The good Professor Briggs comments on the issue of divinity of Christ that you either believe the Bible or you don’t. If you do not believe the Bible and want to fall into Platonic speculation, you would be one with the Shakers, Quakers and liberal Methodists. But you would have difficulty with the creeds.
God may have those whom he calls from the heterodox, but they know that and they generally try to correct their behaviour. It is the smart midwits (see his comments) who make category level errors, thinking that they can be raised to divinity by their own works.
There are, of course, those who have debased Scripture and have conceived a perverse understanding of the divinity and humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For there have been some, like Ebion and Cerinthus, and, later, Paul of Samosata and Photinus, who confess in Christ a human nature only. But divinity was in Him, not by nature, but by a kind of outstanding participation of divine glory which He had merited by His deeds. Hence, they fabricate, as was said above.
But, to pass over the other things said against this position above, this position destroys the Incarnation’s mystery.
For, according to this position, God would not have assumed flesh to become man; rather, an earthly man would have become God. Thus, the saying of John (1:14) would not be true: “The Word was made flesh”; on the contrary, flesh would have been made the Word.
In the same way, also, emptying Himself and descent would not fit the Son of God; rather, glorification and ascent would fit the man. Thus, there would be no truth in the Apostle’s saying: “Who being in the form of God emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:6-7, 9), but only in the exaltation of the man to divine glory about which he adds later: “For which cause God also has exalted Him.”
Neither would there be truth in our Lord’s word: “I came down from heaven,” but only in His saying: “I ascend to My Father,” in spite of the Scripture which joins these two, for our Lord says: “No one has ascended into heaven, except him who descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven” (John 6:38; 20:17; 3:13); and, again: “He who descended is the same who ascended above all the heavens” (Eph. 4: 10).
Thus, also, it would not become the Son to have been sent by the Father, nor to have gone out from the Father to come into the world, but only to go to the Father, although He Himself, for all that, unites the two, saying: “I go to Him that sent Me?” and “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and I go to the Father” (John 16:5, 28). In each of these cases both the humanity and the divinity is established.Thomas Aquinas.
I need to repeat here: we cannot make ourselves Gods, despite whatever the approved cod gurus and self help people say. Calvin here is more balanced than moderns would credit him to be. But moderns have been lied at until they have lost discernment.
12. I feel pleased with the well-known saying which has been borrowed from the writings of Augustine, that man’s natural gifts were corrupted by sin, and his supernatural gifts withdrawn; meaning by supernatural gifts the light of faith and righteousness, which would have been sufficient for the attainment of heavenly life and everlasting felicity. Man, when he withdrew his allegiance to God, was deprived of the spiritual gifts by which he had been raised to the hope of eternal salvation. Hence it follows, that he is now an exile from the kingdom of God, so that all things which pertain to the blessed life of the soul are extinguished in him until he recover them by the grace of regeneration. Among these are faith, love to God, charity towards our neighbour, the study of righteousness and holiness. All these, when restored to us by Christ, are to be regarded as adventitious and above nature. If so, we infer that they were previously abolished. On the other hand, soundness of mind and integrity of heart were, at the same time, withdrawn, and it is this which constitutes the corruption of natural gifts. For although there is still some residue of intelligence and judgement as well as will, we cannot call a mind sound and entire which is both weak and immersed in darkness. As to the will, its depravity is but too well known. Therefore, since reason, by which man discerns between good and evil, and by which he understands and judges, is a natural gift, it could not be entirely destroyed; but being partly weakened and partly corrupted, a shapeless ruin is all that remains. In this sense it is said (John 1:5), that “the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;” these words clearly expressing both points–viz. that in the perverted and degenerate nature of man there are still some sparks which show that he is a rational animal, and differs from the brutes, inasmuch as he is endued with intelligence, and yet, that this light is so smothered by clouds of darkness that it cannot shine forth to any good effect. In like manner, the will, because inseparable from the nature of man, did not perish, but was so enslaved by depraved lusts as to be incapable of one righteous desire. The definition now given is complete, but there are several points which require to be explained. Therefore, proceeding agreeably to that primary distinction (Book 1 c. 15 sec. 7 and 8), by which we divided the soul into intellect and will, we will now inquire into the power of the intellect.John Calvin
To charge the intellect with perpetual blindness, so as to leave it no intelligence of any description whatever, is repugnant not only to the Word of God, but to common experience. We see that there has been implanted in the human mind a certain desire of investigating truth, to which it never would aspire unless some relish for truth antecedently existed. There is, therefore, now, in the human mind, discernment to this extent, that it is naturally influenced by the love of truth, the neglect of which in the lower animals is a proof of their gross and irrational nature. Still it is true that this love of truth fails before it reaches the goal, forthwith falling away into vanity. As the human mind is unable, from dullness, to pursue the right path of investigation, and, after various wanderings, stumbling every now and then like one groping in darkness, at length gets completely bewildered, so its whole procedure proves how unfit it is to search the truth and find it. Then it labours under another grievous defect, in that it frequently fails to discern what the knowledge is which it should study to acquire. Hence, under the influence of a vain curiosity, it torments itself with superfluous and useless discussions, either not adverting at all to the things necessary to be known, or casting only a cursory and contemptuous glance at them. At all events, it scarcely ever studies them in sober earnest. Profane writers are constantly complaining of this perverse procedure, and yet almost all of them are found pursuing it. Hence Solomon, throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes, after enumerating all the studies in which men think they attain the highest wisdom, pronounces them vain and frivolous.
I said this morning that demons know more systematic theology than we do. I also have thought for years that evil makes one stupid. This is becoming more apparent in this time of crisis. Quoting Briggs again. We may have the technology, but we don’t have the wisdom to discern when to use it, and when not to.
Technology, incidentally, includes the implied technology in the trust of Experts. I.e. the belief they could “solve” the crisis “soon.” The greed of rulers for accumulating power needed to be there, too. But that always is. The way they took power by leveraging Experts was somewhat new, historically. But rulers always look down on the masses, so that attitude too was a constant.
The real change was the need by the masses to be comforted. They needed to be afraid, they enjoyed their fear. Yet they also needed to be told they need not fear, that the end was one easy fix away.
Because of the need for fear, this could have only happened, then, as we shifted toward matriarchal government, towards Effeminocracies, which are cultures which accept and welcome non-manly behavior in men, like homosexuality and equality.
We are called, men and women, to be mature. That includes accepting the limitations of our species and of our sex. If we have a true assessment of who we are and what we have done, we would doubt the wishes of our heart and definately our emotions. And seek instead guidance from prayer. For Christ was truly human, and understands us. But he was also truly divine.