A Muslim who goes by “Intellect” asked me this question, starting with a quote from Dr. James White:
“Why can’t God take the form of a human without ceasing to be God and still remains as God?”
-Dr. James White
The Muslim “Intellect”s Response:
Because he did cease to be God because Jesus forgot the day of judgement and God is All Knowing and does not forget. In addition, the form of a human being is too small for God and has impunities, bacteria, smell etc. and does not befit God.
It is like saying human being must be a pig eating worms in decomposed human excreta. That is insult to man to be a pig and is insult to God to be a man or take the form of a man. God is majestic and does not need to become another being or take the form of another being in order to be able to execute his will.
“Intellect” – my dear Muslim friend, that is the amazing thing about the Christian message, that God the Son voluntarily was willing to come and become man / flesh / human and be willing to be subjected to the hardships of this life and was willing to be unjustly treated – they beat Him and crucified Him and killed Him. When we wonder about why evil and why suffering, the greatest answer is that God Himself entered into our sufferings and injustices.
Dorothy Sayers, the Anglican writer, wrote an interesting piece, seeking to answer the issue of why God allowed evil to come into the world.
“For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is – limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death – He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation and defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worth while.”
(Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? New York: Harcourt, Brace and Col, 149, p. 4; cited in Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Answers to Tough Questions. Here’s Life Publishers, 1980, p. 153-154.
Such a beautiful quote!!
My Iranian friend Kamyar,(who grew up Shiite Muslim and came to know Christ as his savior), who was my second Farsi teacher in 1994, said this to me:
“The two most amazing things about Christianity are:
1. That God, who we were taught in Islam, was far off and aloof, became a man like us, clothed Himself in flesh.”
2. That there is a way to be saved from sin and know it and have assurance of it.
“دو چیز خیلی عالی است در مسیحیت
1. که خدا، که ما در اسلام تعلیم یافتیم که خیلی دور از ما می ماند، انسان شد مثل ما شد، و خود را جسم پوشید،
و 2. که یک راهی را وجود دارد برای نجات از گناه و می توانیم آن راه را بدانیم، و اطمینان داشته باشیم
In addition, as to Intellect’s first comment:
The issue of Jesus saying that the Son does not know the day of His second coming has been answered thoroughly – that is part of the Son veiling His glory and “emptying” Himself of the privileges of Deity when He became a man. (see Philippians 2:5-8) Surely the Son in heaven now, after the resurrection and ascension to heaven, who is seated at the right hand of the Father, knows the day and hour of His second coming.