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Yule Blog
Meaning in 3-D

That little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying so cutely in the manger is the biggest trouble maker in world history, and the shocking claims that Christianity makes about who he is and what he means irritate and antagonize people all over the world.

Published on: December 31, 2013
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  • Anthony

    Yes, the triune nature of the godhead is an article of faith as its religious strength may rest for many Christians in unprovable propositions (as cited in Yule Blog) that encompass Christianity. And Yule Blogs WRM have provided opportunity for the inclined to reflect on prescriptive meaning of Christmas inclusive of Trinity. Thanks.

  • jb willikers

    The real truth is that you have completely missed the power of Christianity. You understand, of course, that Jesus was a Jew as were his followers at the time. If there is a scandal, the scandal is in the hearts and minds of men.

    • Click

      Please tell us what you see as the completely missed power of Christianity that should have been included in the article..

  • Immolate

    So you’re saying that non-Christians are bothered by the fact that Christianity is incompatible their rules of religion? Friend, the truth is incompatible with lies, but we shouldn’t start substituting the lies for the truth, or reshaping the truth to look more like them. If non-Christians’ faith is more malleable than Christianity, there is an obvious reason for that.

    If you are concerned that Christians have a “my-way-or-the-highway” attitude, you needn’t be. We understand that there is literally but one way to the father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. That isn’t our way, that’s His way. There can be disagreements within Christianity over interpretation and doctrine, and there most certainly is, but God’s word is unequivocal on the path to salvation being through Jesus the son.

    Finally, I don’t think that the Church is wound around the axle regarding the trinity as you describe it. While there are mysteries around the trinity, we are well equipped to live with incomplete knowledge, as we do routinely in all aspects of our lives. If others are hung up on it, perhaps it is just the Holy Spirit doing what it does, convicting people of their wrongheadedness.

    • A6

      I don’t think he’s saying what you say you think he’s saying.

      Non-Christians are probably as bothered by the structure of Christian belief, one-way or another, as Christians are by the structure of Hindu belief. That is: not much, if they are even aware of its intricacies.

      I think he’s concerned that each Christian, if he’s serious, occasionally must wrestle with ideas that are *difficult* in that they appear (other than to the eye of faith) to constitute a contradiction-in-terms obvious to a child.

  • Omar

    God is perfect justice. God is perfect mercy.

    The only way for both of these contradictory attributes to be fully realized is through the person of Christ.

    • A6

      Interesting. Full realization of inconsistent attributes, which is logically impossible, becomes possible through a miracle? How does that work, exactly?–or is that a mystery, too?

  • DaTechGuy on DaRadio

    Great piece, well done!

  • Commentariat

    The real issues are (1) whether one demands of one’s flock only “belief” or “submission” to the authority of those with the “true” beliefs, or whether one also demands conformity of their behavior to some ethical system — early Christians believed the end of days was near, and that sharing that belief mattered, behavior less so, (2) whether your chosen ethical system is (choose your term) true, moral, valid, humane, holy, correct, principled, divinely inspired, etc., and (3) whether one uses force, duress, violence, to insist that non-believers conform to your belief system, or only to insist that they conform to minimally essential ethical conduct (e.g., Noahide laws, not killing, stealing, etc.)

    • A6

      What do you mean by “real”?

  • koblog

    And the proof that the Baby of Christmas morning is Who He claimed to be is His resurrection from death — Easter Sunday.

    This is the Gospel — the Good News — that mankind (indeed all of creation) desperately needs. The God who is love has beaten death — our greatest enemy. And all He requires of us is to believe Him.

    All other religions fall short of this promise.

    • A6

      Indeed? And where is the proof either that he claimed what you think he claimed or that he was resurrected from death–or, for that matter, that he existed?

      Maybe you are using the word “proof” in a different way from its dictionary definition.

  • donfulano

    Bookmarked! Well done, theological chops or no.

    The finite mind is invited to embrace the communal nature of the Infinite in marriage, where “the two shall become one.”

    Of course, Man has a long history of redefining marriage for his own ends.

  • Leah Keever

    Not sure of the point of or reason for this article. I personally have a problem with Allah, the moon god. That’s fine; I’m not Muslim. And I don’t really care why other religions (or atheists) have a problem with Christianity. It doesn’t change anything and we have no need to defend ourselves.

    But puhlease, to posit the idea that it’s easier for Americans to believe in the Trinity because of our three branches of government? That’s just laughable. And spoken like a true big government/nanny state defender.

  • dwpittelli

    I can see why Christianity requires a 2-part God (Father and Son), but what is the point of the Holy Ghost? And why do we have trinitarians and Unitarians, but no dualitarians or some such?

  • CharTierney

    I didn’t quite see in this article where the author states that Jews or Muslims ask God if Jesus is God or if Jesus is the Messiah. At one time, Jews had a God who answered when they sought him and showed his presence by miracles. Now you get opinion and theological reasoning (such as this article) when they want to present why they believe as they do. (Not saying that this author is Jewish but only pointing out the lack of evidence from heaven.) Now, Christians seek him and receive answers, amid many miraculous healings from every type of disease as evidence for starters. (Take a poll among churches: do you personally know anyone who has ever been physically healed to see the statistics and investigate to find the multitude of genuine healings today.) God told Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. When God stepped in and stopped the obedient Abraham, God said, “I will provide the sacrifice” and years later it was his own Son offered, when there was no intervention to stop the tragic event, that is the center of man’s salvation. Yes, Jesus is God. If you doubt it, then I suggest you do as any reasonable being would do. ask God yourself and wait for his answer. Why settle for man’s opinion when the answer from heaven will satisfy and answer all questions?

  • modoccus1

    Theoretical intellectualism is a disease of thought brought about in emulation of the hard sciences. This pursuit of “objectivity” installs limiting barriers of thought that causes severe reductionism and simplification of the chaotic open system nature of human behavior and relationships.

    Secular philosophers invent axiomatic starting points: that man is inherently
    good but is corrupted by his environment. This cornerstone of secular
    philosophy does not relate to reality, therefore, every edifice of thought
    built upon this is wrong.

    How about a little Christian theology in comparison to standard humanism? Man in the form of a primate animal generally has most of the instincts of predatory carnivores and predatory carnivores kill to survive, fighting to death for territory and mating —- obeying the biological imperative of reproduction and success of one’s gene pool through survival of the fittest.

    In the creation story, God breathed into man his spirit — meaning that man became sentient, self-aware, and cognizant of a moral dimension which brings us to a very fundamental foundation of Christian theology (actually various forms of this in all religious belief systems) that in spite of very powerful instinctive behavior, man has full RAM (random access memory) capability that can utilize an alternative operating software that can countermand and
    control the hardwired ROM (read-only memory) of genetic imprint. This predatory carnivore is now free to become human

    It is this alternate operating software that makes civilization possible. Even the phrase “rule of law” is a formulation that can only be called religious because the only thing that science and nature can teach us is survival of the fittest, kill or be killed, for the advancement of the most successful gene pool of the physical animal.

    The biblical description of man is far more accurate of the instinctive animal: “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” Jeremiah: 17: 9

    Or try this — “For from theheart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander” Matthew15:9

    If you want to see how that looks like, consider a psychopathic individual. He is not mentally ill in the form of delusions and incapable of rational thought. In fact, he can be quite intelligent and calculating. What you see is an individual that has rejected any religious/cultural inhibition over his natural instinctive nature.

  • modoccus1

    Parsing the theological details of Christian faith is not getting to the core difference between Christian faith and post-Christian secularism.

    Our country is founded on principles that are utterly and entirely religious in nature. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;” entirely a religious statement, as is the formulation “rule of law”.

    Scientific naturalism kills our humanity. The only “ natural law” that exists is the imperative of genetically printed behavior of survival of the fittest, kill or be killed for the success of one’s gene pool. Science is as useful as an extension ladder is to a carpet layer in religious discussions. Science is only relevant to the hard sciences.

    Scientific naturalism has absolutely no base under inferred “natural law” that will allow formation of civilization Scientific naturalism can’t even say that that the cannibal is doing something wrong. Science cannot find in human protein anything peculiar relating to the religious idea that cannibalism is wrong, and we eat other animals because the specie of man nutritionally needs meat protein.

    The Civil War is the greatest defining moment of America history; and can be characterized as a religious war. The main driver of this war was the dispute, in practice, whether or not, all men actually created equal and endowed by their creator with inalienable rights. Nothing like this ever happened in history. All other wars fought history had its roots in the primal instincts of animalism; and some folks can’t figure out what Americans exceptionalism means.The ones that don’t want to figure it out don’t deserve to live here.

    The core dispute is not between science and religion because science is not relative to the issue. It is between whose revelation of religious truth you want to believe. The religious revelation of Rousseau: that nonsensical idea of man being born with the clean slate, or the biblical description of the nature of man.

    The motive for Rousseau’s philosophical invention is avoidance of personal accountability to God of Christian theology (and the guilt), allowing a degree of license into the wild side of animalism and place blame elsewhere.

  • modoccus1

    While I’m at it, I just as well unload the whole 9 yards!

    Here’s a little window into the perspective of “original Americans”, who were profoundly Christian and built the greatest civilization ever, from Laura Ingalls Wilder. This was before Secular humanism invaded from continental Europe and entered into academic and cultural circles at the turn of the previous century (like the repulsive, destructive European rats invading a tropical island) and is desperately trying to airbrush the traditional Christian perspective from
    American history. The quickest rule of thumb in identifying its positions is
    that it automatically is opposite of every Christian tenet.

    A Fourth of July celebrations that was a religious service, of a sort, by men with the law written on their hearts:

    A farmer/settler (Frontiersmen) selected as master of ceremonies: “Well boys, I’m not much good at public speaking, but today is the glorious fourth.
    This is the day and date when our forefathers cut loose from the despots
    of Europe………………. (S)o here we are today, every man Jack of us a free and independent citizen of God’s country, the only country on earth were man is free and independent.” Etc.

    Next, the reading of the Declaration of Independence with hats off. “Laura and Carrie knew the Declaration by heart, of course, but it gave them a solemn, glorious feeling to hear the words”.

    Next the song of My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.

    And now Laura when at approximately the age of 14: “suddenly she had a completely new thought. The declaration and the song came together in
    her mind and she thought: God is America’s king. Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought. This is what it means to be free……. the laws of nature and of nature’s God endow you with the right to life and liberty….. you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you the right to be free.”

    Laura intuitively understood that to have maximum freedom, without the Hobbesian world of anarchy, depended upon man’s voluntary internalization of the rule of law. This is what the Christian faith provided.

    In western democracies, there seems to be the development of aspiring ruling elite; who fail the traditional democratic perspectives as public servants of the people. These folks, educated in the finest traditions of social science, and having been told by the Academy that they are tomorrow’s leaders, have developed aspirations different than public servants of the people —— some with the attitude of “sapient authority”. They seem to secretly wish for the control of authoritarian power (That silly juvenile idea they could solve the world’s problems). For this reason many of them seem to have historical affinity for dictators– Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che Guevara etc.. This subverts the original vision in the founding of universities and colleges for better participatory citizens in service of American democracy.

  • Jim_S_AI

    I take very slight umbrage with this statement: “For rationalists, the idea that God is many and God is one is a contradiction of the most elementary principles of logic. This was the part of Christianity that many of the Founding Fathers and other enlightened and educated people of the Age of Reason had the most trouble with. They wanted a God who was logical; the Trinity didn’t fit. Logic was clear: A is not non-A; one is not three.”

    Logic would only argue against the Trinity if the claim was that God is singular in one sense and plural in the same sense. The claim, however, is that God is plural in a different sense (personhood) than the sense in which he is one (essence). This is certainly an unusual dichotomy, to say the least, but it doesn’t raise a logical problem. Indeed, the New Testament says God, in addition to being love, is also logic — the word logos, usually translated as “word”, is where we get the word logic.

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