To achieve union with his friends, God has become the man Jesus Christ.
The current main item of this creed affirms an "Advent 1", an "early" theanthroposis, as God's solution to human wickedness. This present sub item affirms that Advent 1 has already occurred.
The items of this creed are in logical order, to clarify the structure of the creed as a whole, so the present item is near the end. But in the biographies of Christians this one often comes first; it is often only in experiencing salvation through encountering Christ that a self comes to recognise the realities of Creation, Defection and Realignment. Likewise, some of the reasons mentioned in support of those earlier items may be less than fully convincing until one encounters Christ, "Alpha and Omega he".
The Gospel of Christ
Advent 1 occurred when God came among us in the man known as "Christ", as told in the New Testament.
For a summary of Christ's career as told in the New Testament, see Christ's Career.
Advent 2 is yet to occur.
Why believe it?
1. The Easter story has no parallels. It is strange and unique, and the only explanation that strikes me as plausible is that it is true.
For details see Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ.
2. Christ's character presents an insoluble mystery unless we accept his claim.
For details see Christ's Character.
"Most of what the New Testament says about Christ is fiction."
I see no merit in this idea, and the consensus of professional scholars, including atheists, is against it.
"The idea of Christ's significance is based on the Bible. But since the Bible can mean whatever we want it to, depending on which version or translation or interpretation we use, and since there are so many competing versions of Christianity all contradicting each other, it is foolish to pay any attention to what it says."
Differences of text and translation are in fact minor. Different interpretations are certainly rife, but I see no reason to disregard mine just because others say something different. There are many quacks but also some real doctors. Judge on merit. Remember, as explained in the "Reasoning" page, neutrality is not an option.
"The legends of Christ resemble those of Gotama the Buddha, Muhammad the first Muslim, and others. Why should we believe one and not the others?"
None of the alleged parallels is real.
For details see Alleged Parallels.
"God would have acted earlier instead of leaving us to our wickedness throughout the period before Christ."
God did not passively await the time. He actively prepared the world, and came among us "when the time had fully come" (Paul of Tarsus, Galatians 4:4).
The following is conjecture, and there may have been other factors that we shall never understand.
While all other nations assumed that man's desires were either good or inevitable, Israel developed an awareness of the dire consequences of human wickedness and of God's intention to cure it. Thus God created a mental climate suitable for understand the significance of Christ.
By the time of Christ, Israel's education was complete, in that as a nation they had finally settled into a stable recognition that "God is one", the last words of many who were killed for refusing to accept polytheism. Meanwhile the Roman Empire made international communications easier than ever before, and the prevailing culture was in crisis, receptive to new ideas.
"If God had really begun to save mankind 2000 years ago, history would not be the series of disasters it still is."
It takes time. This is not like waving a magic wand; it is more like planting a seed, an image used by Christ himself.
"It may not be Christ, it may be someone else."
Much of the reasoning that supports belief in such a saviour is based on Christ, so to accept the reasoning without accepting Christ seems very odd. I have never known anyone to be really in this position, but if you are in it please contact us.