The scriptures states that the believer is the temple of God, that God is within us, that if we give something to a child of God its as if you gave it to God, that we are one with God in Christ... etc, so are we incarnations (avatars) of God?

Romans 8:11, Romans 8:23

According to this (non-Christian) post, this is the case.

Another word used for the Holy Spirit is Antaryamin —"Indwelling One", a term from the bhakti tradition of devotion to a personal deity. In the s Bishop A.J. Appasamy used this concept to interpret the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in terms of"abiding"in John's Gospel, understanding this to refer to the inner life of the believer, particularly in its moral dimensions. In fact, Appasamy uses antaryamin to refer to the indwelling of all the persons of the Trinity, as do other famous bhaktas such as Narayan Vaman Tilak, the Maharashtrian poet. It seems the closeness of the bhakti relationship with the divine needs no mediation and therefore no explicit theology of the Holy Spirit, though the language is highly spiritual. This is clearly evident in the work of Vengal Chakkarai who regards the Holy Spirit as the continuing presence of resurrected Jesus, the permanent Avatar or appearance of God, and concludes that"the Holy Spirit is Jesus himself taking his abode within us". Chakkarai's theology starts from the reality of the experience of the Spirit, of"faith-union"with Christ and he accuses Western theologians of obscuring this fact with creeds and formulations. For the bhakta, the union with the Christ is not the result of renunciation and a process of self-realisation but an immediate experience in the midst of life from which loving devotion flows. This is what gives bhakti its popular appeal. It is a revival or pentecostal-charismatic type of spirituality and, in this sense, many indigenous Christian movements of India, such as those described by F. Hrangkhuma, could be described as bhakti movements.

I'd like to know what the Christian teaching is on this, if it's been addressed.

Is there any established teaching, either denominational, doctrinal, or from an Aplogetic standpoint that addresses whether or not the Christian teaching of the inwelling of the Holy Spirit implies that we are imperfect avatars of God that become perfect avatars of God on The New Earth?

  • I don't see how this is not primarily opinion based. – 3961 Jul 12 '14 at 4:10
  • @DavidStratton. Do you now accept un-sourced, 'I think', answers as acceptable for this site? Am I allowed to post answers like that? Or is that only for answers you agree with? – gideon marx Jul 12 '14 at 9:06
  • @gideonmarx - Fair point. "I think" answers are off-topic and sourcing is expected. I was being inconsistent. eliyah, this question could be salvaged if you were to edit it to ask specifically for a doctrinal answer. As it reads, it is asking for opinions. For tips n editing this to get it in line see Tips for editing a question to make it suitable for re-opening – David Stratton Jul 12 '14 at 13:50
  • @fredsbend - how's this after the edit? – David Stratton Jul 12 '14 at 15:35
  • @DavidStratton Well, I vtr'd. It's better and I think we can get some good answers from it now, but we might also get some stinkers. – 3961 Jul 12 '14 at 16:07

An "avatar" is a Hindu term and is a "deliberate descent of a deity to Earth", the coming of a Hindu god in the flesh, if you will. For Christianity, Jesus Christ would fulfill this purpose, not regular people. In English, the term is more closely translated as "incarnation", but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation". <-- also per above link.

To consider ourselves physical incarnations of God (i.e. individual "Gods" in the flesh) would be heretical to Christianity (heretical, by definition, means "a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine).

Here is a link to a blog by Bruce Charlton (read, and then returned by David) asserting that we are not God (henceforth, we are not "incarnations/avatars" as Christ is). I could not find an official Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, etc. source refuting this through my research, but the teaching is inherently un-Christian, as Charlton's blog pointed out.

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  • very good and succinct! – user13992 Jul 12 '14 at 2:46
  • Bad answer. Can you please remove the word 'heretical'. You are not pope yet and have no authority to declare any belief system heretical. Rather use 'unacceptable' and then provide proof (you do have the results of an extensive survey I would hope) instead of saying 'I think'. If the site accepts 'I think' in this answer I think I will be using 'I think' in a lot of answers. – gideon marx Jul 12 '14 at 9:01
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – David Stratton Jul 12 '14 at 15:07

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