Tuesday, 2 February 2016
A Fourth Element of a Post-Supersessionist Christology
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002
Chapter Jesus as the Universal Saviour, "127-137", page 133
With the bit between his teeth now, Peter Phan moves on to the fourth - really, methinks the second half of the third, but then he wouldn't have had ten - element of his post-supercessionist Christology. This time he is going to show how the Holy Spirit too, is not the Logos.
The Holy Spirit, though intimately united with the Logos, is distinct from him and operates in a saving manner outside and beyond him, before, duting and after Jesus' ministry.
Phan now quotes Irenaeus' metaphor describing the Logos and the Spirit as the "two hands" by which G-d acts. Like any person's hands, althouh they work together, they operate distinctly. One grips the jam jar, while the other twists the lid. This enables him to say:
Thus, G-d's saving presence through Word and Spirit is not limited to the Christian covenant: the divine, saving presence was active and continues to br so in the history of Israel.
Well, that's true as far as it gos, but if he's not carefull he's going to ...
We might add that G-d is capable of extending this presence to the whole of human history, especially in the sacred books, rituals, moral teachings and spiritual practices of all religions.
There he goes - over the edge! In an attempt to define things in different covenants as truly different, he ends up concluding that:
What the Logos and the Spirit do and say in Israel and in non-Christian religions may be truly different from, though not contradictory to, what Jesus and the Spirit do in Christianity.
While he tries to caveat that by disclaimng that other religions are free from sin and error, he has essentially conceded the "many paths to G-d" argument and, in my humble opinion, stepped outside the boundaries of the historic faith in One G-d and One L-rd.