Proof #33: Contemplate the Crucifixion

February 11, 2008 at 6:23 am 6 comments

So far, this proof has the most hollow understanding of the Trinity and the Atonement of anything I’ve read so far from Marshall Brain’s site. It also uses human logic to attempt to explain the divine. All human attempts to understand God are doomed to failure.

Let’s look at the Trinity and the Atonement briefly to understand why Brain’s introductry paragraph is fallacious. Having a better understanding of the Trinity and the Atonement will show that what Christians actually believe isn’t even close to what Brain writes in his sarcastic summary.

At its most basic premise, the doctrine of the Trinity states that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one of essence (that is, ontologically equal to one another) while being three separate persons (that is, functionally different in the roles that they fulfill). This means that they are all the same God, but they have manifested in different ways.

The obvious objection here is that I’m saying that they are the same, yet different. In a sense, that is exactly what I’m saying. The doctrine of the Trinity almost boils down to the fact that Father, Son, and Spirit are the same but different. This isn’t really an objection; it is more of an observation. The Trinity is a tough concept to explain in only a few words–entire books have been written on it–but the best way to do that is with an earthly example: water.

We can see steam, ice, and water as one substance. It is very clear that each has the same chemical makeup, but has very different properties. Ice is solid, water is liquid, and steam is gaseous. Though it may be somewhat of a mystery to us why this bit of matter can (or for that matter, does) exist perfectly in each state, understanding that it is the same matter no matter its state is not a problem for us.

So it is with the Trinity.  For a lengthier discussion, look here.  For a defense of the Trinity using the Old Testament, see here.

Even with a better understanding of the Trinity, that isn’t the only reason that Brain’s statement that Jesus really said, “Myself, Myself, why have I forsaken me?” on the cross is just plain stupid. Jesus was attempting to call attention to Psalm 22, the first line of which reads, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” The rest of the Psalm contains an excellent description of Christ’s crucifixion.

Brain’s introductory paragraph also contains a very faulty understanding of the Atonement. First, the Atonement was necessary because of God’s wrath; this much Brain seems to have correct. God’s wrath must be understood side-by-side with His love, not in opposition to it. With that in mind, look at what happened when Adam and Eve first sinned. God immediately kills an animal and uses it to cover the pair (Gen 3:21). In Exodus and Deuteronomy, a system of animal sacrifice is set up. Why? Because there can be no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood (Heb 9:22). This is God’s wrath.

What we need is a sacrifice for all time that will cover every iniquity, and we find that in Christ’s atoning death on the cross. Predicted in Isaiah 53:5, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice (Heb 7:26-28) for our sins:

. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:23-26)

Paul goes on in Romans to say “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). That’s the Atonement right there: Jesus lived a perfect life so that we don’t have to. His death was unfortunately necessary because without blood, no sins can be forgiven. Thanks to Christ, we may now draw near to God with confidence. Not presumptuously, not by our works, but clothed in the righteousness of Christ–in His work.

With that understanding, we can now see that Brain’s article is flawed in all respects.

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Entry filed under: Atonement, Jesus, Trinity.

Proof #32: Talk to a Theologian Proof #34: Examine Your Health Insurance Policy

6 Comments

  • 1. Luke  |  June 15, 2008 at 8:33 am

    So far, this proof has the most hollow understanding of the Trinity and the Atonement of anything I’ve read so far from Marshall Brain’s site. It also uses human logic to attempt to explain the divine. All human attempts to understand God are doomed to failure.
    –Way to say “PEOPLE ARE STUPID.” Here’s my human attempt to understand God. And I’ll bet you I’m 100% correct. All I have to do is understand that all Gods are created by men, and all Gods behave like the people that created them. Then all I have to do is understand the culture. And there I go, now I understand God and his nature and personality. Now it all makes complete sense. It’s easy, now you try.

    God’s wrath must be understood side-by-side with His love, not in opposition to it.
    –How ridiculous. God sounds like a deranged serial killer that goes around killing people and shedding their blood because he loves them.

    Jesus’ death was unfortunately necessary because without blood, no sins can be forgiven.
    –You’re saying Jesus’ death was necessary because a bloodthirsty God seeks blood in order for sins to be forgiven. Why does a loving God “require” blood for sins to be forgiven? How nauseating. If there was ever any hope for me to believe in the Christian God again, you just destroyed it with this one. I’d make a hell of a better God than he would due solely to the fact that I’m not a bloodthirsty fear-monger.

  • 2. White  |  July 1, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    -Tried. Failed 😦

    -Like i said, God gave life. He have every right to take it back.

    -No God doesn’t require blood. He’s not a vampire -.- But He’s all-good. And so all-fair. And He can’t let sin go unpunished. THAT’S WHY

  • 3. Luke  |  July 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    White Says:
    Tried. Failed
    –If you can understand any religion’s God better than that, please enlighten me. If you choose one God over any of the others, then your conclusion is ultimately that their Gods are made up. Why is your God any different?

    Like i said, God gave life. He have every right to take it back.
    –Sure, he can take it back for whatever reason he wants. Whether that reason is good, bad, or just no reason at all. He’s God. He can do whatever he wants, and has no consequences to pay to anyone. He doesn’t have to be a good, loving God. He can be a mean and hateful God. And according to the Bible, he is just that. Do you honestly think that God is a good and loving God? It’s best not to answer that question. According to this site, all human attempts to understand God are doomed to failure. You would be wrong to assume anything or give definitive answers on the Nature of God’s personality. You don’t wanna be a liar, do ya?

    No God doesn’t require blood.
    –Well, you better take that up with the site administrator. He seems to think that blood is necessary for sins to be forgiven.

    He’s not a vampire.
    –No, he’s worse than that.

    But He’s all-good. And so all-fair.
    –You tried to understand God, but failed. God can do whatever he wants whether it be bad, or unfair. Don’t tell God what he is or isn’t. Just remember, if you’re wrong, it’s the same as lying. Thou shalt not lie.

    And He can’t let sin go unpunished. THAT’S WHY
    –So then there is no such thing as forgiveness? Why hasn’t he punished me for denying him and becoming an atheist, or some of the mundane lies I’ve ever told in the past? If a painful, bloody, and brutal execution isn’t punishment like the one Jesus received, then what IS punishment? Or maybe it was punishment. If he died for OUR sins, then he was punished for them with dead. After all, he can’t let sin go unpunished according to you, right?
    –But you know, Jesus didn’t technically die for our sins. He died because some roman politicians put him to death for whatever their reasons were. And according to secular historian Tacitus, he was put to death because he was falsely charged with starting a fire, and the romans felt they had to put the blame on someone, and that someone was the founder of Christianity because they were “hated for their enormities.”
    –Also, if God had anything to do with Jesus coming to earth just to die for our sins, then he literally forced the romans to execute him to carry out his “will.” This is called fatalism, which means that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them. This is direct violation of free will.

  • 4. Anti-Devil  |  July 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Hmm luke since u stated that all human attempt to understand god is doomed to failure?wat makes u think so…i think ur attempt is the real doomed to failure

  • 5. Luke  |  July 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Hmm luke since u stated that all human attempt to understand god is doomed to failure?
    –I never said that. You did in some other proofs, and so did the site administrator in this proof.

  • 6. Anti-Devil  |  July 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Luke,blood is needed,Darn it,u are getting more absurd,as if we will waste our time on u..needing blood to pay for sin is the same as going to jail for raping a woman..u are saying that one don have to go to jail for committing a crime?


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