Superman Christology?

A few days ago I went to the website of the local church in Brisbane, Australia where Roger Perkins and James White will be have an upcoming debate. As any good pastor should it seems Pastor Ireland is preparing his flock. At around 13 minutes into his sermon and while speaking of the Incarnate Son Pastor Ireland says that until the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus never felt fear. (Click here to hear audio sermon) Ireland says the Incarnate Son “Never felt fear ever" until that time. He also says, fear was "foreign" to Jesus prior to the night of Christ's prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane. I encourage you to listen for yourself but the good pastor actually believes that Jesus, as a human, did not ever feel fear until the Garden.

Trinitarians such as Ireland paint Jesus as a superman figure who never knew fear until some point prior to being crucified. Besides riding on sheer speculation this may amount to a denial of the genuine humanity of Jesus. While Ireland likely believes in the genuine humanity of Jesus his Christology may need a tuneup. I have been wanting to write something different lately so thanks to the pastor for the nudge. In the next post I will be discussing the Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ.

We know that the temptations of Jesus were genuine (e.g. Matt. 4; Heb. 4:14-15). He probably experienced a full range of psychological function. Temptations also include some level of fear. In Matthew 4 did the temptation to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple include elements of fear? Most people we see today doing such things are called suicidal. There is no real reason why Jesus wouldn't have felt fear. Do we mean fear as in a failure to trust in God? I would say Jesus never felt any such thing. Instead, he likely felt a fear one has in difficult or uncomfortable situations (e.g. moral fear: skydiving, first date). Saying Jesus felt fear here is not the same as suggesting Jesus did not trust God. Anytime we are anticipating or doing particular things we feel fear and become scared. Sometimes the adrenaline will flow and the heart will race.

At this point, I am under the impression that a certain amount of fear is necessary to be human. At least one that wants to survive. I could be wrong but let's think about this. For example, if a friend were to put their hand on a hot stove or blissfully walk into heavy traffic we would not consider them as behaving as a normal human. Does this apply to Jesus? In Luke 2:52 it is said that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Possibly He would have been more susceptible, at least to certain types of fear, as a young person than as an older. At any rate, here's the nagging question. How can a man in his early 30’s live so long without ever once experiencing fear if he was truly human?

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Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)