It is often difficult for Latter-day Saints to understand the distinction between Jesus and Christ as they are used in many other Christian traditions. They also struggle to understand how God can be considered a person if God doesn’t have a distinct and tangible body. Mormons often speak of knowing that God knows each of us personally, but don’t fathom how this could be true if God is considered Trinity.
This episode, featuring Mark Crego and LDF host Dan Wotherspoon introduce how the concept of “Christ,” understood by Trinitarians as naming how God is “incarnate” and “immanent” within all things, and how focusing on a definition like that might help LDS folk actually draw closer to God rather than more abstract and distant.
Following up on a the notion of “abiding” they discussed in a July Latter-day Faith episode (number 158), they discuss here what it might mean to “abide in Christ.” Both of them, who through study and personal spiritual practices which have led them to experience radically deep connection with Earth, the Universe, and all life, consider Joseph Smith’s naming of that which is in, through, and around, all things, the “Light of Christ” (D&C 88:6-13), is appropriate, much more so than if he had chosen to label that which connects us with everything else, the “Light of Jesus Christ.”
How can we learn to think of Jesus, the individual, as someone who fully reflected “Christ” immanence and energies, rather than focusing on his “only begotten” status and his specialness compared to us? Can we benefit from concentrating on him as an exemplar and guide, and how it is through following the path and having the transformative experiences he had as being a very important aspect of his being our “savior”?
Listen in! You will like it, especially after the shock of thinking in this way wears off. <grin>
Alan Watts’s discussion of Jesus and Christ referred to in the show: