If Jesus could walk on water and raise folk from the dead, why couldn't he hit a curve ball? Yes, curve balls are fantastically difficult to hit, and Jesus had no baseball training. But hitting a curve ball is a lot easier than walking on water, and Jesus had no water walking training either.I'm not channeling my inner docetist here. Yes, per accepted Christian theology, Jesus was fully human and fully divine, and I take this as being a description of every moment of his life. So at any moment Jesus could walk on water (fully divine) or sink like a stone (fully human). However, and forgive me for addressing something that's probably covered in the first week of Theology 101, Jesus did not simultaneously walk on water AND sink like a stone. Did he?Putting aside what could be an interesting discussion of quantum mechanics ... Jesus could possess simultaneously a human and a divine nature, but he could not simultaneously manifest both natures. Or am I missing something?We then run into the question of whether Jesus could choose whether at a given moment to manifest one nature (walk on water) or the other (sink like stone). That's probably a very important thing to know, theologically speaking. But skipping that question, wouldn't Jesus have been able to hit a curve ball if he entered the batter's box manifesting his divine nature?Or are we just talking about what the historical Jesus could do?I'd write more, but I'm thinking about the double slit experiment and my head is starting to hurt.
Chris can correct me if I'm wrong, but there were all sorts of water-ski instructors in first-century Galilee. Sort of common knowledge, although I can't think of a primary text at the moment.But seriously folks. The incarnation is always going to defy logical argumentation (cf. bushes that burn but do not burn up). I am (1) no apologist and (2) quite comfortable with paradox... so I embrace the mystery. Luckily I am in good company in this mystical group hug.As a historian, I have to engage in conversations that include other historians. That is my vocation and (whether divinely ordained or not) I honor my God and faith community by doing it to the best of my ability.Also I have a responsibility to baseball, Larry. I cannot let baseball down, can I? -anthony
Well ... yes. I guess. I have no doubt about what you've said about honoring God. Personally, I think that Jesus could have hit even Mariano Rivera's cutter, though Rivera would have broken Jesus' bat. Luckily, I have the free will to embrace paradox. Or is this comment preordained? If the latter, why are these comments moderated? And shouldn't I be better at spelling?
I have a book project that I've put aside shortly, but it's on the Historical Cypress Gardens. In it, I'll be arguing that there were, in fact, water ski instructors in first-century Galilee. But, water skiing being a human experience that's subjectively perceived, many people would have recognized them as water skiers while others did not.On a serious note in response to Larry's question, I long ago gave up even participating in discussions like that. I had a theology professor in grad school who liked to parse out Jesus' identity along those terms. I was no more persuaded then than I am now that it's possible. The early Church fathers worked on this problem for hundreds of years, and the Incarnation is still as perplexing as ever.
Chris, I didn’t wake up this morning with an itch to resolve impossible paradoxes. This is all Anthony’s fault. He’s asking about Jesus’ theoretical ability to do something that he never had the occasion to do. This is not like Jesus’ literacy – Jesus certainly had the opportunity to read, even if he could not read. You can seriously approach Jesus’ literacy as a historical question. But no one ever threw Jesus a curve ball, and a discussion of Jesus’ ability to hit a curve ball IS necessarily a discussion of Jesus’ nature. Don’t blame me! I just followed where Anthony led. Oh, OK. Who am I kidding? I see a theological component in nearly everything that goes on here. I blame myself. I should go back to the quest for the historical Spiro Agnew.