Monday, 1 February 2016
A Third Element of a Post-Supersessionist Christology
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002
Chapter 11, "Jesus as the Universal Saviour", 127-137, page 132
The third element that Phan tackles in building his post-supercessionist Christology, is to explain how it can be possible to affirm the continuing validity of G-d's covenant with Israel and maintain that Yeshua is the way G-d has chosen to save mankind. He starts like this:
There are two dimensions in this explanation, one concerning the activities of the Logos (Word) of G-d in Jesus (christological) and the other concerning the activities of the Holy Spirit (pneumatological).
In fact, he deals with the first one in element three (here) and leaves the other to element four (next).
According to the Christian faith, the divine Logos, the Son of G-d the Father, took flesh (ir is incarnated) as a Jew, that is, in Jesus of Nazareth, and is therefore personally identified with him. However, the Logos was not, and could not be, exhaustively embodied in Jesus of Nazareth, since Jesus was spatially and temporarily limited. Thus, Jesus could not exhaustively express the divine, infinite saving power in his human words and deeds.
Even allowing for Yeshua "emptying Himself" (Philippians 2:7), I think that falls a long way short of "He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature" (Hebrews 1:3). But let's let the man finish ...
There is, therefore, a "distinction-in-identity" or "identity-in-distinction" between the eternal, "un-incarnate" Logos and the Jew Jesus in whom the Logos became flesh in time and with whom he is personally identified. Hence, the activities of the Logos, though inseparable from those of Jesus, are also distinct from and go beyond Jesus' activities, before, during and after the Incarnation.
That sounds very like one or more early church period heresies to me: not really divine, but with the divine dwelling in him for a season - does that ring a bell?
Be that as it may, it sounds as though the essence here is that not all of G-d could fit in "Jesus the Jew", so the bit that couldn't fit honours the Jewish covenant, while the bit that was saves the world? Have I read that right? What to you think?