It has been asserted that the historical Jesus was only a human being, that his divinity was an accoutrement added later by a power-hungry church. Again, in The Faces of Jesus, Buechner’s reply is almost poetic:
The paradoxical assertion that Jesus was both fully man and in some way also fully God seems to many the unnecessary and obfuscating doctrine of later theologians, but the truth of the matter is that like all doctrines it was an experience first, in this case the experience of the simple folk who had actually known him. Having talked with him and eaten with him, having seen him angry, sad, merry, tired, and finally dead, they had no choice but to say that he was human even as they themselves were humans. But having found in him an undying power to heal and transform their lives, they had no choice but to say that he was God too if only because there was no other way of saying it.