For that reason the holy child shall be called the son of God

The following verse if often quoted in defense of Jesus being the son of God because of the virginal conception.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

However, if you read this verse in context you discover a couple of problems with it as somehow it doesn’t fit into the context.

Luke 1:
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy child shall be called the son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Are we to believe that the angel had just announced that Messiah will be born to her and rather than leaping for joy her greatest concern is…

… how to fall pregnant?

When she already had a husband? (more…)

He shall be called the son of God – for what reason

Anthony Buzzard’s (and hence the Restoration Fellowship’s) position of retaining the virgin birth doctrine hangs largely on this single verse.

Luke 1:35
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy child shall be called the son of God.

However, if we read this verse in context we discover a couple of problems with it as somehow it doesn’t fit into the context. (more…)

Developing Theology – two majour approaches

When you talk to Christians you often hear a lot of “Christian talk”. They think they are talking about Christian living, that is, the application of biblical teaching and not theology. However, they don’t realise that their talk is in reality theology. The ideas about God’s grace, Christ standing in the gap, the Spirit leading, etc, were all worked out by theologians in the past, but these were preached so many times over and over again that people don’t think about theology any more, but they call them application.

In my view we need to be concerned about two things:

1. what does the text say (theology)
2. what does it mean to me in my everyday life (application)

No 2 depends on No 1, no question about it.

Sure, you can read the bible for yourself without having any biblical education and get something out of it. What you get out will depend on you, your ideas, cultural settings, whether you want to justify what you do, etc. But Paul says the scriptures are not for private interpretation. What does he mean? Maybe we need to make an effort to find out what it says and submit ourselves to it.

But things are not so simple. (more…)

The Just Shall Live by Faith – or by His Faithfulness?

I often get told that theology is not really important and I should rather focus on application. Sure, I can’t expect everyone to be a theologian, but I’ like you all to recognise that the way you interpret the bible DOES have an effect on your walk as a Christian.

I often heard from Christians that “the bible says this and that”. But in reality they simply read their ideas into the scriptures. Noone should make such a claim. Various churches teach it various ways. But if you get it wrong, will it not affect your conduct, your walk with God? You might do something that is actually forbidden.

You see, faulty theology leads to a false sense of security. Digging into the text HAS applications to everyday living. If, for example, it turned out that “faith” was a doing word rather than head knowledge, many Christians would find themselves in trouble. Sure, Martin Luther read in Romans that “the just shall live by faith”, but he didn’t check where the idea originates from in the Hebrew bible (OT) and whether it was correctly translated. (more…)

Son of God or Adamic Christology – Phil 2:6-11

I thought I need to write out something to explain the problems with the Kenosis theory.

I suppose you are aware that theologians often speak about the Kenosis (Gk for “emptying”) of the preincarnate Christ in the Philippian passage.

Phil 2:
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

However, if you search, you find many opinions in regards to what Christ emptied himself from. Was it his deity, will or something else? There is a lot of debate going on between the theologians of various Christian denominations, just google for “kenosis” to see it for yourselves. (more…)