Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.


  1. David Kemball-Cook
    March 16, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    I asked Steve on the blog how he has the authority to say I am not a Christian and where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible. I get the idea that he is reluctant to engage, as he has not yet replied to my follow up. Here are my first post, his reply, and my followup (so far unanswered).
    David Kemball-Cook3/14/2017 8:03 AM?
    I am a Christian who denies the Trinity. By what authority do you say that I am not a Christian, Steve?
    Also, you helpfully distinguish between the different possible uses of ‘God’. But where in the Bible is ‘God’ used as a proper name referencing the Trinity? Where in the OT? Where in the NT?

    steve3/15/2017 12:46 AM?
    I say you’re not a Christian by the authority of Scripture, since you deny the cardinal doctrines of God, Christ, and the Spirit.

    In addition, you’re confusing words with concepts. it isn’t necessary for the Bible to call the Trinity “God” for the Trinity to be God, any more than it’s necessary for Scripture to call Abraham or Joseph a patriarch for us to classify them as patriarchs. This is just a question of what the Bible says individually about the Father, Son, and Spirit, then putting that together. For that matter, where does the Bible call itself “the Bible”? It doesn’t.

    Thanks Steve. On the first, were the apostles trinitarians? Can you tell me please where Paul (say) teaches, or even states, that God is three persons (or three anythings)? Seems to me that you guys need something like 1 John 5:7 of the KJV, but there is no such verse in the original Greek MSS, is there?

    On the second, I think you misunderstood my question. If, as you claim, the God of the Bible, aka YHWH, is a Trinity, then this God should be mentioned at least once in the Bible, indeed more than just a few times.
    This ‘putting that together’ of yours is quite slippery isn’t it? What you are basically saying, I think, is that the Jews of the OT did not believe YHWH was a Trinity, the apostles did not believe it, but later generations figured it out somehow from what they wrote. Have I got you correct on that?

    • Dale
      March 16, 2017 @ 5:27 pm

      Locke had the same problem with the Calvinist hothead Edwards. http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-54-john-edwards-vs-john-lockes-reasonableness-of-christianity/ When asked why we should think the Trinity essential, i.e. one can’t be saved without believing it, all Edwards could do was pound the table and assert that it IS essential. And of course, drop a lot of h-bombs. This smugness, laziness, and aggression is a hazard of being on the majority side of a dispute.

      Interesting how Hays is attached to this objection that we’re somehow confusing words with concepts. He’s fighting a straw man here: “it isn’t necessary for the Bible to call the Trinity “God” for the Trinity to be God”. Who argues like that? Not any informed unitarian. Rather, your point is, if they were trinitarians we’d expect them to have a word, any word, by which to refer to this triune God. “God” would work, or “Trinity.” But the latter doesn’t occur. And as you point out, there is no such usage of “God” in the Bible *according to all careful readers, of whatever theological persuasion. I think Steve senses that this is a difficulty for his position, so he just reverts back to his customary abuse. “You’re an idiot” is one way to distract people from the question you can’t answer.

  2. Dan
    March 11, 2017 @ 7:28 pm

    Lol you heretics are really laughable, I don’t know if it’s because of your scriptual ignorance or because you are pleasing Satan by giving false arguments to sons of satan , I.e. Muslim apologists.

    Forget the 1001 proofs of the Trinity through not only all new testament but the old testament as well , in many pre-christ rabbinic interpretations, and in books such as the zohar,
    Explain to me one verse, mark 23:33-39.
    Why is Jesus saying HE sent Israel prophets? Let’s see you twist yourself in a pretzel.

    • Dale
      March 11, 2017 @ 7:46 pm

      Hi Dan. I’d settle for just one proof! About the Zohar, you ought to see this: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/moses-de-le-oacute-n
      Anyway, my Mark only has 16 chapters. Not sure which passage you’re asking about, but I’ll answer if you clarify.

      • Sean K.
        March 11, 2017 @ 11:06 pm

        I think he means Matthew. Though, there Jesus says he will or is sending “prophets, and wise men, and scribes” to Israel, and not saying that he was the one who in prior generations sent them the prophets. But if you confuse Mark and Mathew, you might confuse sending a new generation of prophets with sending the OT prophets!

    • Aaron
      March 13, 2017 @ 9:41 pm

      Hi Dan,

      Although there were many who believed that Jesus was pre-existent in the early days of the church, (some who even believed he was eternally pre-existent), they did not believe the Trinity doctrine. Upon carefully reading their works, I found that they were unitarians in their thinking and clearly define themselves as such. I did not like hearing these kinds of things myself and dismissed them at first. After reading over the views of no less than 20 early church bishops/presbyters from the time period from 130-381 AD I was able to see very clearly how they thought in entirely different ways than we do about this issue (actually about many issues). This doesn’t debunk Trinitarianism or anything necessarily but it is historical record and as Christians we should be honest about it. Other Trinitarians have admitted this truth and still believe that Trinitarianism is true. However, it is not the only view that states Christ pre-existed and was the sender of prophets (for the record, “Arianism” isn’t the only other option and those early church thinkers could not accurately be described as “Arians” either!) As Dale notes, the best label for them would probably be “Subordinationists” or more accurately, “Subordinationist Unitarians.”

  3. Dale
    March 10, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

    More ineffectual flailing and name-calling here, if anyone cares. The new-fangled arguments about 1 Cor 8 are interesting, but of course riddled with problems. Maybe another day.