Jesus, the centre of our faith

Series: Who is this Jesus?
The other day my wife Pat heard a Mormon scholar on the radio saying that they are very Jesus-centred and so are therefore, to all intense and purposes, just another branch of the evangelical church. Ignoring for a moment the various doctrines, rites, and practices of modern day Mormons which differentiate them from evangelical churches, the central issue is Jesus. Is the Jesus of Mormonism the same Jesus who the Bible reveals as God incarnate?
I cannot even attempt to offer a comparison between Mormonism and evangelical Christianity in a short blog post like this. However, my understanding of Mormon teaching is that they believe Jesus to be the first naturally procreated son of the union between a god of flesh and bone, and Mary. (http://wri.leaderu.com/mormonism/jesus-refs.html). Traditional Mormons also appear to teach that Jesus Christ is actually a god named Jehovah, a different god to The Father, who is better known as Elohim. This Jesus/Jehovah is, they claim, actually our elder brother who evolved and became the god of this world. He is also Lucifer’s brother! Now this is a very different Jesus to the Jesus of the Gospels.
I am not concerned in this posting about critiquing Mormonism and I am using their doctrine of Jesus simply to point out just how central the biblical Jesus is to our Faith. Jesus Christ could not have legitimately paid the penalty of death for humanity if He were anything less than fully God and fully man. Jesus could not be our supreme example if He were not fully man. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, is central to the Christian faith.
Because God the Son became a man, humanity was able to see Him, learn from Him, and relate to Him. The New Testament is therefore not a literary work about a religious concept, but an account of God Himself who came to earth, died for our sin, and returned to Heaven in bodily form where He reigns right now.
Jesus, the Word of God, is also the one who inspired the scriptures to be written, He is their subject matter, and He is their interpreter. In my next posting I want to explore this idea. In the meanwhile I leave you with this quote to ponder;’The most pressing question on the problem of faith is whether a man as a civilized being can believe in the divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for therein rests the whole of our faith.’ Fyodor Dostoevski

Picture of Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.