By Mitch Marczewski
Why does Christ’s divinity matter? Why does our understanding of who Jesus is have to be informed by Scripture? These are questions that some will ask when approaching theological topics such as the incarnation of Christ. One popular expression states, I don’t want to know about God, I want to know God. This is a faulty train of thought, and self defeating argument at its core. Christ’s divinity is extremely important especially in the wake of a post-modern stream of thought that defines Jesus as a good, moral man with great teachings. Stephen Nichols points out that for the unchurched of our culture, movies, trinkets, and the buzz of political ideologies inform them far more about christ than do the pages of the sacred text. If we are not careful, we will allow these cultural and fleshly mindsets shape the way that we view Christ. We may see Him as a cuddly best friend to us that affirms us always, or see Him as a capricious deity full of wrath and anger. Nichols points out that it’s important to understand that the Jesus of subjective experience will never rise to the level of the full complexity of the Jesus of Scripture. If Christ is not God, then we have nothing to base our lives upon. Peter
Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli have a very insightful list of six reasons why the divinity of Christ matters:
1. The Divinity of Christ is the most distinctively Christian doctrine of all.
2. The essential difference between orthodox, traditional, biblical, apostolic, historic, creedal Christianity and revisionist, modernist, liberal Christianity is right here.
3. [This] doctrine works like a skeleton key, unlocking all other doctrinal doors of Christianity.
4. If Christ is divine, then the incarnation, or “enfleshing” of God, is the most important event in history.
5. There is an unparalleled existential bite to this doctrine. For if Christ is God, then, since he is omnipotent and present right now, he can transform you and your life right now as nothing and no one else possibly can.
6. If Christ is divine, he has a right to our entire lives, including our inner life and thoughts.
Christ’s divinity forces us to reckon with what He has to say about Himself, ourselves, and our state before Him. His teaching has infinitely more weight than if he were a mere man. His statements about death, Hell, and salvation mean something more than just an opinion. As fully God, He’s given us a way to
commune with God fully. He is the light, the way, the breath of life that gives us strength. He is King eternal and our Lord. He is so glorious that we need not look any further for beauty and wonder.
He is God with us.