Beyond Clichés

Becoming so heavenly minded that we are of some earthly good.

Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology

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“Jesus Christ is perfect theology” – Bill Johnson

I’ve been challenged by this statement recently and would like to unpack what I believe Bill Johnson means by it. I’ve been drinking from the stream of Bethel Church (Redding, CA) for several years now so I have a pretty good understanding of what they believe.

“Jesus Christ is perfect theology” means that we have a perfect revelation of what God is like in the person of Jesus. And any belief we have about God that we cannot find in the person of Jesus is a belief to be questioned.

Is the Earthquake God’s Judgment on Japan?

For example, let’s take God’s apparent “judgments” on unbelieving nations. Many Christians look at the recent earthquake in Japan and immediately conclude this is a result of God’s wrath in order to humble them. If this is true, then we have a belief that God will destroy nations that reject Him. But we don’t see Jesus act this way.

Did Jesus agree with His disciples when they wanted to destroy a city that rejected Him? Let’s read an except from a really good book on theology, the Bible:

[51] Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, [52] and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. [53] But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. [54] And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” [55] But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. [56] “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. – Luke 9:51-56

Jesus also said that if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father. This isn’t a good cop/bad cop trick that God plays. It’s not the nice Jesus and the mean Father. They are one. So when Jesus said He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them, He meant it. And He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

So I want to submit a question to you? What spirit are we of when we believe or even pray that God sends natural disasters to people who reject His word? Is it possible that we are falling prey to the same spirit that the disciples did?

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

9 Comments

  1. Hey Josh,
    I am in complete agreement with the statement that “Jesus Christ is perfect theology,” and that what we see in Christ is the clearest revelation of what God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is like. I think another good passage from Luke to think about when tempted to say some disaster was God’s judgment on some group of people is Luke 13:1-5:

    1There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

    Jesus certainly did not leave out God’s wrath and He alludes to the suffering in hell among those who reject Him in many of His parables but Christ also gives us the clearest picture of a merciful and loving God who has “no pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezek. 18:32),” and a God “not wishing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).”
    Matt Perkins recently posted..To Comprehend that which Surpasses Knowledge

    • Joshua Monen

      03/25/2011 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks Matt. That verse in Luke is a great illustration of the statement that “Jesus Christ is perfect theology.” There seems to be this prevailing sense that God is “out to get people” who don’t like Him. We even have common phrases like, “that tsunami was an act of God.” I’m not sure if that is because the church has misrepresented God or if it is part of the fallen human nature and erroneous beliefs that people have about Him. Whatever the case may be I believe we have the responsibility to represent the love and goodness of God to this world.

      Thanks for sharing bro!

      • Jack Noonan

        03/28/2012 at 1:44 am

        Hello Josh,
        Irishman living in Prague………………by the Grace of God……………….In complete agreement with you bro. Downloaded loads of Bill’s sermons………………..love them…………prayers erupt ; )

        • Hi Jack, nice to meet you man! I’ve been truly blessed by his teachings over the years. They’ve increased my hunger for God and His word and for that I’m grateful! So how’s Prague? What’s the Lord up to over there?

  2. Although I agree with the cliché, my concern is believers extrapolating Jesus’ ministry into all the OT. The results can be one screening out all other aspects of God, especially those aspects no one likes. Can become quite subjective.

    • Rob, thank you for your comment. I believe that there is certainly a difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. But I also believe the character of God never changes. That’s why I like this “cliche.” I see too many Christians who think Jesus is the nice side of God and the Father as the strict, judgmental side. Like, the Father giving sickness to people and Jesus coming to heal them (that just doesn’t make sense to me). But as you said, it is a cliche and I don’t think it’s a replacement for the whole counsel of God revealed in His Word.

  3. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=3qTnqaBBiFg
    Perhaps Jesus wasn’t perfect but simply human? Makes it much easier to relate to him.

    • He was, and is, perfect. And He became human and dwelt among us. Not only can you relate to Him but He invites you to know Him by His Spirit.

  4. Hi Josh! I ran across your post today as I am researching the popularized phraise, “Jesus is perfect theology.” I appreciate everyone who wants to help folks see the goodness of God and His amazing mercy and compassion. I say a huge, “Amen!!!” to all of this.

    “Jesus is perfect theology,” can be a grand statement that unifies the full counsel of the Word of God, relating to the character and activity of the Living God, that has been progressively and historically revealed through the Scriptures and through the Person of Jesus. Or it can be a reductionist approach to editing out of our consideration those activities and aspects of God’s self-revelation, that we in our finite humanity find troublesome or especially irksome to our generation.

    And sadly, I’ve come to believe that the latter is what is mostly happening with this phrase today. I don’t question anyone’s sincerity. Just their reductionist approach to biblical theology.

    In early church history a man named Marcion decided Jesus was a superior revelation to the god he saw in the Old Testament. And since God could not possibly contradict Himself, Marcion concluded that the OT was an inferior thing and not an accurate revelation. So he actually rejected the Old Testament because he didn’t like the view of God he got there. He even rejected most of the Gospels too! (But retained Luke’s Gospel). He threw out the book of Acts (because the Spirit of Jesus clearly took Ananias and Sapphira’s life, and God Judged Herod through an angel, etc). Marcion only “accepted” nine of Paul’s epistles, as the true cannon of Scripture.

    When someone takes the few days of the life of Jesus that are reflected in the Gospels, and forces the huge mass of God’s self-revelation in the entirety of Scripture to bow down, they are judging the Holy Word of God and doing great violence to the truth.

    Case in point. Here are the words of Jesus from the Book of Revelation:

    “Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” (Rev. 2:22-23)

    Note who is doing the speaking here: Jesus. Note the age in which He is speaking: the church age (so this is “new covenant”). The activity that Jesus is confronting is error within the church in Thyatira. He is addressing the church. We cannot accept the Jesus of the four Gospels and reject the Jesus of Revelation! This would be dishonesty at best, and libel at worst. This would certainly be false teaching.

    Or how about the fearful passage in Rev. 6:7-8?

    “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse….Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth…”

    This is the same Jesus who is perfect theology. He is the Lamb on the Throne, who has authority to open the seals and release these judgments. He gives authority to decimate a fourth of the people on earth. This is also a true revelation of God. But it may sound more similar to the Jehovah of the Old Testament than to the Jesus of Bill Johnson. Well, He is the same God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    To say that because Jesus never sent judgments….that God never sends judgments (storms, pestilence, etc), shows an ignorance of what even the New Testament teaches, let alone a gross libel upon the OT. It is a grievous editing out of the Holy Scriptures, what your narrow view of God’s character and God’s kingdom will not accept.

    I plead with you to prayerfully consider these things. Let God be the God, not only of the Lord Jesus and the four Gospels, but of the entire history of His self revelation. He has not changed.

    Jesus Christ is certainly God. And God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and as revealed through the entirety of the Holy Scripture, is perfect theology.

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