If Jesus Doesn’t Know the Hour, Is He God?

Question posed to me by students studying apologetics:

“This is a question a lot of Muslims ask because they don’t believe in the Trinitarian attribute of our God and like to use Matthew 24:36 to “prove” that the Son and the Father are not one, but completely separate. So the question is, after reading the verse, how can Jesus the son be God the Father if God is omniscient and all knowing but Jesus does not know the hour and God knows the hour?”

This is how I answered:

The answer is based in what scholars have dubbed “the hypostatic union”, whereby Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man. He walked and talked as a man, mourned as a man, suffered as a man, yet as God He was prayed to, worshiped, etc. We could certainly do a trinity, or deity of Christ study if need be, using John 1:1 (theos en ho logos), or in John 8 (before Abraham was I am) or Isaiah 7 (Emmanuel meaning God with us). In Micah He is called the everlasting father, etc.

But the emptying of himself on earth is described in Phil 2 “Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death.”

Another example is in Hebrews 2 it states that “He was made for a little while lower than the angels.” We can infer from all this that Christ, during His earthly ministry, healed and did miracles by the father’s power, or the power of the Holy Spirit rather than His own. Therefore, having to live a perfect life as a man, He did this so perfectly or “fairly” may be a better term, that He did not know the day nor the hour.

If you are looking for a less intense, down and dirty answer, we’d simply refer to Revelations, which is a go-to place to witness to Mormons as well as those who practice Islam, since the deity of Christ is often attacked.

Ask, who is this that says in Rev 1:11 , “I am the alpha and omega, the first and last.” The Mormon, or Muslim will say that refers to God (or Allah they may say). Then ask, what about here in Rev 21:6, “I am the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end.” Who is that? They will say, God.
Then we refer to rev 1:17-18. “I am the first and the last, He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more.” Who is this? They will say, that is God, to which you reply, “When did God die?”

Also, on a side note, The Quran of Islam states that God departed the law and inspiration to the bible’s profits, that he sent down the law of Moses, and the Gospel of Jesus, (Sura 2:87; 3:3; 4:163; and 5:46),  and that the word of God cannot be altered (6:34, 6:115). However, most Muslims will state that the bible has been corrupted and that the Quran must be trusted over the Christian bible. The real question is how can the Muslim trust the Quran, if in its very text it states to trust the gospels, and Allah’s words cannot be changed. Another way to state this is in a simple proof which the text bears out:

1 – If the Bible is true than the Quran is false
2 – If the Bible is false, than the Quran is false
3 – Therefore, the Quran is false

Please feel free to comment, and let me know if you have any additional thoughts in regards to this question.

If you are interested in my Christian Fiction, The Last Saint, please check it out here or on Amazon. 

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6 E’s of authenticity

Frank Turek at Cross Examined teaches 6 evidences to consider that give us confidence in the authority of scripture, all starting with the letter E for easy remembering:

1 – Early testimony – As I stated yesterday as an example, the first writings of Buddha are approximately 400 years after the actual life of Siddhartha. By contrast, the New Testament was written before 70AD, many books completed only 17-21 years after the resurrection. This adds great veracity to the historicity of the text.

2 – Eye-witness testimony – Frank teaches that after extensive study, and just as one example, if we take the book of John and Acts, therein can be found over 140 details that could only be eye-witness details. On a side note, many of these are in Genesis as well, proving the authenticity of it too, such as the verified price of a slave at that time matching Joseph’s sale price.

3 – Embarrassing testimony – Would writers of their own story include Peter denying Christ 3 times? What about the Lord they followed and loved calling Peter Satan? “Get behind me Satan.” Or would it describe how the men ran and fled, and the women stayed on the scene of the crucifixion? Or that they were the ones who discovered the missing tomb, in a time where there testimonies were not held in as high of esteem as a man’s. These are in there, not because they help the story, but because they are true.

4 – Excruciating testimony -If you have read Fox’s book of Martyrs, you know the horrible details of the brave Martyrs following Christ, and spreading Christianity to the civilized world. The apostles were boiled, crucified, even upside down, and this was the same group that days before were running away, fleeing, unsure of why they followed Jesus, and fearing the repercussions of such a choice. What made such men do a complete 180, and declare Christ even in the face of death?

5 – Expected testimony – The story of Christ fulfills hundreds of prophecies! From where He was born to how He would die. Emmanuel that was promised in Isaiah 7 was expected, and what was expected was fulfilled. For a great example, please re-read Isaiah 53.

6 – Extrabiblical testimony – We have 10 ancient non-Christian sources, such as Josephus, which describe the basic phenomenon of Christ’s story. You can conclude that even those books that are not canonized scripture agree on the historical Jesus, His plight, and His following, lending veracity once again to the true narratives about Him.

For more from Frank Turek, and other great apologists, visit www.crossexamined.org. Also, he released a great book which I highly recommend called “Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case”.

UPDATE: 7th E is Elaborate Testimony – Without collusion, different writers inadvertently support what each other are saying, and/or provide details that confirm another’s testimony.

Why did I write this Novel?

Everyone wants to write a book, or make a film, or tell a story. Everyone has a fleeting thought about a scenario, or event that would make a fantastic tale. A situation, or predicament. Arching it back to a beginning, bringing it to a satisfying end, those are the difficulties.stock-photo-21876498-colored-books-with-clear-cover-falling-away

It’s within the execution of the telling that life gets in between, that we lose our way, that a great idea fizzles. I should know, because there are dozens of my own untold tales that have decayed in the assiduous assaults of everyday life. I have so many chapter ones that if they correlated with one another, I’d have enough material for another novel. But this novel, The Last Saint, was different. It was an idea that wouldn’t let go, and had to be told.

From a Christian point of view, if there was going to be a rapture, then there was definitively going to be someone who was the last person saved before it happened, the last Christian before the end; and I knew exactly what that looked like. Without the ambitions of publishing, or financial gain, or recognition, I only knew that I couldn’t dispel with the idea until it was fully discovered. The idea was strong, and haunting, and instead of waning, it grew to permeate my days, disturbed my sleep, and play out in my dreams. The need to write it was greater than my ability to dismiss it. It suddenly didn’t matter that I couldn’t write a novel, or that it wasn’t my job, or I probably wasn’t skilled enough, or that I didn’t have time. It was coming out, one way or another.

I found resolve in making a decision to write it. The trigger had been pulled, and like any other passion, be it music, or baking, or dance, I would undertake it’s challenges to make it as excellent as possible.

The first draft was done in one month. The story was out of my head, written badly, but on paper. I was in love. Now, to make it not so embarrassing.

I had written for years, mostly poetry, lyrics for rock songs, some unpublished shorts, none of which required the polished rectitude of a novel. Poetic license was often utilized as a license to remain sloppy, rather than bother to refine a chosen craft. This was true in many facets of life, not just art. But if I was to tell the tale, it would need to be told so that how it was presented didn’t detract from the power of the journey.

At this point, I didn’t even know how long to make it. There are articles on how long first time novels should be, articles on what techniques to avoid, what techniques to employ. A friend, by the handle Inkslick, was helpful in devising setting parameters, and encouraged literary horses, the drivers of common themes within the story. I read blogs from famous authors, and spent days filling my brain with information, until my momentum was stifled by fear. I had to let go of it all, shove it all away, off my desk, clear the mechanism. I chose one or two principles that seemed to resonate with me, and stopped trying to make it what it was supposed to be. I told my tale.

Getting picked up my a publishing company was a blessing, and quite unexpected. I had sent some chapters on a dare, and now a nationally distributed novel of my own will be arriving within days. All because this idea was so strong a year ago, and I didn’t let go. I learned. I learned weaknesses, but also what I am capable of. I learned that there is allowed to be more, much more, that flows from my heart, and into my life. I can add my own creations, my own thoughts, my own beliefs, to the world around me. I simply gave myself permission to do so, and in doing, to explore those little fleeting thoughts that we all have, crying out to tell a story. I just answered.

To order The Last Saint visit https://jrcooper.org/

 

Releasing the Novel…

On a more personal note, I would discuss the artist’s mindset upon releasing a work into the wilds of the world. I think we all have a creative side, to one degree or another. I have found that even the most stoic and calculating souls have a hidden place inside where they always dreamed of painting, or wrote a few words of prose down. Many play instruments, some dance, and I am a big supporter of these outlets. They tend to relieve stress, and help you to know yourself. But many times it is personal and never gets beyond the door of your sanctuary. Which is fine.

But many let fly their passion, past the gates, and into the world, like releasing something they loved. Now, before the actual release, there is most certainly anxiety, some reticence, and usually a healthy bit of scrutinizing over the work. Hundreds of man hours go in to tweaking the art form, because it will become a public thing.  You have to be sure that when released it conveys the best of who you are. The best of what you can be. Many don’t release it at that last moment, because of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of letting themselves down. And there is fear of your art being hated, which, since it is something you loved so hard, means they hate you.

But those that do, those that take that step, that sign their name to something, to a performance, to a piece of art, they get to experience one of the great treasures of life, one that cannot be had by way of money, or affection from the opposite sex, or from self-service. Because to make art is to give the world a piece of yourself. It is to love others with the gifts you were given. It is to be courageously you. And if that passion moves people, or succeeds in however we measure success, then you have proven to your inner most being that you have added to the world, that you are special, that you are unique. And conversely, if you fail, you have taught yourself that actually failing after trying was not nearly as bad as what you feared it might be. You have risked, and learned how to grow. You have gained courage, and knowledge, and have come that much closer to discovering just what it is exactly that makes you beautiful.

There is a world full of joylessness out there. A world full of the anonymous negative, who hate that they have not risked, or that they have never tried, because they think if it doesn’t work out, if the world doesn’t make them ‘go viral’, it is tantamount to being nothing. Those people will attack, they will use the anonymity of the web, or the distance between your effort and theirs to berate and slander and cut down who you are. And I understand that not everyone has the self-confidence to face such a world. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. But, as a man who has written songs I feared people would hate, and stepped on stage to sing when I knew that I wasn’t one of the vocally blessed, and written a novel half convinced I wasn’t qualified to write, I will say that following through is an awakening of self-discovery. Each show, or story, both the good and bad, has forced me to reflect upon my path, and honestly assess who I am and where my power lies to affect others for the better.

I don’t know if lots of people will read my novel, or even if the subject matter is cared about by most. But in a few days, it will be released, out in the wide world, to be seen… or ignored… hated… or enjoyed. I feel strongly about its quality, and am confident, if it is read, that most will really enjoy the journey within its pages. And my answer to those who hate it? “My friend, I tried with all my heart, and all my love, to do honor to the gifts that God has blessed me with.”

I would encourage you all to try, to push the boundaries of those passions you love, those things you spend hours doing, perfecting, and to put that love into the world. The world will never get better by taking from it, only by giving to it, and you all have something unique to give. Let it fly, and do your best to not just hear the negative joyless, but look beyond to the courage you had to love the world in a way only you could.

@JRCooperauthor

http://www.facebook.com/cooper.author

The Last Saint