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Some serious issue here as a newbie Q was edited to become the opposite of intended query. What was a 'tradition - bible query' is now a soapbox for Nicene theology. The newbie might well have asked oddly or incorrectly, but it started with 2 DV just for the 'hell of it' and zero justification. Welcome!

Initial Question. Why has Christianity accepted the idea that God took on a human nature when If "God is spirit" then how can the Bible only says God has a divine nature.

Edited Q by mod. If “God is spirit” then how can the incarnation be possible? How does Nicene theology interpret John 4:24?

Something is not quite right with how this was handled.(to put it gently)

Further, two links were provided to justify the dupe closure - they were not answerable in the same angle as Truther's Q, but only from a trinity basis.

To add insult to injury - he gets labled argumentative! Crikey, it's the guys first day!

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    I believe the initial question in fact was as follows: Why has Christendom accepted the idea that God took on a human nature when the Bible only says God has a divine nature? To be fair to both sides you should verify the editing history of the question, before posting. Ps. It was edited out by a non-moderator!!! l believe that was done in good faith. To equate this whole affair to moderators is not true.
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Jul 21 at 6:15
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I genuinely made the edits I made in good faith, and in fact, I don't see how the question as it was originally phrased could be interpreted in any way that would contradict the edits I made.

Why has Christendom accepted the idea that God took on a human nature when the Bible only says God has a divine nature?

Even Jesus, in John 4:24 taught "God is a Spirit...him...him", yet Christendom teaches God became a man as he took on a human nature.

This question is asking for an explanation of how Nicene Christians (or more broadly, those who believe in the hypostatic union) can believe in the incarnation, God become man, when verses like John 4:24 teach that "God is a spirit".

So, in order to be clearer, I edited it to ask

If “God is spirit” then how can the incarnation be possible? How does Nicene theology interpret John 4:24?

Even Jesus, in John 4:24 taught:

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

yet most Christians, those who accept the Nicene Creed, teach that God became a man as he took on a human nature.

How does Nicene theology interpret John 4:24?

I don't think this is an inappropriate edit. Yes, by scoping itself to Nicene theology it's more specific, but the original question was already asking about the hypostatic union, so the Nicene scoping was always implicit. Maybe it should instead say "How does Nicene theology interpret and reconcile John 4:24 to be compatible with their teachings on the incarnation?" Would that be even better?

I genuinely do not understand how you can say that I edited it to ask the opposite of what it originally asked.

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  • I believe you have acted in good conscience. However the Q - to me - asks this. WHY has Christianity accepted the idea (that God took on a human nature...) It is NOT asking for justification of the Nicene creed, but of the simple logic of WHY the creed is more important (I use the word 'trump' without intention to insult) than what the bible teaches. The Q is WHY, not how or what.
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 1:10
  • If the Q stood, I would answer it accordingly - accepting the deluge of DV's in my stride. They seem like a badge of honour around here sometimes. Two on this Q already with only 6 views.
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 1:15
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    @user47952 But no Nicene Christian would ever say that the creed is more important than what the Bible teaches! And we wouldn't allow a question that asks "Do Nicene Christians ignore John 4:24?" - that would be a truth question/opinion question.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jul 21 at 1:18
  • It would be okay to ask, as I suggested in a comment, "how do non-Trinitarians explain the fact that most of Christendom believes in heresy. And okay, that would be an interesting question, though it would be less concerned with specific issues like this verse, and more to do with the manner in which God guides and protects his church." But that's a very different question than what Truther originally asked in this case.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jul 21 at 1:19
  • There are plenty of Christians who have no regard for the series of creeds constructed after the Apostles.
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 1:20
  • Indeed, even many Baptists proclaim "No creed but the Bible". That's not relevant to this discussion though.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jul 21 at 1:21
  • I agree that the initial Q was problematic - the other course you have suggested would have been more appropriate IMHO, and not have offended the newbie so much - perhaps if at all. It is a difficult course to pursue on this site, but it should be persevered with if one can accept the DV's as par for the course.
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 1:23
  • If anyone asks a question like that, I really hope neither it nor its answers got downvotes (unless they warrant them for being offensive, or for gross misrepresentations of Trinitarian theology.) The reason we want strict scoping is so that the best explanations of each position can be given. I've upvoted lots of well researched and well written LDS or JW answers even though I might disagree entirely with what they say. I'm sure there are a few members of this site who would downvote such answers, but I really hope they're rare. They can't have caught the vision of this site yet.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jul 21 at 1:26
  • :) if i actually asked this, "how do non-Trinitarians explain the fact that most of Christendom believes in heresy" I'd be howled at and/or suspended for using the word 'fact'.
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 2:39
  • @user47952 Haha fair. There'd be a more neutral way to ask it. Maybe something like "How do non-Trinitarians explain that God allowed most of Christendom to believe heresy?"
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jul 21 at 2:42
  • christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/83092/… Got closed as opinion based.
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 2:51
  • @user47952 Oh yeah, that is basically the same as I was suggesting. I don't really agree with its closure, but I wouldn't unilaterally reopen it. Maybe there should be one question per non-Trinitarian denomination?
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jul 21 at 3:44
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That original question was terrible. Anything we (mods or community members) do to remotely attempt to preserve it is over and above the call of duty and not heavy handed moderation.

The current question is the only possible question that could be gleaned from the OP.

This site is about Christian Doctrine, mainly, if someone wants to know about the meaning of the words, they can ask on hermeneutics.

Personally, I don't care for "Nicene Christianity" as a scope, it's good because it alienates only a few sects but it's bad because it alienates them too hard.

Most of the time, the proper OP goading is like playing "Guess Who".

Q: "Do the Christians you're asking this question believe in a personal God?"

A: "Yes"

I flip all my non-Christian cards over

Q: "How many persons?"

A: "Just One"

I flip all mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox cards over

Q: "Whose going to heaven?"

A: "Everyone!"

I flip over Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons


Now we have a question. Although we could be wrong, I'll bet we could come up with a 3-4 question tree to accurately scope questions.


The problem is, this takes way to long for a moderator to do, we need more community support, more people doing review queues, more people flagging or else things are going to seem heavy handed.

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Heavy-handed, biased moderating, or something else?

You state that the initial question use entitled: Why has Christianity accepted the idea that God took on a human nature when If "God is spirit" then how can the Bible only says God has a divine nature.

In fact the original question was worded as follows: Why has Christendom accepted the idea that God took on a human nature when the Bible only says God has a divine nature?

To be fair and charitable to all the facts should be presented as close as possible to the truth so that we see what we are dealing with and not some less supported argument.

For what it is worth, the term Christendom would strongly infer a response based on Christians who upheld Nicene theology. The editing out of the term Christendom was unfortunate, but it was not done by a moderator, but by another user, who did so in good faith.

Christendom

Terminology

The Anglo-Saxon term crīstendōm appears to have been invented in the 9th century by a scribe somewhere in southern England, possibly at the court of king Alfred the Great of Wessex. The scribe was translating Paulus Orosius' book History Against the Pagans (c. 416) and in need for a term to express the concept of the universal culture focused on Jesus Christ. It had the sense now taken by Christianity (as is still the case with the cognate Dutch christendom, where it denotes mostly the religion itself, just like the German Christentum.

The current sense of the word of "lands where Christianity is the dominant religion" emerged in Late Middle English (by c. 1400).

Rise of Christendom

Early Christianity spread in the Greek/Roman world and beyond as a 1st-century Jewish sect, which historians refer to as Jewish Christianity. It may be divided into two distinct phases: the apostolic period, when the first apostles were alive and organizing the Church, and the post-apostolic period, when an early episcopal structure developed, whereby bishoprics were governed by bishops (overseers).

The post-apostolic period concerns the time roughly after the death of the apostles when bishops emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations. The earliest recorded use of the terms Christianity (Greek Χριστιανισμός) and catholic (Greek καθολικός), dates to this period, the 2nd century, attributed to Ignatius of Antioch c. 107. Early Christendom would close at the end of imperial persecution of Christians after the ascension of Constantine the Great and the Edict of Milan in AD 313 and the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

According to Malcolm Muggeridge (1980), Christ founded Christianity, but Constantine founded Christendom. Canadian theology professor Douglas John Hall dates the 'inauguration of Christendom' to the 4th century, with Constantine playing the primary role (so much so that he equates Christendom with "Constantinianism") and Theodosius I (Edict of Thessalonica, 380) and Justinian I[a] secondary roles.

If an OP desires to equate Christendom to something other than Nicene theology, it would be better to explicitly use a definition of Christendom compatible to the OP’s intentions and thus avoid arguments.

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    I found it difficult wading through edits to find the original - I had hoped I was not altering the original at all. No alteration was intentional. I didn't write Christianity in my Q - that was a mod edit to replace Christendom ...
    – steveowen
    Jul 21 at 22:52
  • Actually that edit was not done by a moderator, but someone else. I am sure it was done in good faith. Review the edit history!
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Jul 22 at 6:33
  • Your comment states: ”I didn't write Christianity in my Q - that was a mod edit to replace Christendom.” I thought Truther wrote the question on the main site. Your meta question was written with Christianity in it!
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Jul 24 at 15:46

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