SMASH to you, dear boy.
Absolutely agree with everything you said. Feel I should qualify my position on the ‘Son of God’. I do agree with everything you say, but even in what you said, the waters begin to be muddied.
You see the Son of God really has the connotation of being a separate being, this becomes worse when we start to think of quotes such as the one you provided from Romans. This is because for such a verse to hold weight then Jesus must be someone separate from God in the way a son is truly separate from his father. Obviously this is an issue because it clashes with the doctrine of the Trinity.
And now we fly close to the Sun, if that Sun is heresy.
If we are to say that, according to the Bible, Jesus is in some way enough of a separate person from God to be like a son, a son that it would pain Him to sacrifice (and was it sacrifice if they all knew he’d just raise from the dead and head back to Heaven?) AND we wish not to stray into semi-Arianism (or even full blown) we need to find a new doctrine of Jesus.
Would you be surprised to find I have one?
This is my (not yet fully tested) thesis: Jesus doesn’t exist prior to the incarnation. Beforehand He is something else, most probably the Word of God (as in actual words) and only after the resurrection does He ascend to Heaven in a body to sit on His throne. I feel that this ties both strands of Christology together in an actual working doctrine.
But let us ignore that for now; or hammer it out in more private messages.
The point being that we quickly, if we are to think of it fully, find ourselves in deep theological waters when we talk about the Son of God. It is difficult to tie together the idea that it is only a moniker (God did not have sex and his partner did not give birth to a son) and the idea that God acted sacrificially in sending His Son because He actually is.
The second area of Muddy Waters (known now as Mannish Boy Theology) is with the New Testament understanding of the Trinity. Though the writers seem happy to acknowledge Jesus as God (to fuller or lesser extent) there is no reference to Him being so as part of a Triune God. In fact the NT writers seem quite happy with Jesus being God without some form of doctrine. It is only later that people need to try and put something together.
I realise you may throw in some objections and point to verses that suggest the trinity, but it still seems very out of place not to explain it outright. I mean the Disciples were incredibly thick and had to have things explained in Primary school language. There’s that passage where Jesus talks about the yeast of the Pharisees and the Disciples think Jesus is talking about actual bread and He has to explain again and then they’re like “ohhhh, right, ‘yeast’. Like teachings, huh, Jesus? It’s a metaphor… Good one…”
And yet they understand the Trinity with no recording teaching on it?
Third Mannish Boy Theological point is that according to my (not yet complete research) Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man more than Son of God and yet there is still no agreement on what that title means. Honestly, Jesus tells us to build our house upon the rock, but our whole theology and doctrine is built on sand. We know almost nothing about anything!
If Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man more than anything else then this should be a big part of our theology, but it isn’t. If that’s who Jesus identified as then we should follow His lead.
(But does it suit our doctrine? Ooh…)
So. All of this just to say. Hey. Let’s leave Son of God out of this for now.
And your final paragraph nails it. “Window into God”, love it. Absolutely. We can know God by looking at Jesus. We can see a perfect example of what the Bible calls us to be in Him.
I’m reminded of when Jesus calmed the storm; when He was asleep and they Disciples wake him up, terrified. His response? “Seriously? You really think we’re going to sink when God is right here in the boat with you? Come on, guys.”
If only we could nap through the storms, what a difference to the world we could make…