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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Kenotic Christ: A heresy that is promoted by Todd white , Bill Johnson , others

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Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1780
Hemel Hempstead

 Kenotic Christ: A heresy that is promoted by Todd white , Bill Johnson , others

Article from the CARM website

by Matt Slick

"Kenosis" is derived from the Greek word "kenoo" which means "to empty." It is used in Phil. 2:7. The text of Phil. 2:5-8 is worth recording here.

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 2:5-8).

The kenosis theory states that Jesus gave up some of His divine attributes while He was a man here on earth. These attributes were omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Christ did this voluntarily so that He could function as a man in order to fulfill the work of redemption. This view was first introduced in the late 1800s in Germany with Gottfried Thomasius (1802-75), a Lutheran theologian.

Phil. 2:5-8 does not teach that Jesus gave up any of His divine attributes since it says nothing of those attributes. Instead, it is speaking of His humility that moved him, according to the will of the Father, to leave His majestic state in heaven and enter into the humble position of human nature.

There is, however, a problem the orthodox must deal with that the Kenosis theory seems to more adequately address. Take Mark 13:32 for example. In it, Jesus said, "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." If Jesus knew all things, as is implied in His divine nature, then why did He not know the day or hour of His own return. The answer is that Jesus cooperated with the limitations of humanity and voluntarily did not exercise His attribute of omniscience. He still was divine but was moving and living completely as a man.

The Kenosis theory is a dangerous doctrine because if it were true, then it would mean that Jesus was not fully divine. If Jesus was not fully divine, then His atoning work would not be sufficient to atone for the sins of the world.

The correct doctrine is the Hypostatic Union--that Jesus is both fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9) and did not give up any divine attributes while as a man on earth.

I want to show you all the times from there books and YouTube videos as this is no small matter in denying the deity of Jesus Christ and a heresy promoted by bill Johnson , Todd white, Hillsong and others

It ends up in a works based salvation

Dominic Shiells

 2019/3/23 5:16Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5255

 Re: Kenotic Christ: A heresy that is promoted by Todd white , Bill Johnson , others

So Jesus was omnipresent when he was walking on the earth? Could have fooled me.


 2019/3/23 8:15Profile

Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 226

 Re: Kenotic Christ: A heresy that is promoted by Todd white , Bill Johnson , others

Thank you for posting Dominic.
The link you gave did not link to the article so I found it here:

Matt Slick is an anointed apologist and teacher and needs our prayers and support as he is under heavy fire for standing for truth.

TMK you did not read the article, it stated that Jesus chose to willingly lay aside some of His divine attributes in order to fulfill God's plan.



 2019/3/23 8:28Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5255


That has always been my position on the kenosis along with every Christian I know.

Of course he voluntarily laid them aside- that’s what emptied himself means. He was not omnipotent omnipresent or omniscient during his tenure on earth. Of course he was still God.

I don’t see what Slick is complaining about.


 2019/3/23 17:43Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36913
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11



In Christian theology, kenosis (Greek: κένωσις, kénōsis, lit. [the act of emptying]) is the 'self-emptying' of Jesus' own will and becoming entirely receptive to God's divine will.

The word ἐκένωσεν (ekénōsen) is used in Philippians 2:7, "[Jesus] made himself nothing ..."[Phil. 2:7] (NIV) or "...[he] emptied himself..."[Phil. 2:7] (NRSV), using the verb form κενόω (kenóō) "to empty".

New Testament usage[edit]
The New Testament does not use the actual noun kénōsis[2] but the verb form kenóō occurs five times (Ro.4:14, 1Co.1:17, 9:15, 2Co.9:3, Phil.2:7). Of these five times it is Phil 2:7, in which Jesus is said to have "emptied himself", which is the starting point of Christian ideas of kenosis.

John the Baptist displayed the attitude when he said of Jesus, "He must become greater; I must become less." (Jn 3:30).[3]

Also from:

St. Chrysostom, Phil. 2:5-8, 6pp,
In my labors to defend orthodoxy nothing has been more inspiring than this homily. Every major heresy through the ages has stumbled over this passage. Chrysostom, as did other early fathers, found in the passage, not a rock of stumbling, but a gem through which to let the light of truth shine on key Christological issues. These truths, having endured all the heresies, are compared to a charioteer in competition. "For if when chariots contend in the horse race there is nothing so pleasing as when one of them dashes against and overthrows whole chariots with their drivers, and after throwing down many with the charioteers that stood thereon, drives by alone towards the goal, and the end of the course, and amid the applause and clamor which rises on all sides to heaven, with coursers winged as it were by that joy and that applause, sweeps over the whole ground; how much greater will the pleasure be here, when by the grace of God we overthrow at one and in a body the combinations and devilish machinations of all these heresies together with their charioteers?" The same theme is continued in Homily 7, 6pp which he expands to cover Phil 2:5-11.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2019/3/23 17:55Profile

Joined: 2012/6/10
Posts: 223
United States


Can someone explain this doctrine a little deeper along with why its considered dangerous? It seems like semantics. Whether God laid aside his omniscience or just didnt excercise it, to me, points to the same conclusion...that being that Jesus wasnt omniscient in the flesh.


 2019/3/23 22:36Profile

Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 314


Unlike Satan, who wanted to become a God unto thimself and be served, Jesus did not hold onto His right to be served but became a servant. Truly Jesus subsumed His omnipotence and omniscience so that He could be like us and would wholly depend on the Father for what He did and said, this verse though has to do with serving in the Kingdom rather than being served. Subsume got and emptying ate the same idea but emptying cannot be being rid of. God cannot stop being God.


 2019/3/24 8:26Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1944

 Re: Johnson, White and their motley crew

If the apostles knew these men in question they'd have inserted their names in all of the following verses;

2 Peter 2:1-3 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

Romans 16:18 “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”


“And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.”
— Jonathan Edwards


If you continue to promote the idea of, "eating the meat and spitting out the bones", as some are promoting, your spiritual health will decline rapidly, because even the meat being offered by these men is rancid.

These men are enemies of the cross, false brethren, and we are not only to avoid these men, but warn them to repent or perish. They are evil seducers who are deluding the masses, and even worse than Simon the sorcerer in the book of Acts. Simon at least asked for prayer to be offered up on his behalf. These men brazenly offer up strange fire upon an altar of sacrifice. Jesus will not own them on that day, but rather will say to them, "depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of lawlessness."

 2019/3/24 9:15Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1923


Maybe this brazen attitude of condemnation is what would keep these men from being approached and spoken to in a loving manner. What if they honestly do not know the error they may br involved in? I don't see them lurking in secret knowingly aware they may be passing on wrong doctrine but not caring anyway. The church and its leadership needs to agree to get together in love and admonition when these things arise instead of displaying rock hard condemnation. Instant condemnation and no prayer about the very things we condemn can make a motley crew also.

David Winter

 2019/3/24 11:49Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1944

 Re: Peter's brazen attitude...or his loving manner

"Maybe this brazen attitude of condemnation is what would keep these men from being approached and spoken to in a loving manner."

Peter's brazen attitude or loving manner?

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” Acts 8:18-24

"Instant condemnation and no prayer about the very things we condemn..."

Peter apparently wasn't enlightened as so many others are today in the 21st century american church.

Such judgmentalism on Peter's part huh! Such instant condemnation, and he doesn't even offer to pray for him!

And this, not even after years of watching and waiting and listening to Simon, but in a moments time.

Peter should have taken Simon under his wing, but instead says that he may be destroyed along with his money.

Either Peter has much to learn from you, or vice versa!

 2019/3/24 12:41Profile

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