Sunday, September 24, 2006

On Language

HERESY ALERT: If you freak out when hearing doubts and criticisms of a Christian who struggles with things faith related, please stop reading.

Today in Assembly we recited the Nicene Creed. There is a part in it, and it is common amongst theological talk, that seems to say that the "Son of God" was "incarnate". Often times you hear pastors and preachers talk about the "eternally begotten Son of God becoming incarnate" in/as Jesus Christ. I heard Tony Campolo speak earlier this year at the Jubilee Conference about a being called "Christ" becoming incarnate in a separate being called "Jesus". I wonder though...

In John 1:14, it says not "the Son of God was made flesh" or "Christ was made flesh", but "the Word was made flesh" "made flesh" being the base of our word "incarnate". Maybe, in the large scheme of Trinitarian thought, that is a minor difference. Granted. However, shouldn't our language about God, the Persons in the Trinity, the Messiah, the Spirit, etc. be precise? Don't we just court error by being this sloppy, if I may be so bold, with our language?

Precise language is the key to communication, it may also guard us from tri-theism, which is a common accusation hurled at Trinitarians. Many trinitarians, also, seem to hold tri-theism as it is, possibly because of their use of language? I've heard people, in prayers, mix Jesus and the Father together as one undifferentiated being, which orthodox Trinitarians will tell you is not proper or orthodox.

No comments: