If Jesus wasn’t God, then we’re screwed

Headline – Austrailian Priest Claims Jesus Was Not God

For those who don’t want to click over to the article, here is their summary. The page has a link to the full article on another website.

Jesus Christ was not God, and Mary was not a virgin, according to a controversial new book written by an Australian Catholic priest.

“This whole matter regarding Jesus being God … not only does violence to my own intelligence, but must be a sticking point,” Father Peter Dresser writes in his new book, “God Is Big. Real Big.”

“For millions of people trying to make some kind of sense of the Christian religion … No human being can ever be God, and Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that.”

Dresser claims Joseph was Jesus’s father, Mary was not a virgin – and actually had six children – and that the story of the resurrection should not be taken literally.

Dresser’s book has angered conservative Catholics across Australia.

“The Council of Nicaea settled the question that Christ was God in 325, so he is 1700 years out of date,” Sydney priest Anthony Robbie said. “The rest is a regurgitation of every discredited 19th-century liberal Protestant German cliche in the book.”

Wow. I mean, wow. First off, the amount of cognitive dissonance going on in this man’s thought processes must be astounding. I don’t mean that as an insult, not at all. How can one be a priest in a belief system and not hold to the most fundamental beliefs of that belief system? The realities of Jesus Christ being God in the flesh and the resurrection are the most foundational tenants in the Christian faith, Catholic or Protestant. And to be a priest in that system and trying to juxtapose those tow things, it makes no sense.

Without writing a whole theological treatise, here are just a few things to consider.

  • Jesus claimed to be God. The Pharisees believed He claimed to be God, that’s why they wanted Him killed.
  • When Peter said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” Jesus affirmed that statement.
  • Father Dresser needs to read 1 Corinthians 15. Paul addressed the issue of the resurrection way back. If Jesus wasn’t God then His death was meaningless. If He didn’t rise from the dead then we are still lost in our sins. Did the Apostle Paul take the resurrection too literally, having been a witness of the resurrected Jesus?

Father Dresser is also somewhat hypocritical in his conclusion that Jesus wasn’t God and just a human being. Look at the title of his book; “God Is Big. Real Big.” If God couldn’t manifest Himself in human form then that kinda limits his real big God.

The only partial truth in this article is the statement that Mary wasn’t a perpetual virgin. While she was a virgin when Jesus was born she did not remain a virgin. The New Testament is pretty clear that Jesus had brothers and sisters from Mary and Joseph. That particular Catholic doctrine is clearly contrary to scripture.

The nature of Jesus, the nature of God is the heart, the core of the difference between Biblical Christianity and everything else in the world. If Jesus isn’t God, if God is just an entity or a force, if the Bible is just a moral guide with stories to help us out, then all of this is really meaningless. If there is no absolute truth then nothing really matters. There is no real right an wrong. We are just chemical machines reacting to stimulus and environmental variables like an insect or a bacteria.

But if there is absolute truth, if there is a Creator, then He makes the rules. If we violate those rules we are responsible for the consequences, the resulting “evil”, not Him. Yet, what does God do? He takes the consequences on Himself so that we don’t have to. He sends His Son who is both human and God, to pay the penalty of death for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Jesus.” Sweet! How do we get in on this? 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We have to recognize that we are sinners (c’mon, you know you are), repent of our sin (c’mon, you know you want to), ask forgiveness (c’mon, you know you need to), and love on God with our lives not because we have to, but because we want to (c’mon already!).

  1. Some skeptics would have to ignore or tear out small sections of the bible. This guy would just have to disregard the entire revealed word of God. Jesus said: If anyone is willing to do His will he will know of the teaching, wether it is of God or wether I speak from myself. – John 7:17
    This “priest” is obviously unwilling to believe.

  2. Perhaps one of those “willingly ignorant” people Peter talks about. It’s amazing to me (though it shouldn’t be) how people can use what they want to believe as the test for what is true or not. It’s sad really.

  3. Flashbacks to the Jesus Seminar. There is a whole new movement out there that is taking it all one step further. Sad that it is now coming from the clergy. Not surprising really when I see Christian’s beginning to embrace inter-spirituality.

    It is insane the rapidity of these things.

  4. JimG – Truly. If nothing else, maybe it will cause churches, believers, and clergy to take a hard look at what it is they do believe and what they are going to do with it.

  5. I hope it gets them a little more forward thinking about the ramifications of subtle compromises. I have been reading source material from this new inter-spirituality and it is mind blowing the subtlety of the assault being made against Christ himself through His own church. Talk about divorce – wow.

  6. JimG – But here’s the thing I see. What appears to be subtle chipping away at this point is like comparing my taking a hammer and chipping a little off of George Washington’s chin at Mt. Rushmore. This chipping and shaving has been happening for centuries. I know you know that and I’m not saying that you don’t. What I’m saying is that there has been so much compromise for so long it’s almost a moot point.

    I’m teaching on “What is a disciple?” this Sunday and this should make some interesting fodder.

  7. I agree with you Corby, it definitely didn’t happen over night, but wouldn’t you agree it seems to be more ‘in your face’ today and taking people who ought to know better with it.

    I’ll have to check out the podcast when you get it posted.

    BTW – love this wp theme, I wish they had it for the .com side.

  8. Oh totally. I would venture that the reason it’s so “in your face” is because the issue of Christ’s divinity is the final stronghold of us fundamentalists (in the good usage of that word).

    Do a search for the theme. It’s called Diary Notes. You may be able to download it from somewhere seeing as it’s pretty old and no longer in development. But, there is always the possibility that it will stop working at some point when WordPress updates to some new version. Blogger-be-ware.

  9. If Jesus was not God, then Stephen, John, Peter..et al were fools for dying for something they would have know to be false.

    Peter Dresser is the fool.

  10. Now now, James, he may be a fool. But he is also just another deceived person who needs the truth, love, and grace of Jesus. Just like Stephens, John, Peter, you, and me.

  11. Naw dude. Don’t worry about it. That was my initial reaction to reading the article. How stupid! Then coming to the realization that this individual is leading people away from the truth because he think he has come to the true truth. It’s aggravating and humbling all at the same time.

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