The Jesus Collection
In 325AD, the Council of Nicea met to discus the nature of Jesus. There hasn’t been agreement since. The council of Nicea debated on whether Jesus was made of the same or a similar “substance” as God. That’s right, they debated on whether a person they never met was composed of the same substance as a being they had no proof of (as we’re supposed to respect religion).
Analyzing the nature of Jesus (Christology) is a tricky bit of theology, and it’s not a field of study that will come to a conclusion anytime soon. As it turns out Jesus can be fully human, fully divine, both, and everything in between. Like so many themed Barbie and Ken dolls, you can take all your Jesus’s and line them up on a shelf. But, be careful, if you take them out of their original package, they lose their collector value. Here are some of the Jesus’s you can collect:
- Adopted Jesus: Adoptionism teaches that Jesus was a regular old guy. That is, until, like a messianic Webster, he won Yahweh’s heart and was adopted as his son, either during his baptism, or at his death.
- The “I’ve Got a Secret” Jesus: Popular amongst the earliest Christians, Gnosticism is the passing on of special spiritual knowledge usually through visions or revelations.
- The “I Ain’t Got Nobody” Jesus: From the Greek for “to seem”, Docetism teaches that Jesus was fully divine, and that all appearance of Jesus’ humanity was merely an illusion. Sort of the antithesis of the Betsy Wetsy Jesus. No embarrassing messes!
- Trinitarian Jesus: Like Man-E-Faces of the Masters of the Universe collection, Jesus can be part of a triad of infinite confusion. That’s three persons sharing a divine nature. And one of those persons has a second nature. That’s the one (or three?) you can display on your shelf!
- Just Plain Human Jesus: No X-Ray vision, no Kung Fu grip. This Jesus’ only power is a good sermon and lots of charisma. A favorite of Liberal Christian teachings, like Unitarianism. Not a high collector value.
- Mormon Jesus: I have no idea what this Jesus does.
- Jewish Jesus: He hasn’t arrived yet. He’s been ordered, but he’s still in the mail.
- The “Personal Friend” Jesus: He’s the latest fad. The one all the kids have to have. He may be absent from the Bible and pretty much all of Christian history, but that doesn’t stop him from taking over the toy shelf. You can tell this Jesus all your secrets and hold him close to your chest … but not too close, that freaks this Jesus out. He’s not that kind of friend.
So, the next time you’re asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” You can answer, “Which one? I’ve got the whole collection.”