Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dialogue with a Muslim Man (continued)...

Below is "part two" of my dialogue with "Jude", and in this segment questions about what sins Jesus died for and "God as man" are answered. First the questions/objections:

1- Original sin is not the same as personal sin. Original sin refers to mans inclination to disobey God. Is this why Jesus had to die? Or was it for personal sin? (Please excuse my ignorance, but when I want to know more about a religion, or anything in particular, I prefer to go to the source, in this case a Christian)

2- "..the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand.."
What I'm itching to say is that this is not the only thing in Christianity that is mysterious and cannot be fully understood. Another example is the trinity. Can you explain it a little bit. How can God be a man?

And my answers/rebuttals:

1 - Jesus died for the remission of all sins, both the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, and our personal sins:
613 Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world",[439] and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins".
614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices. First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church,

"In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins." - 1 John 4:10

2 - "How can God be a man?"

As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ was not only fully human but also fully divine, i.e. fully man and fully God. We see the evidence for this in Sacred Scripture:

John 1:1-5 >> the Word Was God and the Word became flesh
John 8:19 >> "if you knew me, you would know my father"
John 8:58:59 >> "I assure you, before Abraham was, I AM"; God addresses himself to Moses as "I AM" in Exodus 3:14 ("‘I AM has sent me to you".)
John 10:30-33 >> "the Father and I are one"
John 10:38 >> "the father is in me and I am in the Father"
John 12:45 >> "whoever sees me sees the one who sent me"
John 14:8-12 >> "whoever has seen me has seen the Father"
John 20:28 >> Jesus accepts Thomas' "my Lord and my GOD"
Colossians 2:9 >> "in him dwells whole fullness of deity bodily"
Acts 20:28 >> "the church of God will be acquired with his blood" (referring to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross)
Ephesians 1:7 >> "in him we have redemption by his blood" (can the death of a mere man earn for us our redemption?)
1 John 1:7 >> "blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin" (do sons not inherit the traits of their father? If God is divine and he has a son, then does that not make his son divine?)
Titus 2:13 >> "glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ" (Jesus is consistently referred to as God as well)

But check this out: in the Old Testament God appears before Abraham as three men:

"And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, and said, 'My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.'" - Genesis 18:1-3

More questions and answers to "Jude" in my next blog entry. Stay tuned!

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