Jesus was with God, and Jesus is God” “Then Jesus created all things”. Basically as Jesus=Word. Then we read the incarnation where Jesus takes on the human nature and becomes a man.

Let’s start with John 1:1 – So here is the first problem, everyone agrees that the “God” in the second clause is the Father, which I totally agree. All the arguing is about how “God” is used in the third clause. Now the standard Trinitarian argument is that it is qualitative. That part I agree with as well, I think it is qualitative. [I’m not going to go into explaining why right now] Meaning the qualities of the “word” = qualities of God. The departure I make here is that most people think of this as “divinity”. So a better way to say the standard argument is that Jesus is “divine”, as God is “divine”. This is where the famous “substance” in the Trinity comes from. My problem is that it turns the one God into a “substance” or “divine quality”. This is how the Trinity works though. Now each person can be fully God because they share this divine nature. I don’t think that John meant that, I think he just wanted to express that the Word is fully expressive of God, just as my words expresses myself. This is a much better interpretation since in order to view the Word as “divinity” it changes God into a quality, God fundamentally becomes one “it”. (more…)

Heading to University of Saint Andrews

The good news is that I have been accepted at the Divinity Department at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. I’m looking forward to taking classes and hopefully mentorship with N. T. Wright who has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. Even before I started my seminary education at Fuller, I was a fan. Of course, there are other capable professors there, especially Scott Hafemann, whom I hear was recently removed from his post at Gordon Conwell for advocating the New Perspective on Paul (NPP). So he’s back at Saint Andrews, having taught there previously.

Meanwhile, this means that I have to leave my post as Pastor for LifeSpring in Garden Grove, which I do with a deep sense of sadness. There are people whom I cherish and will miss very much. Nevertheless, I plan to stay in touch with as many of them as possible, exchanging ideas and growing and nurturing each other in our Christian faith.

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