Key Attributes lacked by Jesus?

Attributes Jesus (Supposedly) Lacks

Here I am going to respond to selections of Kel’s article.  The selections I have chosen are the ones I regard as embodying Kel’s main arguments; I have left out what I regard as repetitious or off the point.  If I have missed or misunderstood Kel’s arguments, anyone who reads this – including Kel – is welcome to bring that to my attention.

. . .

Argument:

“God is not lacking anything. By definition, God cannot lack one single thing and still be God. Yet, the Scriptures reveal there are many things which Jesus lacks.

1 Omniscience

Trinitarians actually have the audacity to claim Jesus was omniscient despite the utterly plain facts the Bible tells us that he increased in wisdom and he himself declared only his Father knew the day and hour of his return. One must ask why they would appeal to such dishonest measures.

And Jesus was increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52).

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Matthew 24:36).”

Response:

It is quite possible to know something and not know it at the same time.  It is not unusual even for us to have knowledge but to say “I don’t know” if we can’t recall it at a particular time.

A person can know something and not know it at the same time; we all do this when for example we forget something we know; if someone asks us at that moment for the information, we can truthfully say “I don’t know” even though it is buried in our minds.  In dreaming (another example) you are still the same person as you are when awake but your dream awareness is much more limited than your waking awareness.  You may not “know” certain things in your dream that you actually know very well in waking life.

The ability to know something and yet not know it at certain points in time is true even of us, who have only one nature, human nature.  But Jesus has two natures, one divine and one human.  Jesus, as a man, put himself into a position analogous to the one we are in when we dream, with the difference that we can’t help ourselves and he was in total control of the situation.  Not everything the Son knows as God was available to him when he walked the earth as a human being.  Jesus only lacked knowledge in his capacity as a non-resurrected human being.  When he walked the earth his consciousness was filtered through his human nature, which by definition cannot know all things.

Kel may think the explanation I have provided is not likely.  However, even the possibility of it means that Jesus’ lack of knowledge as a human being does not prove he is not also God.

For a fuller response to this question, see the final argument and my response in Major Problems with the Trinity.

Argument:

“2 Omnipotence

Trinitarians actually have the audacity to claim Jesus was omnipotent despite the utterly plain fact the Bible tells us that he lives by the power of God and that only God possess immortality within himself and he needed God to save him from death. God the Father lives by the power of his own inherent immortality. However, Jesus lives by the power of his Father’s immortality.

For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives out of the power of God (2 Corinthians 13:4).

I charge you in the sight of God who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment spotless and irreproachable until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his own time he will show the Blessed and only Sovereign Power, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal might! Amen (1 Timothy 6:14-16).

He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. (Hebrews 5:7).”

Response: 

By saying that only God possesses immortality within himself, Kel is assuming that Jesus is not God, for he thinks that the Scripture he quotes from 1 Timothy 6 excludes Jesus when it refers to the one who alone possesses immortality.  Of course Jesus as a man needed God to preserve him from death, as 2 Corinthians 13:4 shows; but that does not mean that Jesus is not also God.  When he was on earth, however, he limited himself to rely only on God the Father and not use his own divine might.

As it says in Philippians 2:5-8, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Of course Kel misinterprets this passage also (see Response to his article on Philippians 2:5-8).

Argument:

“3 His Existence is Dependent on the Father

God is not a begotten being. The Son of God is a begotten being. It matters not how anyone defines the word “begotten.” The fact will still remain that Jesus is begotten and God the Father is not. God the Father is unbegotten. He is sourced in nobody else. His existence is dependent on no other identity. On the other hand, Jesus is begotten. He is sourced in the Father. His existence is dependent on the Father. God’s existence is dependent on no one.”

Response:

I think it greatly matters how one defines begotten.  If “begotten” is defined as giving birth to something equal to yourself, then Jesus is God by definition.  (In that case the pre existent Word would be begotten only in the sense that his origin is the Father, but not in the sense that he started to exist at a point in time).

Also, as I pointed out elsewhere, the fact that the human Jesus was begotten at a point in time (once from the womb of Mary, and once in the resurrection) has nothing to do with what Trinitarians mean by saying Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father.  This is derived from John 1:18 and does not refer to Jesus’ birth or resurrection.

Argument:

“4 He was not the Creator

The Bible never once indicates Jesus created the universe. It does however indicate he is the Word of God and that God created the universe by means of his Word. Every occurrence that mentions Jesus in conjunction with creation says that God created “through” or “by means of” his Word. God is the Creator by definition. Jesus was the Word of God, that is, the means by which God had created. If you are not the Creator you are not God.”

Response:

The Bible does indicate that Jesus created the universe at the Father’s direction.  Just because God uses his Word to create does not mean that the Word is not God.  Just because I use my mind to solve a problem does not mean that my mind is not me.  Or, just because I used my hands to type these words does not mean that my hands are not part of me.

Scripture states plainly “Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself” – Isaiah 44:24 KJV.  This inidicates not only that God alone made the heavens and the earth, but also that God was alone when he made the heavens and the earth.

Also, whatever God produced he produced out of nothing.  Indeed, anything without the Word of God nothing that was made was made at all.   Genesis 1:1, Psalms 33:6, Psalms 148:5, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, and Hebrews 11:3.  Thus, if God used his Word to create, then the Word was God – for nothing existed but God before the creation.

Another point to be raised here is that this part of Kel’s website contradicts statements he makes in the other parts.  In the paragraph I just analyzed, it appears that Kel is saying that Jesus existed as the Word of God by which the universe was created.  But in other quotations from Kel, Jesus did not exist as the Word of God by which the universe was created.  For example:

“We know that the Word by which God created all things in Genesis was His spoken Word. The Trinitarian interpretation of John 1:1-3 introduces an incomprehensible confusion whereby we are to suppose John is referring to the beginning of the Genesis creation and God created all things by means of two different Words: (1) His spoken Word, and (2) a person called the Word. – John 1:1

Argument:

“5 He has a Lord and God

God does not have a Lord or God over him. By definition God cannot have any authority above him or he wouldn’t be God. The Scriptures plainly show that Jesus has a Lord and God and still has a Lord and God. God has no authority above him. He is the top authority and power of all that exists. This is not true of Jesus. The Son of God is subject to his Father and always will be. Jesus has a God, his Father.”

Response:

Several points; first, there is a difference between having a God and having a God over you.  I believe that Hebrews 1:8 indicates that the Son is God to the Father.  That would not mean, however, that the Son is over the Father.  I realize that Kel does not think that Hebrews 1:8 means what I think it means, and I discuss the pros and cons of our positions in my response to his section on Hebrews 1:8.

Second, it is not true that nothing in God can be in any sense “over” anything else in God.  For example, God’s mind tells God’s power what to do, does it not?  Does that mean that God’s mind is “over” God’s power?  If the answer is yes, then that proves that something can be God and yet still be “under” something else that is also God.  If the answer is no, then that proves that something in God can be subordinate in rank without being “under” or “less than” something else in God.

I realize that I am talking about attributes of God and not Persons here, but think the same logic applies to divine persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Simply because one of them gives orders and the others obey the orders does not prove that the others are not God.  Kel’s assertion that Jesus must be less than God because Jesus obeys his Father is thereby shown to be a weak argument.