By John Hick (auth.)
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Additional info for Christianity at the Centre
The two ancient creeds which define this relation - those produced by the Councils of Nicea in AD 325 and Chalcedon in 451 -both offer the formula that Jesus Christ is 'of one substance with the Father', using the Greek word ousia, which was Latinized as substantia. Christ was divine, they were saying, because he was of the same substance as God. I think the intention behind this formula is clear enough, especially when one takes account of the alternatives which it was meant to rule out. The basic presupposition of the orthodox christology (doctrine about Christ) as it took shape at Nicea and Chalcedon, was this: there is a total difference between the Creator and his creatures; God exists without beginning or end as the sole uncreated, self-existent reality, and everything else exists because he has willed its existence.
To know another human being is to know someone on the same level as ourselves. His existence does not necessarily or automatically make any difference to us; it may be a matter of indifference. The exception is when our awareness of another involves either love or hatred for that other. Then there is an analogy to the knowledge of God. God, if he is known to exist, can only be known as the One who makes a total difference for us. For he is known as infinitely higher than us, in worth as well as in power, and as having so made us that our own final self-fulfilment and happiness are also the fulfilment of his purpose for us.
Even Jesus' teaching about how men should behave towards one another was at the same time teaching about God. For right 59 action is the action that comes naturally when one is consciously living in the presence of the heavenly Father, so that to describe that style of life is also to indicate something of the nature of God himself (see pp. 70-76). Again, all his healings were carried out in the name of God and were seen by Jesus himself as manifestations of God's power; the rule or kingdom of God which would one day come universally was already manifesting itself in these events.
Christianity at the Centre by John Hick (auth.)