A Million-Dollar “Challenge”?
A friend of mine brought this Youtube clip to my attention. It’s a “challenge” to orthodox Christianity’s view of Jesus as one person with two natures (human and divine). The person who created this clip claims that one simple question is enough to debunk Christianity. What’s the question? Watch this 1:40 clip and see for yourself:
Here are my thoughts:
This is actually a ridiculous “challenge.” Contrary, to the underlying assumption of this video, deception is not essential to our human nature. Working from within a biblical framework (seeing as I reject a humanistic approach), before the fall Adam and Eve were fully human, and yet did not lie. Human beings, in the new Heavens and Earth, will be completely, fully, and gloriously human, and yet will never lie or be subject to the temptation to lie. Christ, as the second and final Adam, was (and is) the perfect human being who lived a life of perfect covenant obedience.
Another important, but ignored point in this video, is the slippery meaning of the word “can,” as in Can Jesus lie? They’re asking whether Jesus “had the ability” to lie in his human nature. But there are different sorts of ability. The 2 types relevant here are moral ability and physical ability. As a human being, did Jesus have the physical ability to move his lips and say something untrue? Of course. And no thinking Christian would ever say otherwise. He wasn’t like Jim Carrey in the movie Liar, Liar. The relevant question is whether Jesus had the moral ability to lie, and there the answer is no. But, unlike most people’s misunderstanding, this is perfectly consistent with being a human being that is fully, perfectly, and utterly devoted to God (see comments above). There is nothing “artificial” about a relationship in which a husband never ever lies to his wife. It’s the mark of a flourishing relationship.
So, Jesus’ physical ability to lie (the ability to move his lips and say those words) affirms his true humanity, and his moral freedom from uttering deceptive words highlights that he is perfectly, not merely, human.