Fully human, fully God – how this can work logically

When I hear an athlete say they are going to give 110% effort, I shake my head.  If taken literally, they are saying that they will exert themselves 10% beyond what they are capable of.  In other words, I expect to see them injured if they are going to live up to their statement.  Instead, it typically turns out that extra 10% is pretense.

But that’s only 10%.

Jesus, on the other hand, is 100% human and 100% God, according to some Christians.  In other words, Jesus could give 200%!

Now wait a moment here.

How can Jesus be completely human and completely God without running into some sort of overlap?

I can’t come up with one example of how this could work in the Christian sense.  50% human, 50% God – alright, I can understand that.  Maybe Jesus was mostly human and only a small part of him was Godly, enough part to allow for the atonement of sins.  That makes sense to me!  But no.  Fully human.  Fully God.  Jesus is beyond himself.  Multi-dimensional.  Beyond any comprehension.

Then again, maybe that’s the point.  People can’t argue with an understanding that is beyond understanding.  They are forced into a position of either believing or not believing, and typically in an environment where the peer pressure strongly leans toward believing.

Maybe we’re looking at it wrong.

Maybe there is some logic we can tap into in order to understand this problem.

Maybe there is some misunderstanding in the way this idea is presented.

Maybe a little more information is needed.

MaybeJesus is 100% human (historically) AND 100% God (mythologically)?

Hmmmm, let’s check that.  100% human (historically).  In other words, Jesus was a guy who existed?  Yes.  Plausible.

100% God (mythologically)?  With a quick internet search, this definition of ‘myth’ comes up: “an exaggerated or idealized conception of a person or thing.”  Ok.  Tough to argue against that.

So there you have it, Jesus being fully human AND fully God IS possible logically!

… unfortunately for believers, accepting that the story of Jesus is not factually sound is required for this understanding.  Sure, you could give 110% in attempting to rationalize it supernaturally, but I’d rather not see you hurt yourself.

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15 Responses to Fully human, fully God – how this can work logically

  1. Soduhson says:

    What is the difference between a myth and a lie?

    They both are factually incorrect, while a myth conveys a “Truth” about a person or situation.

    Now the fully God and fully man sentiment was not the intended to accommodate for Jesus as a myth. If Jesus’ divinity is a myth then the euphemism isn’t necessary.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      That’s the trouble though, it does not logically add up. It has bothered me from when I first heard it, it sounds like something you’d hear on a late night infomercial. But it seems to be significant, so I have kept it in mind in order to find logic in it.

      There is truth in everything – even in deception. The truth can sometimes be deciphered from deception by investigating deeper into what is either being emphasized greatly within a story or what is being glossed over.

      Sometimes it’s more subtle, sometimes it’s obvious. Ask any professional poker player! It’s part of what they do for a living.

      But like you say, it isn’t intended to accommodate for Jesus as a myth – but I find the troubling logic behind it actually exposes that there is at least a problem behind it. I have done my best to connect the dots to allow for the logic of the statement to shine through, under the assumption that God made things right in the first place and has no need to return and twist logic around.

      • Soduhson says:

        It is logical, though not concrete. A measurement of Jesus’ divinity cannot be found in scripture. It’s a deductive justification of Jesus’ dual nature.

        Eastern Orthodox perspective: We all have souls derived from the breath of God, Jesus’s soul; was created from the flesh of God. His body was fully man and his soul was fully (composed of) God.

        Western/Gnostic/Oneness: Jesus’s human form was for all intents and purposes “real” and human. But his true form revealed after the resurrection was that of God.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        So Eastern Orthodox is along the lines of 50/50 and Western/Gnostic/Oneness are along the lines of Jesus was a man, until he couldn’t have been a man, but he seemed to be a man so he must be both?

      • Soduhson says:

        50/50 would be Jesus as a demi-god. A la Hercules.

        100/100 is Jesus with a human body and a God spirit.

        All the interpretations (eastern, western, gnostic, and oneness) are attempting to convey that same argument in different ways. Gnostic might actually be more like 50/100 or 100/50 because they believed that Jesus’ physical body was an illusion.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        With all those variations, there’s definitely some mythology going on there at least to some degree!

        So if Jesus is 100/100 human body/God spirit, spirit does not constitute part of a person? The spirit and the body don’t have any influence on each other? It just makes no sense to me how there could be no overlap.

      • Soduhson says:

        It depends on how far you go with the myth argument. Is Jesus’ divinity real or mythological? Establishing Jesus as divine is a baseline argument before you can play with his supernatural physiology. Otherwise, like I said before, the euphemism is irrelevant.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        This sounds like brainstorming for a comic book superhero! But I understand, playing with supernatural physiology is good for capturing the imagination of people and bringing them together. Who would really care about Jesus if he was just a guy well-versed in understanding human life?

      • Soduhson says:

        My post with our other discussion actually takes the opposite view. There are figures in religious thought (even in Abrahamic religions) with Christ-like notoriety who aren’t divine. Validation for Jesus’ divinity ironically comes from the fact that it’s ultimately unnecessary yet notably persistent.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Considering the issues of the money changers in the Temple, someone challenging the religious system in order to bring about positive change does seem like it was necessary. I’m not sure how else such change could be brought to what seems like strongly held beliefs in animal sacrifice without bringing some seemingly supernatural event to the table in order to convince people that it is no longer necessary.

      • Soduhson says:

        In the ideological realm of Judeo-Christianity, you can perform supernatural acts without having your own unique divine origin. Jesus’ in scripture was considered either Elijah or “another” prophet by many (a belief that persists in Islam). Jesus’s divine nature is really an article of faith. The only area where it really serves a purpose (in retrospect) is in the Eucharist/Communion/Last Supper. Beyond that, it’s certainly not “necessary” (by secular/philosophical standards).

      • Soduhson says:

        By “not necessary” I mean Jesus’s divinity was NOT essential for Christianity’s survival as many scholars tend to assume.

  2. becky says:

    I do not think that Christians mean that he was 100% God and 100% man to mean Jesus was 200%.They mean that everything it means to God, he was and everything it means to be human, he was.

    God is omnipotent, and therefore Christ was fully omnipotent. He had all the characteristics of God, and did not lack any of them.

    So he was not fully God as a percentage of his being, but fully God in the sense that he had all the characteristics of God.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If he was fully omnipotent, couldn’t he have basically just snapped his fingers and set things straight, instead of having to rely on a dramatic act and word-of-mouth press to make a point?

  3. Derek says:

    “Could” is probably our operative word here. He could have, but he didn’t. When He was tempted in the desert he could have turned the stones into bread but he didn’t. Just because someone doesn’t do something doesn’t mean they can’t.

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