The early church was guided by apostolic letters and Jesus’ biographies that they considered both useful and authoritative. These texts were collected, screened, and checked for credibility against eye witnesses of Jesus’ life, including his mother, his brothers, and his earliest followers. But there were other thoughts about Jesus that didn’t check out with those sources. Some of these more fanciful theories imagined Jesus to be God, uninfected by the human condition. They imagined God was too holy and too pure to be contaminated by real humanity, so the humanity of Jesus was really just a sham, like a great Halloween outfit or a thermal shell.

The real problem with these fanciful biographies of Christ was that they only perceived value in anything “spiritual.” Consequently, if anyone was too concerned with work, or the daily business of running a house, nutrition, recreation, etc.—then they were ungodly.

But this, of course, is the exact opposite message to that of Jesus. Jesus came and lived among us, ratifying basic human affairs and existence. He didn’t tell us that normal humanity was a waste; he showed us that normal humanity was brilliantly godly.

Adapted from Why God Died