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How do I explain the distinction between Father and Son?

Submitted: 2/23/2009
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Question: I've been talking to my wife about the oneness of God, and she's been having difficulty comprehending how God can be numerically one yet there be a distinction (not separation) between the Father and the Son. I began our conversation by explaining to her that that there is one God. The one God became flesh. Jesus Christ is the one God of the OT manifest, become flesh. She understands this and accepts this point perfectly. However, she does not understand how God the Father retains His other attributes if He became flesh as the Son of God. Her question is, if God is numerically one and the Father became flesh (the Son of God), then how are the Father and Jesus distinct? I don't want to confuse her by discussing the hypostatic union, kenosis passage, or Christology. I do want to explain this truth to her using the Scripture. Do you have any advice on how I can do this without hitting too many road blocks?

Answer: The distinction concerns deity (eternal Spirit) and humanity (temporal flesh). In other words, the manifestation (humanity) can be distinguished from the one being manifested (diety). We suggest you try asking her to read our articled called 'God Manifested' on Shelf 1 of the Apostolic Free Library on this website.