Most of us are sticklers for clearly describing anything we love, be it science, computing, sports, business, or family life. Should we be indifferent to how we think and speak about our Savior and Lord?
“We all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us one and the same Son, the self-same perfect in Godhead, the self-same perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man…acknowledged in two natures, unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably…the properties of each nature being preserved.”
So wrote the church fathers in the Definition of Chalcedon in AD 451. But even if they spoke “unanimously,” their doctrine of Christ sounds so complex. Does it really matter?
Given the sacrifices they made to describe Christ rightly, one can imagine that if these Christians were present at a group Bible study on Philippians 2:5-11, they might well say to us, “From what we have heard, it never mattered more.”
Imagine the discussion on “Though he was in the form of God…emptied himself” (Phil. 2:6-7, RSV). Says one: “It means Jesus became a man for a time and then went back to being God afterwards.” “No,” says another, “He only emptied himself of His divine attributes and then He took them up again.” “Surely,” says another (not pausing to reflect on the miracles of Moses, Elijah, or the Apostles), “He mixed humanity with His deity—isn’t that how He was able to do miracles?”
Does it really matter if those views are wrong, indeed heretical, so long as we know that Jesus saves and we witness to others about Him? After all, the important thing is that we preach the gospel.
But that is precisely the point—Jesus Christ Himself is the gospel. Like loose threads in a tapestry—pull on any of these views, and the entire gospel will unravel. If the Christ we trust and preach is not qualified to save us, we have a false Christ.