Following up my last post on “Essence and Function: Definition and Distinction,” I decided to create a second portion of Part II, where I would set up a simple argument for the temporary subordination of Christ. The temporary subordination of Christ can be proven by arguing that the coming of Christ to earth to die was not a necessary action, but a contingent one: that is, it was based upon the granting of free will to human beings and God’s foreknowledge of their later sin. I have set up a syllogism as a way to present a succinct argument.
a. God freely decided to create the world.
b. God freely decided to grant human creation free will.
c. God freely knew that man, with his free will, would sin.
d. God freely knew man’s sin, and freely decided to come in the person of Christ to atone for man’s sin.
e. That which is freely done or that which is a free decision is not necessary.
f. Therefore, it was not necessary for God to create the world.
g. It was not necessary for God to grant free will to His human creation.
h. It was not necessary that man should sin.
i. It was not necessary that Christ come and atone for sin (if sin was not
j. If none of God’s free decisions were necessary, then neither was His coming
to earth and crucifixion necessary. As a result, Christ’s subordination on earth was not necessary.
k. That which is necessary is eternal (as is God’s essence); that which is not necessary, then, cannot be eternal.
l. Christ’s subordination, then, was not necessary, and therefore, cannot be eternal. It can only be temporary.
In order to understand the above syllogism, one must know the terms involved. To begin with, let’s define the word “necessary”:
“Of an inevitable nature; inescapable.”
Christ’s essence, Godness (or divinity), was NECESSARY in order that Christ come to earth and atone for man’s sin. But what about his function? Let’s find the definition of the word “contingent”:
“Conditional; dependent; that may or may not occur” (from “The Oxford American Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus,” Second Edition. New York: Berkeley Books, 2001).
If God had never created the world, then Jesus would never have had to come and die; how then, can His subordination have been “necessary” or “eternal”? those who argue this belief fail to consider the unorthodox theology behind such an argument.
I will refer to this twelve-point syllogism quite often as we continue to discuss the issue of essence and function. Stay tuned...