I joined a church for the first time in my life two years ago. I had to go through an interview with one of the elders to ensure I understood the Gospel (and to talk to me about it if I did not) before welcoming me in as a member to receive all the privileges of membership.
In the interview, the elder asked me, "Who was Jesus?". I paused, knowing one cannot sum up God's character in a 30 second monologue, and then proceeded to toss out some things about salvation, identity, and freedom from anxiety. He smiled and told me he was blessed by my answer but would not let me leave until I answered his follow-up question:
"Was Jesus man or God?"
I responded "fully God and fully man," as I had been taught to do by my three years in InterVarsity (shameless plug!). Poof! I was a member. I remember thinking it odd though that of all the questions he could have asked, my interview turned, indeed depended on, this one about Christ's divinity.
Any time the Trinity comes up in any discussion on campus I almost automatically default to "God's mysterious"/"If we could understand God, he wouldn't be God"/"There's just some things we can't know" language. This is all true. The Trinity is, and has been, an unexplainable mystery, how one God can exist in three persons.
100% + 100% + 100% = 100% Go ahead, Math majors. Try to explain that one to me.
The end of Part 2 does help our understanding of this mystery though, not that we know how it works but that we know why it's necessary and what the consequences of Jesus being fully God and fully man (or to use other language, not just a human but also a divine part of the Trinity) are.
"Anselm was right that only man should make reparation for his sins, since it is he who has defaulted. And he was equally right that only God could make the necessary reparation, since it is he who has demanded it. Jesus Christ is therefore the only Savior, since he is the only person in whom the 'should' and the 'could' are united, being himself both God and man" (157).
If Jesus is not a complete human, he is not qualified to receive the punishment due to sinful man. Mankind as a race will not have received its punishment, and there is no second Adam to undo the first. God would not be holy and just.
If Jesus is not completely divine, then our salvation cost God nothing. He merely would have poured out his wrath on a 3rd party which would have been either unjust, immoral, or unfair (depending on who the party was). Either way, God would not be loving.
Now how does this "fully God, fully man" thing work? I have no clue. But it is indispensible to our salvation from a God of holy love. In fact, without the "fully God, fully man" doctrine (which one could say makes no sense), our salvation makes no sense.
I think I have confused myself. Somebody push back on this. Can someone explain this better? Are my above "If" clauses heretical?