Saturday, November 21, 2009

"A Schizophrenic Godhead"

“Finally, exhaustive divine sovereignty appears to pit Jesus against the Father. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and instructed them that Christian leaders were to emulate this style of leadership. In my opinion, the church leadership has not done a good job of fulfilling Jesus’ intention. But if the Father gets exactly what he wants, then what has transpired in the history of the church is PRECISELY WHAT THE FATHER INTENDED. If Jesus desires that Christians love and forgive one another instead of domineering over one another but the Father desires that we lord our power over each other (as witnessed by what actually happens), then THE DESIRES OF THE SON AND THE FATHER ARE AT ODDS, PRODUCING A SCHIZOPHRENIC GODHEAD. (If one posits a hidden will of God the Father behind the revealed will of God the Son, then the ‘revelation’ of God in Jesus is undermined)” (John Sanders, “The God Who Risks: A Theology of Divine Providence.” Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2007, page 225).

Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary provides the following definition of “schizophrenic”:

2 : contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes.

What John Sanders wants us to do is evaluate the argument. You cannot have two opposite things adjacent to one another, in the same respect at the same time. For example, a person cannot be both “short” and “tall” at the same time in the same way. “Short” and “tall” cannot remain unqualified absolute statements. To leave the phrase as “short and tall” is contradictory. If you revise the phrase as “shorter than her aunt, taller than her mother” you have solved the problem.

If Jesus’ visit on earth was about UNSELFISHNESS, while the Father promoted SELFISHNESS, then what does that say about the Trinity? As Sanders tells us, the Trinity becomes “schizophrenic”—divided in its nature. “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13, NKJV) I think not. If Christ is not divided, then neither is the Trinity.

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