Comments for Trinities http://trinities.org/blog Theories about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:09:25 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Sean Garrigan http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203676 Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:09:25 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203676 Good points, Matt. As a friend of mine pointed out some time back, while Rev. contains the strongest evidence for the “worship” of Jesus, in the end that evidence isn’t as strong as some people assume.

~Sean

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Comment on podcast 194 – God: One Person or Three? Sanders vs. Buzzard debate by kierkegaard71 http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-194-god-one-person-or-three-sanders-vs-buzzard-debate/#comment-203675 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:25:17 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39512#comment-203675 The frustrating thing about the debate to me was that it was so wide-ranging. Buzzard brings up Psalm 110 and Sanders does not engage the argument. Sanders brings up the “meta-narrative” of the orthodox view of salvation history, but I did not hear Buzzard engage with it at that “meta” level. as mentioned by Tuggy at the beginning, the chief value may be that of an introduction to the points of contention.

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203674 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:16:05 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203674 Matt,

Good points.

Rivers 🙂

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Matt13weedhacker http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203673 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 01:28:29 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203673 Compare Revelation 5:10 with Revelation 1:6 and there surrounding context, and it becomes clear who is who.

Revelation 5:10
“And you [i.e. Jesus vs. 9] have made us to-the God of-us [i.e. the Father], kings and priests, and they will-(in future)-reign upon/over the earth.”
http://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/5-10.htm

Revelation 1:6
“And he [i.e. Jesus vs. 5] made us a kingdom, priests to-the God and Father of-him [i.e. Jesus] ; to-Him [dative case grammatically = the Father just prior] the glory, and the dominion/strength into the ages of-the ages. Amen.”
http://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/1-6.htm

The “worship” of Jesus is because he is “the Christ”, i.e. the Anointed and appointed KING of the “KING-dom”. Notice: “King” in the word: “KING-dom”? Thus, “Christ” is: “Lord” in the royal sense, and “Lord” is the inherited title of the OT King “of Israel” (who Jesus is, and is the background to understanding the NT). The King of Israel was habitually called: “My Lord the King.” A phrase that appears over and over again in the OT.

http://matt13weedhacker.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/my-lord-king-king-of-israel.html

http://matt13weedhacker.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/my-lord-king-king-of-israel-anointed.html

“Worship” as God (i.e. YHWH “YeHoWaH”), became confused with “worship” (royal sense) of the King. It is very simple.

Not enough space here, nor do I have the time to go further into this.

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203671 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:45:54 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203671 The way I see it, Jesus is seen to have done a unique service to the Father by redeeming the saints and thus establishing a people presentable to God. That is not to say that translational methodology isn’t important but just that it seems to me Dale’s point isn’t undermined.

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203669 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:37:34 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203669 Dale,

I think the impression that you give in the first sentence in the paragraph after the quotation of the NIV translation of Revelation 5:10 is that you are taking the “serving” (which is paraphrased by the translators) and applying it to Jesus himself, whereas the more literal translations do not add “serving” and don’t suggest that the Jesus was the subject related to “our God.

Perhaps it would be more accurate for you to say “in short, the Lamb (Jesus) is worshiped because he is uniquely worthy as the redeemer of the saints and the one who appointed them to be a kingdom and priests to God.”

Rivers

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203668 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:02:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203668 Guys, I don’t see how my point here depends at all on that translation.

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Comment on podcast 194 – God: One Person or Three? Sanders vs. Buzzard debate by Jeff http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-194-god-one-person-or-three-sanders-vs-buzzard-debate/#comment-203666 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:25:45 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39512#comment-203666 Sound is good, Dale. Vintage Prof Buzzard. Excellent,

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203664 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:20:56 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203664 Balint,

Good catch. It appears that Dale is quoting Revelation 5:10 from the NIV.

Rivers 🙂

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Comment on Worship of Jesus, Worship of God, and the Fulfillment Fallacy by Bálint http://trinities.org/blog/worship-of-jesus-worship-of-god-and-the-fulfillment-fallacy/#comment-203663 Sun, 17 Sep 2017 18:56:41 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39493#comment-203663 Hi Dale,

I think you misread Revelation 5:10 based on a dynamic translation. This takes away from the weight of your argument.

Consider the New English Translation: “You have appointed them as a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

And their interpretive footnote: “The words “to serve” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the word “priests.””

So “serving our God” or “to serve” is absent from the Greek (there are no significant textual variants on this, as far as I know), but even in the translations, it is intended to refer to the redeemed, not Jesus.

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Comment on podcast 193 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 2 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-193-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-2/#comment-203662 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:35:58 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39472#comment-203662 Rommel,

Dale posted it here ….

http://trinities.org/blog/karl-rahner-on-the-word-god-in-the-new-testament/#comment-203661

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Comment on Karl Rahner on the word “God” in the New Testament by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/karl-rahner-on-the-word-god-in-the-new-testament/#comment-203661 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:33:51 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39500#comment-203661 Dale,

Good analysis of Rahner’s approach.

I’m glad you pointed out that not all interpreters concede that any of Rahner’s “six texts in which QEOS refers to Jesus” are actually using the title of “God” to identify Jesus himself. It’s important for Biblical Unitarians to continue to get more proficient at articulating (from an exegetical standpoint) why it is unnecessary to concede that any of the “six texts” are exceptions to the overwhelming evidence that QEOS (“God”) and O QEOS (“the God”) were specifically used to identify God the Father (in contrast to the son of God).

With that said, I think Rahner did make a reasonable point about the fact that using the title of “God” is not the only way that the apostles could have expressed the concept of the divine nature of Jesus. Thus, we must be careful to account for any implications of the other expressions like “the son of God” and “the image of God” and “the word of God” that Trinitarians also attribute to his “very nature.”

Rivers 🙂

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Comment on podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1 by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-192-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-1/#comment-203659 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:21:46 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39420#comment-203659 Thanks, Sean. Yes, I do like to provide quotes… although there is a conflict between covering a lot in a short time (which requires summarizing and paraphrasing) and giving a full taste of the book, which requires quotes. Not always easy to find that balance.

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Comment on podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1 by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-192-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-1/#comment-203658 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:16:43 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39420#comment-203658 Hi Shea. No, I don’t think so. If you listen to the review, you’ll find that I was not demanding some special “analytic” standards of it. I was judging it for what it is, on the basis of what it is trying to do. I have read The Triune God, but in part two of my review of The Deep Things of God, I’ve discussed what is in my view most interesting about it. Of course, your mileage may vary.

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Comment on podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1 by Shea http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-192-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-1/#comment-203657 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 03:57:43 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39420#comment-203657 So, isn’t it a bit petty to lambaste a book specifically written to partisan popular audience for failing to satisfy the demands of an analytic theologian? A more fair fight might be critiquing Fred Sander’s academic work on the Trinity, like his recent “The Triune God” (Zondervan, 2016).

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Comment on podcast 193 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 2 by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-193-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-2/#comment-203656 Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:38:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39472#comment-203656 Stay tuned for a post…

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Comment on podcast 193 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 2 by Rommel Flores http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-193-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-2/#comment-203655 Wed, 13 Sep 2017 03:01:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39472#comment-203655 You mention a Roman Catholic Theologian, I did a search in google and got nothing, would you mind posting a link to the long article of his regarding the use of “Theos” in the Bible. Thank you so much.

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Comment on podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-192-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-1/#comment-203653 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 18:22:06 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39420#comment-203653 Sean,

I agree. From all that I’ve heard from Sanders, it seems that he starts with a Trinitarian pardigmatic approach and doesn’t put much weight on exegesis of the biblical text. He’s almost like a Catholic priest who would start with official church doctrine and then work his way backward.

It was difficult to get much out of the Buzzard-Sanders debate because the two men were approaching the doctrine with different methodologies.

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Comment on podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-192-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-1/#comment-203652 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 18:21:46 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39420#comment-203652 Sean,

I agree. From all that I’ve heard from Sanders, it seems that he starts from a Trinitarian pardigmatic approach and doesn’t put much weight on exegesis of the biblical text. He’s almost like a Catholic priest who would start with official church doctrine and then work his way backward.

It was difficult to get much out of the Buzzard-Sanders debate because the two men were approaching the doctrine with different methodologies.

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Comment on Rauser’s review of What is the Trinity? by edwardtbabinski http://trinities.org/blog/rausers-review-of-what-is-the-trinity/#comment-203646 Sat, 09 Sep 2017 18:31:52 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39452#comment-203646 Thanks for that link!

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Comment on Rauser’s review of What is the Trinity? by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/rausers-review-of-what-is-the-trinity/#comment-203644 Sat, 09 Sep 2017 14:39:20 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39452#comment-203644 Yes, see esp. this episode http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-92-dr-joshua-thurow-on-objections-to-atonement-theories/ He’s a trinitarian Christian philosopher, but we are very close to being “on the same page” here.

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Comment on Rauser’s review of What is the Trinity? by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/rausers-review-of-what-is-the-trinity/#comment-203643 Fri, 08 Sep 2017 05:44:19 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39452#comment-203643 “My second concern is that Dale’s method seems at times to be rather individualistic and rationalistic… [He advises that] “You must read the sources for yourself, with mind and spirit open. You must ask the one God to clarify his revelation to you…”

Why don’t we all just become Catholic, or Orthodox and stop debating this altogether? Of course it would be difficult to choose which to become, Catholic or Orthodox? We have no authority to guide us in this matter other than something like the very thing implicitly criticized above. I’m not sure how to make the decision? Any suggestions?

Let’s see, do I like icons or statuary better? No, maybe the decision is best made by geography? Geography has always been a major authority on these matters, has it not? I know I must believe in the Holy Trinity but should I believe God is one self or three selves? Well how far to the west do I live? I know that God is one self, but in Ukraine He’s three selves. Oh blessed property markers, tell me, do I live in Spain or Slovakia?

“I go through life believing things because trusted authorities told me so. And that kind of deference to authority is fully rational and indeed necessary. So I trust my medical doctor, I trust my meteorologist, I trust my architect, and so on.”

How do we know which authority to trust when authorities disagree? Those who choose to trust authority x or authority y are in disagreement with each other as to which authority is reasonably trustworthy. The decision between which authority to trust must be made on purely rational and individualist grounds since there is no authority other than God who can decide between them.

Yet how do we know it’s reasonable to trust any authority in the first place? How many people trust their politicians? And how many people understand how political all authority is, including in the churches?

Yet to go farther, what if authority is often just an established disinformation service, as we know it often was presented to be throughout Biblical history? Did Jesus trust the authorities of His day? And did Jesus or the Apostles teach that authorities would remain in place which we could continue to trust? I think the answers to these questions should be fairly easy to answer. “Our forefathers killed the prophets and the heretics.”

Moving further on in history, should Martin Luther have trusted the authorities of his day? How about Martin Luther King Jr.? And can we measure authority by the calendar anyway, since the views of authorities change with time? Should I trust Origin more or Augustine?

And is Christianity really founded on trusting authorities in the first place, or is it rather about defying them? The authorities made Christianity possible by crucifying Jesus, but I don’t think that’s because they were trying to support His mission.

How do you know your doctor isn’t just a nicely dressed and licensed professional drug dealer? Or your meteorologist just an atheist who’s speaking beyond his real knowledge? Do you really trust these people or is it just a more comforting and casual way to live to pretend you can? Should George Washington have trusted his doctor? Do you trust your adult children’s College Professor? Do you trust architects or building code inspectors more? My doctor medicated me to the point of insanity but I’m not insane to trust him.

“To be sure, I’m not saying one must simply accede to ancient and venerable traditions because they’re old and venerable: “Ecclesia semper reformanda est!” Rather, the issue is a matter of balance. There is a time to seek to critique our beliefs and traditions, but there is also a time to yield to them. And I see nothing wrong with a Christian deferring to the wisdom of a tradition on such a central matter, even when many problems undoubtedly remain.”

Oh yes now time to backtrack on everything just stated in favor of… “balance.” Oh balance glorious balance! And what does that vague concept even begin to mean? Except perhaps “I’m right; you’re wrong. I’m attaching good words to my beliefs and bad words to yours.” This is doublespeak and the height of precarious imbalance. Yes, I am a Protestant Catholic but thank God that I’m not a Catholic Protestant. I think it’s reasonable to agree with the Pope about x, but I think it’s unreasonable to agree with the Pope about y. And the reason I think this…, “balance, and certainly not individualistic rationalism.” My tradition is the correct one because, “balance”. This is little better than saying that “random chance” created the universe. People I entirely disagree with are entirely right about “central matters.”

“Oh mystical balance, always guide us with thy multifarious light and may be find the unity of the faith in thy ever mysteriously and gloriously contradictory embrace.”

I’m going to be judged before God for what I listen to and teach personally. Using the excuse of authority and a crowd won’t help me on that day Jn. 5:44 and Mk. 4:24…, etc…. Enter through the narrow gate.

“But God, everybody was building the Tower of Babel. That is until you confused our tongues. It’s not my fault. We were all doing it together. I wasn’t an individualist God. I wasn’t imbalanced. I wasn’t a rationalist. I didn’t disagree with Nimrod about central matters!”

When can we begin to argue about truth and following the Messiah instead of who’s crowd is the most balanced? Because as long as everybody approaches any of these arguments with the bias of defending their own culture and belief system instead of following the Messiah into the wilderness, outside the camp, then we aren’t going to get anywhere at all. All reason can be on one side but the other side refuses to acknowledge it since it would mean that their little community would be wrong. Everybody knows that would be impossible. We gain a sense of belonging from the authority of our community. As long as our own little group of people, whether friends, family or theological heroes, are more important to us than the truth, then we won’t be able to see the truth at all. It will be IMPOSSIBLE for us since we aren’t interested in truth but only the justification of belief instead. For we can then label truth as “individualist and rationalistic” or any other negative label that comes to mind to block out it’s cold difficulty.

Bring the labels! At least Dale’s not being burned at the stake for his statements, no thanks to the theologians who make up all those marvelous authority traditions everyone loves to dote over. Of course our modern crowds have found polite ways to remain politically correct while continuing to reverence the murderers and liars who founded our groups. This is a necessary survival tactic. The show must go on!

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Comment on podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-192-review-of-sanderss-the-deep-things-of-god-part-1/#comment-203642 Fri, 08 Sep 2017 00:16:00 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39420#comment-203642 Glad to see a new podcast, heard it today.

Guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see Fred Sanders didn’t really try to take the task of proving the Trinity from the Bible. I’ve never really been impressed by anything I’ve read/heard from him. Albeit, it has been only a little[mainly his debate with Anthony Buzzard]. I don’t quite understand why he’s looked to as a formidable teacher/proponent of the Trinity still. This book only affirmed it based on your review. Seems like it was just a bunch of flip-flopping Trinity/trinity terms. Never have I seen/heard a single person actually show me any one text showing “God” defined as all 3 persons at once. That question is always avoided like the plague and given the general retort “The whole Bible teaches it… I don’t need one verse.” That seems like a bait and switch back to lowercase “trinity” to attempt to make the question seem foolish.

Yet, as a former Trinitarian it took a lot to take a step back and say to myself when I became biblical unitarian… how did I not see that just because I can count three that doesn’t make them one God? It’s so clearly assumed by every Trinitarian.

I know this was already a long review, but for future reviews could you involve more quotes from the books?

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Comment on Rauser’s review of What is the Trinity? by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/rausers-review-of-what-is-the-trinity/#comment-203641 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:03:20 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39452#comment-203641 Edward,

Dale’s podcast number 138 was a discussion with a Biblical Unitarian pastor (Sean Finnegan) who discussed some of the different “atonement” options. You might enjoy listening to it.

Rivers 🙂

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203640 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 12:36:33 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203640 Aaron,

Good points. Some of this is just due to the wide semantic range of the biblical words for “spirit”. You mentioned some of the applications of the term.

I try to be careful not to go to the either extreme of referring to spirit as an “it” (impersonal) or a “he” (person) becuase it seems to have characteristics and functions suitable for both. This is probably because “spirit” is usually associated with individual persons, but is also something that God shares of Himself with his creatures (Genesis 2:7). There are also figuartive references to “spirit” such as when Paul spoke of his “spirit” being in Corinth while his “body” was “absent” (1 Corinthians 5:3).

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Comment on Rauser’s review of What is the Trinity? by edwardtbabinski http://trinities.org/blog/rausers-review-of-what-is-the-trinity/#comment-203639 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:58:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39452#comment-203639 I have a post on the Trinity that includes some direct quotations from the law books of Christian emperors that agree with what you wrote about the coercion that was employed https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2010/08/trinity-three-states-of-water-bill.html

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Comment on Rauser’s review of What is the Trinity? by edwardtbabinski http://trinities.org/blog/rausers-review-of-what-is-the-trinity/#comment-203638 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:50:54 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39452#comment-203638 Your theological journey is interesting. Have you also also wrestled with theologies of soteriology? Atonement?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203637 Wed, 06 Sep 2017 22:32:23 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203637 Rivers,

Yeah, sure. I can be fair. That’s a good point as well.

The word “spirit” can refer to the inner being/self/soul of a man, the direct presence of God, even an attitude or way we carry ourselves (such as when Paul says not in a spirit of fear or timidity…)

I see Bilbo to be saying that if the Trinity is incorrect that we must apply this to how we read the phrases “Spirit of God” and “Spirit of Christ,” respectively. He seems to be saying, “Wait a minute! You have 2 individuals here, and a Spirit on record for both of them. That’s TWO different Spirits for two different individual!”

And I see you and Dale to be saying that this simply is not necessarily the case. Certainly, all of us here agree with Paul when he states in Ephesians that there is “one baptism, *one Spirit,* one Lord,” etc. so we actually agree that there is but one Spirit (in the sense of one divine Spirit of God anyways) but Bilbo is stating that it is inconsistent of the NT writers to say that there is 1 Spirit but then turn around and talk about 2-3 Spirits while you all aren’t seeing the references to the “Spirit” to necessarily be designations or names of the Spirits of separate beings (i.e. God and Jesus), which I also understand. Given that the Spirit is called by a few names and spoken of as both a “person” and a “thing/it” in the NT only adds to confusion and division between Trinitarians and Unitarians.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203636 Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:59:28 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203636 Aaron,

I don’t think Bilbo is taking into account that “spirit” is a term that is often used to speak of individuals, as well as something shared by individuals. The way it is used in scripture seems to suggest both personal and impersonal functions and characteristics.

This might give some flexibility with regard to relating holy spirit to the Trinity doctrine, but the same range of usage would be applicable to a biblical unitarian Christology as well. Thus, I don’t think it poses a problem, or a “knockdown” implication for either perspective.

Rivers

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203635 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 21:01:17 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203635 Not sure what you’re driving at, Bilbo. Given my view that talk of “the spirit” typically refers to God’s power, given to believers, there is not a problem here. As has been said, there are just multiple descriptions of the same phenomenon.

The Trinity does not seem to come down to just three descriptions of one god, if that is your point. For one thing, the Father is the Son’s god in the NT.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203633 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:20:41 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203633 Rivers,

Yes, I agree it does seem that way. And if it is the case that the Spirit is but One then can’t this be seen as fitting in very consistently with Trinitarian viewpoint? The Spirit is One Spirit of the Triune God instead of referring to 3 spirits of 3 separate beings…This seems to be Bilbo’s point. I’m not saying it’s a knockdown argument and all discussion about the topic is over, but I do see what he’s saying.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203632 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 12:22:24 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203632 Aaron,

What about the sense in which the apostles spoke of all believers having “the spirit of God” (Romans 8:14) or “the spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9) or “holy spirit” (Romans 5:5)? This suggests that the terms were variations of the same thing that the same “spirit” could be shared.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Bilbo http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203631 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 01:15:33 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203631 Yes, Aaron, that is pretty much my point. If it is the same spirit, but three different beings, why three different designations?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203630 Mon, 04 Sep 2017 23:06:16 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203630 Rivers,

I think the plea here is one for consistency (although I won’t presume to speak on behalf of Bilbo). The way I read it is that if the Father and Jesus are 2 completely separate beings then this would imply that as separate beings they each have a separate spirit within themselves….and if the Holy Spirit (whatever or whoever that is) happens to also be a “someone” then he is a *third* being and thus also has a spirit as well.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203629 Mon, 04 Sep 2017 20:21:44 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203629 Biblo,

Why would three different descriptions of “spirit” require that there are three different spirits? Paul was simply describing the “spirit” that was “holy” and belonged to both God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Rivers 🙂

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Bilbo http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203628 Sun, 03 Sep 2017 17:29:43 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203628 Dr. Tuggy,

I’m curious if you have dealt with a couple of puzzling passages:

Romans 8:9,

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”

So do we have two spirits – the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ?

And then if you add in Romans 5:5,

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us,”

We now have three spirits – the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Must get kinda crowded in there.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203625 Sat, 02 Sep 2017 18:39:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203625 @ Bryan

Of course trinitarians would say that, being God = Trinity, the two issues coincide 😉

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Giles http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203624 Fri, 01 Sep 2017 18:45:23 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203624 Dale, you don’t mention that in First Principles Origen sees all souls as eternally generated. I think it was only when other fathers embraced the eternal generation of Christ whilst rejecting the eternal generation of other souls that this idea was taken to imply deity.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203623 Thu, 31 Aug 2017 15:43:19 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203623 John,

Good points. I’ve had the same experience when occasionally discussing Christology with Catholic priests and nuns. Even though they are theologically trained, they don’t “learn” to think about biblical theology the same way that Protestants and Evangelicals do. Thus, it is very difficult to engage in a meaningful critical dialog about the issues.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Bryan Fitzpatrick http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203622 Wed, 30 Aug 2017 23:38:39 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203622 I see no reason why we should stop at rationalizing the trinity. Let us rationally explain God.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Dale Tuggy Responds | Eclectic Orthodoxy http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203621 Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:07:02 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203621 […] Part 1 […]

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203620 Mon, 28 Aug 2017 19:33:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203620 We? Royal we? 😉

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203619 Mon, 28 Aug 2017 12:31:07 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203619 Mario,

We also get bored with your repetitive uninformed assertions. Remember, I was merely responding to another one of your unsubstantiated claims.

Rivers 🙂

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 2 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-2/#comment-203618 Sun, 27 Aug 2017 19:44:13 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39354#comment-203618 ” ideas about eternal conscious torment”

Dale, would you consider doing an historical overview of the different ideas about hell at a future time?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 3 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-3/#comment-203615 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 23:47:48 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39369#comment-203615 @ Dale

[Fr Aidan Kimel] But perhaps we should look earlier than the fourth century for the decisive departure from the allegedly unitarian Deity of the New Testament—namely, to the mid-second century when Christians began to interpret their triadic faith in light of Hellenistic philosophy.

This seems to me a good identikit for Justin Martyr, duly inspired by Philo (De Somniis, On Dreams, that they are God-sent, Book 1, XXXIX, 1.229-230). Some scholars have also mentioned Numenius of Apamea, but he seems too late to have influenced Justin Martyr.

Logos … is supposed to be a being, not a mere property. I’m not sure than what he means by saying that on this theology [Lewis Ayres; John Behr] the Logos is “essential to” the Father.

Supposed … by whom? Even you, Dale, in your post podcast 175 – Marcellus of Ancyra, wrote, without questioning the terminology, that for Marcellus, “[God’s] ‘word’ and ‘spirit’ are his eternal attributes …” [why the ‘scare quotes’, BTW?]. So, while “God extends himself it two ways”, extending, as it were, His Word and Spirit in view of Creation, it is perfectly appropriate to says that His Word and Spirit are intrinsic to Him, more that they are essential attributes.

The problem with Subordinationism is precisely that for ALL Subordinationists (Origen included, of course), the Word and Spirit are not God’s eternal, essential attributes, BUT subordinated divine, personal beings. It is precisely so as to remedy this Hellenistic spin on Biblical Monotheism, that the Trinity (co-equal, co-eternal, tri-personal), HAD to be ultimately invented. That was the job of the Cappadocian scoundrels. Sadly for Christianity, they succeeded. 🙁

In his post, Ante-Nicene Subordinationism and the Unitarian Narrative (6 August 2017), Fr Aidan Kimel (he likes to be addressed with his full name and title …) has apparently not resorted to his mysterianism (or apophaticism, as he prefers to say). If he feels cornered by your “rationalism”, he will.

Just wait and see 😉

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203614 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 21:51:01 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203614 Whatever suits you best, Rivers. This is getting boringly repetitive. :(22

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203613 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 21:49:57 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203613 Whatever suits you best, Rivers. This is getting boringly repetitive. 🙁

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203612 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 15:43:54 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203612 Mario,

It certainly isn’t necessary to render John 1:14 with “human being” for SARX (and that is nearly all Bible translations use the correct translation “flesh” instead).

Regardless, even if we accept your idea of “the word became [a] human being” as a plausible translation, we still need to correctly interpret the meaning. There is nothing that requires the Greek grammar to connote “an attribute [of God] became [a] human being” and the context offers little to support the notion that this was referring to the time of Jesus’ birth.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203611 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 15:23:14 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203611 Mario,

Yes. It seem to me that all of the passages you’ve cited suggest that “word” (LOGOS) was used by the writer of the John books as a metonym for the human being, Jesus Christ. This is because he was the man they associated with eternal life.

Your theory that LOGOS refers to a divine attribute seems to have no exegetical merit whatsoever. If you want to go over the Greek grammar and the contextual issues, I’d be glad to revisit the discussion with you.

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203610 Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:34:30 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203610

I think, Jesus meant that the one who asks Him does not know that Jesus is God. So, Jesus told to a man who does not know that Jesus is God that only God is good and thus his reference to Jesus being good is not founded in that man’s thought system. [Victor Porton, August 22, 2017 @ 4:04 pm]

Jesus is saying that only God is good. Even Jesus himself was deriving his goodness from following God with his whole being, and he challenged the rich young ruler and all of us to do the same. [Benjamin Scott, August 23, 2017 @ 2:35 am]

Victor and Benjamin,

your statements could not be more at variance. One thought for both of you, anyway: Jesus was not reprimanding the Rich Man, he knew that he was sincerely trying to improve his life, so much so that “… [a]s Jesus looked at him, he felt love for him … (Mark 10:21)”.

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203609 Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:50:21 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203609 Respectfully, this interpretation is driven by externally imposed ideology rather than exegesis, since it contradicts what Jesus is actually saying. Jesus speaks of God as being someone other than Himself, here and elsewhere. In the larger context of the gospels in which this story is found, Jesus is referenced as being the Messiah, as being a man, as being God’s son, but never as being God Himself. I’m not sure what it could mean that Jesus is God, when he refers to God as someone else other than himself? Jesus question and quick followup statement that only God is good, is a clear and straight forward denial that He’s God. He might just as well remove a few letters and say to you, “Why do you call me God? Only God is God.”

Can you find anywhere in the Synoptic gospels in which Jesus is affirmed to be God? If so then perhaps your interpretation has merit. Otherwise it seems you’re inserting a foreign idea into the text.

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203608 Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:35:42 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203608 Dale,

I don’t have any commentaries on this text available, but here’s how it reads most naturally to me. I think it’s a matter of fitting it in with Jesus’ larger dialog, thought and interactions with people.

Jesus’ quick reaction to being called “good” confronted the rich young ruler’s whole approach to him. It set the whole conversation back on the ground where it belonged, rather than in the fantasy world the man was living in. The rich man approached Jesus the way many “good” and friendly people of status and rank approach others they want something out of…, namely, with polite flattery. Perhaps this man didn’t do this on purpose but more by way of cultural habit or upbringing. In any case, it was an approach that was outside of what Jesus found to be realistic. In approaching Jesus in this manner, he certainly wasn’t asking for the answer Jesus was going to give him. He wanted something that would fit in with his almost complete life, and would top it off, so to speak. So knowingly or not, he was imposing his worldview and perspective on the conversation in calling Jesus “good.” I have experienced this first hand with people of rank and wealth and it is difficult to stand up to. The easy path is to just take the compliment, give them what they want and move on. Jesus took the hard and noble path, refusing to be dazzled by what the man represented.

Jesus confronted his perspective straight off by his reply. Jesus wasn’t going to play the traditional status game in which everyone pretends that they are above the dirty masses and share no responsibility for them. Everyone in that world is “good.” By confronting his initial flattery head on with the reply that there is none good but God, Jesus was telling him where his loyalties were at, and confronting him with his own loyalties to God at the same time. Neither the Messiah nor anyone else has the right to make up the rules of life in their own self interested terms and then label it “good”, even if those rules are based in the law of Moses itself. Those who do so are always looking for a crowd of people to gather around them, who affirm their lifestyle as “good.” Perhaps for Jesus the “good” temptation would be to rule the world without dying for it? It seems that for the rich young ruler the “good” temptation had been to seek to be religious without accepting the responsibility that wealth and privilege had given him to fully assist others who were in need. In giving up privilege and wealth to follow this persecuted yet “good” Messiah, who had nowhere to lay his head, he would have truly acknowledged who Jesus stood for, the Father, who alone was good. When Jesus refused his flattery, ascribed goodness only to God, and then told him to follow him, he was asking the man to learn to truly follow the God whom Jesus served. The man was confronted directly and caught in his own words. The good teacher had told him the truth, a truth he was unable to bear. Unable to respond to the trap he had sprung on himself, and unwilling to repent, he walked away sad. He should have walked after Jesus instead.

Although the rich young ruler suspected something was missing in his life, and hence his question to Jesus, he was someone who could not come to terms with what it truly meant to follow God or to follow the Messiah. He was looking for a way of escape from the requirements Jesus would potentially give to him. He came armed with flattery, hoping to tempt Jesus out of telling him the truth. Jesus put his finger on why this man had blindness to see what was missing in his life. Keeping the commandments, whatever that meant, and flattering oneself and others for doing so, was not the honest path of God, who alone is good. Jesus refused the compliment, felt compassion for the man’s difficult inner battle between following God and following his status and wealth, and ultimately told him the truth about what he was really following. The man chose poorly and many of us do as well, over far smaller idols than the ones this man had. What’s worse is that we too continue to tempt Jesus. But we do so by pretending that he didn’t mean what he said. We call him “good” every Sunday whilst singing our praise songs to him and worshiping him as our GOD…, but the standard remains the same. Jesus was not God. Rather, he was the Messiah. And as the Messiah he was loyal to God, the only one we can truly call “good.” Why do you call me “Lord, Lord?” Why do you call me “good, good” and do not do what I say? Why do you call me, “God, God,” and do not do what I say? It all boils down to the same basic issues. We’d rather worship Jesus as God than to follow him as a man who represented God. Maybe someday when we meet him face to face, he’ll be less honest with us than he was with this young man. Maybe all that flattery will go to his head? It’s anybody’s gamble but I doubt it will work.

So I agree with what you’re saying about what “good” means in this context. Jesus is saying that only God is good. Even Jesus himself was deriving his goodness from following God with his whole being, and he challenged the rich young ruler and all of us to do the same.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203607 Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:27:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203607 I’m less familiar with what Augustine said which may have inspired those ideas in Luther? I’ve tended towards thinking that Luther was rather novel in his approach, whilst under the influence of the via moderna. I know that Augustine gave the RCC the original defense of their imperial kingdom of God on earth, which they needed to justify their existence. He was far too central a figure to their own theology to criticize him. In the East he was much more controversial.

It seems that a careful reading of Paul should have been something that they were able to do throughout history. I feel like the NP on Paul in some form or another is just rather transparently obvious in the Biblical text itself and I always thought it was Protestants more than Catholics who had a problem with what Paul seemed to be saying. Maybe I’m misinformed. I am admittedly not well versed in Catholic theology. Obviously the Pope had his treasury of merits, so somewhere in Catholic theology lurked the idea that merit could be transferred from one person to another. Maybe they wanted their cake and eat it too? It seems that if so, the split was inevitable.

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Victor Porton http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203606 Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:04:00 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203606 I think, Jesus meant that the one who asks Him does not know that Jesus is God. So, Jesus told to a man who does not know that Jesus is God that only God is good and thus his reference to Jesus being good is not founded in that man’s thought system.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203604 Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:41:17 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203604 Ben,

I believe that the Catholic Church, since the earliest warnings of the impending “Lutheran crisis”, had been reluctant to take the bull by the horns, i.e. to examine (and possibly condemn) some of Augustine’s texts from which Luther’s thought was drawn. And I believe that this reluctance is based on the simple reason that the Church was perfectly aware that putting Augustine into question threatened to inevitably involve putting Paul into question. This would have been simply unthinkable, and in any case disallowed, given the inspired – and therefore canonical – character of Paul’s texts, which the Church could not put into question, even for a moment. Otherwise the consequences would have been even worse than those caused by Luther’s challenge.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203602 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:27:44 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203602 I read the article. It’s clear that Luther lead a lot of people in the wrong direction. I can agree with his Sola Scriptura, but his understanding of the Bible is really twisted and disjointed. The voice comes from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Luther says that Jesus came to die so we wouldn’t have to listen to him. Whom should I trust? I think I’ll go with Jesus. Of course that’s difficult because Jesus had hard words to tell us. But I prefer difficult truths over easy lies. Yes, Jesus preached His own gospel. If someone can’t find the gospel in all four of the gospels then they have a problem, 2Jn. 9.

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203601 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:18:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203601 Some commentaries are incredibly resourceful, in their capacity of twisting the obvious sense of Jesus’ words. See here:

… Jesus’ question to the [rich young] man is designed not to deny His deity, but rather to draw the man to recognize Christ’s divine identity. Such an interpretation is substantiated by passages such as John 10:11 wherein Jesus declares Himself to be “the good shepherd.” Similarly in John 8:46, Jesus asks, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” Of course the answer is “no.” Jesus was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15), holy and undefiled (Hebrews 7:26), the only One who “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The logic can thus be summarized as follows:
1: Jesus claims only God is good.
2: Jesus claims to be good.
3: Therefore, Jesus claims to be God.
(from https://www.gotquestions.org/good-God-alone.html)

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.” (Walter Scott, Marmion)

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Xavier http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203600 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:52:47 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203600 Jesus has simply distinguished between himself and God Who alone is ABSOLUTELY good.

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Comment on “No one is good except God alone.” by Corby Amos http://trinities.org/blog/no-one-is-good-except-god-alone/#comment-203599 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:28:54 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39388#comment-203599 Dale,

Here is the EDNT’s take on the use of “good”:

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6. The call of the rich man (Mark 10:17–22; Matt 19:16–22; Luke 18:18–23) gives the question of the meaning of ?????? a special theological relevance. The rich man (Matthew alters it to a “young man” and Luke to a “ruler” [Haenchen 351]) kneels respectfully before Jesus and calls him “good (= honored) teacher.” Unusual for Palestinian Judaism, such a form of address was nevertheless possible in Greek-speaking areas (in addition to Matt 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17, cf. the references in Lohmeyer 208, n. 2; the address “good teacher” is attested in b. Ta?an [Babylonian Talmud]. 24b). Jesus rebukes the rich man: “No one is good but God alone.”

Jesus thus resorts to OT tradition: it is essential to OT thought that Yahweh is good (?ôb) and that the history of Israel testifies to him in his goodness. The emphatically personal—compared with Greek popular philosophy and the Hellenistic point of view (details in Grundmann 11–13 and Beyreuther 98f.)—and fundamental confession is: Praise Yahweh, “for he is good” (1 Chr 16:34; 2 Chr 5:13; Ezra 3:11f.; Ps 118:1ff.; cf. the Jewish personal form in Philo All. I, 47; Philo Som. I, 149). The experience of redemption in the Exodus, the possession of the land, and Israel’s preservation in the course of history all document Yahweh’s “goodness” (cf. Exod 18:9; Num 10:29ff.; Hos 8:3; 14:3). In Jeremiah the “goodness” of God takes on a special eschatological accent (Jer 8:15; 14:11, 19; 17:6; etc., esp. 32:42; details in Grundmann 13f.). Over against Mark (and Luke), Matthew has transformed the offensive form of address into a question about the good that is necessary to the attainment of eternal life (19:16). The answer is the call to discipleship (details in Haenchen 358f.; Harnisch 171ff.).
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Thoughts?

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203598 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:02:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203598 One might suppose that, and countless Muslims do. But according to the NT, what Jesus got was incomparably better than rescue from the cross. Read Philippians 2 and Revelation 5.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203595 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:22:10 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203595 Bingo, Benji!

That should have been enough to make him a suspect “reformer” to anybody with a healthy mind.

Here is my more extensive article, at my blog Strict Monotheism: Martin Luther’s warped “gospel”.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203594 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:01:44 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203594 Great post Dale. We don’t prefer to think of temptation in the way Jas. 1:12-13 urges us to. When tempted we feel like something is wrong, but if we can endure it then something is very right. That’s when we get past the ups and downs of failure and repentance and abide in repentance as repentance truly requires. Know Jesus is a trailblazer for us and that he’s sent us another helper to be with us forever, makes all the difference in the world. We can endure temptation just as he did.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203593 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 04:54:35 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203593 Sounds like Martin Luther. I say that just based off your hint. I can’t agree with his quotes. He really misunderstands Jesus badly. Jesus said that those who followed his teachings were building their lives on the rock. Sadly, many throughout history have wanted to explain away the teachings of Jesus rather than to follow them. Seems a common trend with religious leaders. People prefer to worship them as gods rather than follow them as a men.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203592 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:16:58 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203592 Rivers,

That’s not my position and I did state that it is not. If you disagree with the idea of notional pre-existence then you should probably debate Dale and Dustin Smith. I won’t retrieve the references for you but Dr. Smith is on Dale’s podcast with multiple examples of extra-biblical Jewish sources which talk about the Messiah, the Temple, etc. existing or being with God eternally in such a way as would be be explained by notional pre-existence. To say that the Biblical writers don’t ever actually write in this way is what is being debated by people on this point. Dr. Smith believes he can demonstrate that they did and that this is why the Bibilica Unitarian position is best. You agree with him on his position but have a different view of the verses so…that is really between 2 adherents of the BU position and not myself. I was just trying to give a helpful resource.

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Muse Gele http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203590 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 07:47:33 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203590 “He _will_ be dramatically saved by God” ?

Saved from execution at the hands of the Romans perhaps?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203589 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:08:06 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203589 Oh, BTW, kai ho logos sarx egeneto means “and the Word became flesh”, where sarx is a loanword from the Hebrew basar and should be rendered with “and the Word became a human being”.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203588 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:40:35 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203588 @ Rivers

Let’s examine the key Johannine verse verses where ho logos is mentioned:

– in John 1:1 ho logos is said to be en arch?, pros ton theon and theos

– in 1 John 1:1-2 ho logos t?s zo?s is what the author, on behalf of himself and of other witnesses, proclaims to have heard, and seen, and looked at, and touched, and affirms that this “word of life” is “the eternal life that was with the Father”.

– in Rev 19:13 the one who goes to war with the enemies of God, the Lamb, with his robes dipped in blood, is called ho logos tou theou

Against this textual evidence, you seem to claim that ho logos is some sort of “name” by which Jesus was known. More or less like Simon was known as cephas, “the rock”?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203587 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:30:11 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203587 Mario,

I’m wondering how you can construe the Hebrew words for “word” and “breath” to mean “arms.” Even the use of the two terms together in Psalms 33:6 could simply be taken in parallel since it makes perfectly good sense that speaking a “word” requires the “breath of the mouth” and it’s evident that the second clause of the verse implies the same verb (“made”) from the first clause.

Do you believe that YHWH actually has a “mouth” and/or “arms”? If this is the case, why would He need to speak through a host of other mediators (cf. Hebrews 1:1-2)? Maybe it’s more reasonable to consider that the angelic messengers (who appeared as “men” with corporeal functions, Genesis 18:4-5, as well as were heard with voices from heaven, Genesis 21:17; John 12:29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) are the ones from whom the Anthropomorphic language was derived.

Also, wouldn’t it be more accurate to identify “speech” (verbal noun) or “speaking” (verb) as an “attribute.” How is “word” (noun) an “attribute”?

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Matt13weedhacker http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203586 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:47:45 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203586 James 1:13 Weymouth New Testament
“Let no one say when passing through trial, “My temptation is from God;” for God is in-capable of being tempted to do evil, and He Himself tempts no one.”

James 1:13 uses the word Gk., ( APEIRASTOS ) Strongs no: 551 literally meaning: “un-tempt-able” or: “in-capable of being tempted”.

It’s an alpha privative. When the Greeks wanted to negative a word, or give an opposite meaning, they would simply stick an Gk., ( A ) on the front https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_privative.

Gk., ( APEIRASTOS ) is made up of Gk., ( PEIRAZO ) meaning: “try” “tempt” “test” or: “susceptible to enticement/allurement” with such a Greek Alpha, Gk., ( A ) prefixed to the front.

It is saying that whoever God is, He is IN-CAPABLE of being “tempted”. UN-TEMPT-ABLE.

With all obvious implications for Tri{3}ntarian theory/doctrine.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 2 by Matt13weedhacker http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-2/#comment-203585 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:32:06 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39354#comment-203585 The Irenaeus they (Tri{3}nitarians) know (they say they know) comes to us through a 10th century Latin filter (no earlier MS exist). The extant Latin manuscripts, when compared with the copious Greek quotations that come down to us through Epiphanius and Theodoretus show clearly that the Latin version is highly corrupt in many aspects. It appears to have been (to coin a word) “Rufinized” (ref. to Rufinus of Aquelia in the Origen corruption scandal with Jerome in the fifth century). The Armenian copies of AH (Against Heresies) and AP (On Apostolic Preaching) also testify to this as well.

Hippolytus, who is reputed to have learned (or at least had some education) from Irenaeus passes on a CLEARLY hierarchical administration (when one looks at the Greek, not the tailored English translations) which glorify the Father alone (contra a tri-equal doxology) in AN (Against Noetus) chapter 14.

Justin, Tatian, Theophilus, (the other Apologists), even Tertullian post “orthodoxy” in his Montantist writings, all teach a clearly hierarchical and Patriarchal (in the sense of rule by a Father as the highest authority) administration, and a created Logos.

The earlier Christian archaeological strata (prior to the third century) have no genuine (note: GENUINE) co-equalitive, co-eternal, tri-archical (from “triarchy” rule by three persons) Tri{3}nity fossils to speak of – at all.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203584 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:26:22 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203584 Sean,

Even though I agree with your Biblical Unitarian perspective, I think we need to be careful with what you’re trying to do with PROS in John 1:1b. This Greek preposition is not used with a reflexive implication and thus it’s unlikely that the writer of the 4th Gospel intended to say that “the word [of the Lord] was with God.”

For example, if you look at the Greek version of Hosea 14:2 (that you cited in your comment), you’ll discover that it is the Greek preposition META that was used where it says “take your words with you.” You’ll also find that this is the case in all of the other OT texts which refer to something being “with the Lord.”

I think it’s more reasonable to consider that all of the other times that PROS TON QEON (“to God”) is used in the Greek scriptures, it is always related to a human being who has near proximity, or is mediating something, to God the Father. For example, when it is used again in John 13:3, it refers to Jesus going “to God” after he completed his public ministry (cf. Revelation 12:5). It’s also interesting to consider that this is where Jesus “is” when the writer concludes the Prologue (John 1:18).

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203583 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:38:24 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203583 Mario,

It doesn’t really matter what Marcellus of Ancrya thought about anything. He had no contact with Jesus or the apostles and nobody considers him the final authority on anything.

Can you give any exegetical basis for your claim that LOGOS refers to an “attribute” when it is used by the writer of the 4th Gospel? How do you explain an “[attribute] became flesh” in John 1:14?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203582 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:29:23 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203582 Thanks for examining my reply in as much detail as I did with yours, Sean.

I have already explained clearly enough my perplexity with the expression “Unitarianism” (when it has the breadth of application that Tuggy tries to give it: from Socinus to Origen) and also with “Biblical Unitarianism” (because it would suggest that it is in agreement with the Bible, whereas it isn’t, because it only “agrees” with John 1:1,14 at the cost of making the agreement trivial). As for the “Memra”, I can only repeat what I said: what would become of John 1:1, “the Memra [or Torah, or “prophecy, message” or literal “words”] of YHWH was with [pros] YHWH” is either irrelevant or senseless. I see you don’t (can’t) dispute that, other than fully adopting a “Biblical Unitarian” POV, which makes John 1:1,14 either irrelevant or senseless.

In the past I have already argued that there are at least two loci in scripture that I see in support of my view of logos: Deut 33:27 and Ps 33:6, supporting each other, as I have argued with a post at trinities.org (Word and Spirit: the “Everlasting Arms” of God). It was good enough for Irenaeus. It is good enough for me.

No, I do not think it is “nonsense that a word could be *with* someone”. I affirm it is reductive to think of the logos as mere word (and/or rhetoric figure based on a mere word) to (try and) explain John 1:1,14. I affirm that what is with the Lord YHWH is NOT a mere flatus vocis but His eternal, essential attribute. See above. And I don’t misunderstand the view of whoever tries this reductive operation.

You simply cannot resort to the ploy of asking why, if the angels could be called elohim, then why cannot the pre-incarnated Jesus? You cannot because angels, in the Bible, are NOT words but real beings and they are creatures. If you only consider that there could be another entity that can be called God, next to YHWH then, as I have already argued, EITHER you go against the Biblical God (“I am the Lord, I have no peer, there is no God but me.” – Isaiah 45:5-6; 46:9), OR you end up in [egalitarian] Trinitarianism. Sorry, no “third option”.

Too bad if you still cannot see the incompatibility between Unitarianism (of whichever flavor) and a proper account of John 1:1,14

In conclusion, let me say that you are a serious debater. We both strive for the truth. 🙂

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203581 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:17:08 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203581 Thanks for the reply Mario.

Okay, still not sure I understand exactly your position. You seem to agree with some B.U. positions in thinking that the “logos/word” is an attribute of God, which could be a reference to the explanation that leads toward the “Memra of the Aramaic Targums.” The “Memra” was a metonym for “YHWH” and thus the “pros” would better be understood as “with reference to” or simply “towards/to” YHWH. Meaning, it’s another way to refer to God[the Father]. This explanation may not be your understanding, but it could come out from your understanding if I’m understanding what you’re claiming in [1]. If that last sentence makes sense haha.

The above touches on point [1] and [3] slightly. But I still don’t see you showing a justification from the Scripture for your understanding of “John 1” and “logos.” Please find me a definition *within* *the* *Scripture* to justify your explanation since you take opposing views of Philo.

For a clearer explanation of [3], you seem to think it’s “nonsense” that a word could be *with* someone? Okay, well then explain to me multitudes of texts that say the same type of thing please. Such as Hosea 14:2, John 15:7, Proverbs 8 and Wisdom, 1 John 1:2[eternal life was *pros* the Father, yet the Father has life in himself, John 5:26], Job 10:13, 23:14.

Then one could speculate more on the many times the “word of the LORD” came *pros* a prophet, such as Isaiah 38:4 for one among many examples. So could a ‘word’ be towards the Father just as it’s towards a prophet? Jesus was embodied by God’s word and spoke about Him since He came to make Him[the Father] known. The number of examples of this are littered throughout the Gospel of John, but just a couple examples I think you’d be aware of for reference[John 12:49, John 7:16, John 8:26]. I see no contradiction in this understanding, but I suppose you may be mis-understanding our views.

As for [4] I’m sure you’re aware of other biblical definitions of “god”[elohim] and how it’s also a title given to angels and men at times so I won’t bother to go through it unless you need me to. It doesn’t step into any form of a “second Almighty God” but yes the possibility of “gods,” lesser beings given authority and power from the one Almighty God. If you have trouble accepting this position, then I think your concern is more with the Bible than anyone else.

Still don’t see justification for [5]… I just see your possible mis-understanding of B.U.’s other positions trying to do their best to be consistent with the entirety of Scripture to make a complete picture of harmony with “logos.”

Thanks for the good dialogue Mario. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it up, but it’s rare and I appreciate it.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203580 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 02:22:28 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203580

[Rivers August 17, 2017 @ 6:45 pm] What is your explanation [of John 1:1]?

I have given it on plenty of comments at trinities.org. I am not going to repeat it.

[ Aaron August 17, 2017 @ 7:05 pm] I don’t hold the BU position but I would say that the best case for it is made by Dr. Dustin Smith’s view [of the logos in John 1:1?].

DS treats the logos/sophia as a personification. I consider the Word/logos/dabar, with Marcellus of Ancyra, an essential attribute of God.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203579 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:07:40 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203579 Aaron,

None of the “Jewish sources outside of the Bible” say anything about “preexistence.” Something that is part of an “idea” or a “plan” doesn’t “exist” at all.

For example, if my wife and I say we are “planning” to have a baby next year and consider it a good “idea”, nobody concludes that our child actually “exists” (or “preexists”) simply because we have want to start a family and “realize” it at a later time.

We have to be careful with irrational concepts like “notional preexistence” or “existing in the mind of God” because this is not how the biblical writers actually described or explained anything.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203578 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:05:21 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203578 Mario,

I don’t hold the BU position but I would say that the best case for it is made by Dr. Dustin Smith’s view. You may have seen and heard from him here as Dale has had him on a couple of times. Arguing using contemporary Jewish sources outside the Bibe which speak of things pre-existing which in fact were only ideas or plans of God which would not be realized until a specific time in history he makes what I think is the best case for that position.

https://dustinmartyr.wordpress.com/

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203577 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:45:48 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203577 Mario,

My understanding is that John 1:1 is referring to the human being, Jesus Christ. I take “in the beginning” to be referring to the time of John’s baptism when the first disciples heard from Jesus and realized that he was the son of God.

What is your explanation?

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Comment on Jesus’s temptations and ours by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/jesuss-temptations-and-ours/#comment-203575 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:36:34 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39372#comment-203575 There is one who completely misunderstood the Gospel. Here are two quotations regarding the Gospel from his early works.

– [The first function of the Gospel] is to interpret the ancient Law, as the Lord [Jesus] interprets that precept in Matthew 5, You shall not swear, you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery’, so as to transfer us form a literal to a spiritual interpretation. […] This interpretation of the law according to the spirit, though, is even more lethal, because it makes the Law impossible to fulfil, and as a consequence it makes man desperate about his own capacity, and humiliated, because nobody is without wrath, nobody without concupiscence: in fact that is the way we are from birth.

– The improper task of the Gospel is to prepare for the Lord a perfect assembly, that is, to make manifest their sins, and convince of guilt all those, who thought they were just, when it says, that all are sinners and devoid of God’s grace. This, though, seems to be the worst news, whereby, it would be more proper to call it … bad and sad announcement.

Beautiful reward for whoever guesses right the author. 😉

(Hint: he could not stand James …)

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203574 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:21:45 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203574 And round and round we go again … 😉

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203573 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:19:45 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203573 John 1:14 follows from John 1:1. So, how do you interpret John 1:1?

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203572 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:11:09 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203572 Sean,

You make some good points.

In fact, I would suggest (from an exegetical perspective) that we don’t even need to concern ourselves with what LOGOS (“word”) meant prior to the time of Jesus because the writer of the 4th Gospel consistently used LOGOS simply to refer to something spoken by a human being (usually, Jesus himself, during his public ministry).

Thus, why even speculate about things like Memra or DBR or other connotations of LOGOS that could be found in other sources? There’s no reason to presuppose that LOGOS in John 1:1, 14 must be isolated from the rest of the uses in the same book and then restricted to a lexical definition derived from an uncorroborated sources.

A more reasonable approach is to yield to the preponderance of the internal evidence (usage) and try to determine and articulate how the occurrences of LOGOS in the context of John 1:1, 14 could be understood with the same connotation. This is likely to give the meaning intended by the writer himself (and is the reason that most translations simply render LOGOS as “word” throughout all of the John books).

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203571 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:48:27 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203571 Mario,

Not all Christians agree with your theory that John 1:1 or John 1:14 was referring to “the divinity of Jesus Christ.” Thus, it doesn’t follow that “Unitarianism” must be defined according to your perspective.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203569 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:50:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203569

Sean Holbrook (August 16, 2017 @ 6:38 pm) (1) Again, find me justification for your [assumed] understanding of “logos” prior to John’s writing unless you believe John is creating an entirely new understanding of “logos” alien to the entirety of Scripture prior to his lifetime. Is that your position?
(2) From the B.U. position there are many justifiable possibilities with regards to John 1, yes even those that may agree with your [assumed] interpretation. I am not a literal pre-existent believer of the Messiah personally, but I grant why others do believe in it.
(3) Biblically speaking, “logos” could refer to the “Memra” of the Aramaic Targums[which would then make it a metonym for YHWH, meaning the Father—and this ties into the translation of “with” in John 1:1b]. It could refer to the “Torah” of God. It could refer to a “prophecy, message” or literal “words.”
(4) Then we could go into whether capital-G “God” even though it’s anarthrous is really the best translation of John 1:1c, or the “with” translation of John 1:1b more in detail if you’d like.
(5) But again, back to the point. You seem to think it’s incompatible… but you’ve not made any argument *why* it is incompatible other than your assumptions in quoting a text. I see perfect compatibility… are you a oneness of some form? It does help to know how you’re viewing the text.

I give my reply here, because otherwise, because of the indentation, it would be unreadable.
(1) No, my point is the very opposite. Contrary to the “vulgate”, whereby John would have adopted Philo’s understanding of logos as deuteros theos, and with Marcellus of Ancyra, I affirm that the Word/logos/dabar is an eternal, essential attribute of God, that becomes “visible” (so to speak) first with creation and then with Incarnation (kai ho logos sarx egeneto).
(2) No, the ONLY reason why the understanding of the logos as “another God and Lord” (Gr. theos kai kurios eteros) was accepted (whereas it should have been immediately rejected) is that (a) Philo was highly respected and that (b) Justin Martyr filched it (with a slight modification) from Philo’s deuteros theos.
(3) If what you say was true, then we would have that “the Memra [or Torah, or “prophecy, message” or literal “words”] of YHWH was with [pros] YHWH”.
All of them either irrelevant or senseless.
(4) You could do that, but capital-G “God” for the anarthrous theos would inevitably lead you EITHER into the anathema of a “second god”, OR into [egalitarian] Trinitarianism.
(5) I see incompatibility between Unitarianism [denial of the full divinity of Jesus Christ] and John 1 (John 1:1,14 in particular). See 1, 2, 3, 4 above.

Oneness theology is at the very antipodes of logos theology because it affirms an unqualified identity between Jesus and YHWH (“patripassianism”). Either that, or oneness theology is irrelevant or senseless.

Hope you are (reasonably) satisfied. 🙂

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203568 Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:38:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203568 And the John 1 debate begins… again, without a reason to claim why any B.U. cannot account for their understanding of “word/logos/dabar”?

Again, find me justification for your [assumed] understanding of “logos” prior to John’s writing unless you believe John is creating an entirely new understanding of “logos” alien to the entirety of Scripture prior to his lifetime. Is that your position?

From the B.U. position there are many justifiable possibilities with regards to John 1, yes even those that may agree with your [assumed] interpretation. I am not a literal pre-existent believer of the Messiah personally, but I grant why others do believe in it.

Biblically speaking, “logos” could refer to the “Memra” of the Aramaic Targums[which would then make it a metonym for YHWH, meaning the Father—and this ties into the translation of “with” in John 1:1b]. It could refer to the “Torah” of God. It could refer to a “prophecy, message” or literal “words.”

Then we could go into whether capital-G “God” even though it’s anarthrous is really the best translation of John 1:1c, or the “with” translation of John 1:1b more in detail if you’d like.

But again, back to the point. You seem to think it’s incompatible… but you’ve not made any argument *why* it is incompatible other than your assumptions in quoting a text. I see perfect compatibility… are you a oneness of some form? It does help to know how you’re viewing the text.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203567 Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:56:02 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203567

You just made a claim that B[iblical] U[nitarians] cannot account for “word/logos/dabar” and did not explain why.

First, I am not even sure what the expression “Biblical Unitarian” really means. In theory, it should mean a Unitarian who is fully capable to account for the Biblical evidence. But, as you know, Dale Tuggy, for instance, includes under the rubric “Unitarian” such vast array of positions (from Socinus to … Origen) as to be not only historically and conceptually unfounded, but totally useless.

But let’s suppose, for the sake of argument that …

Unitarian = Someone who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ

… then, of course, this definition is incompatible with the Scripture because, for a start …

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. (John 1:1,14)

Hope you are (reasonably) satisfied. 🙂

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 2 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-2/#comment-203565 Sat, 12 Aug 2017 07:33:29 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39354#comment-203565

Rest in ignorance, for in ignorance there is rest. Dissent means punishment.

… Ignorance is Strength …
… War is Peace …
… Freedom is Slavery …

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 2 by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-2/#comment-203564 Sat, 12 Aug 2017 04:40:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39354#comment-203564 Stop talking about all this or I’ll tell the authorities! And the mob will cry out, “burn heretics, burn!” Don’t you know that only the powerful and coercive, elite Christian rulers and authorities have the natural ability to understand the words of the humble and meek Jesus? Whoever said that power corrupts must have been a weakling. Who ever said that the cross shows that the weakness of God is stronger than man’s power, was a fool. Whoever said that the greatest would be the servant of all was obviously mistaken, for that’s not how the world works, it’s not how the Church works, and that’s not how history works. It’s not how Christian society works. And Christian society is important! Are you trying to destroy the empire that history and bloodshed has built? Don’t you know that the Church is more important than any of its members. The Church must leave the 1 and stick with the 99 if it is to survive the gates of hell. The one must be sacrificed if necessary. It’s the safe and secure authority of the historic Church which tells us what to say about God. This alone excuses us from having to do the work of thinking about what it all might mean. Rest in ignorance, for in ignorance there is rest. Dissent means punishment.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 2 by Paul Peterson http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-2/#comment-203563 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:13:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39354#comment-203563 “For a great many people all the metaphysical fireworks pretty much boil down to this: sometimes they think that Jesus just is God himself, and sometimes they think God is someone and Jesus is someone else, that is, that they are two different beings.”

Nailed it.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203562 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:41:40 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203562 Realized also now why you think my reply was non-sequitur. You didn’t really make an argument initially though. You just made a claim that B.U. cannot account for “word/logos/dabar” and did not explain why. Making the claim and my making a counter-claim by showing trinitarianism cannot really account for it was to show by questioning[which Aaron attempted] where pre-existent believers in a person/Word get their definition prior to John 1. I did not think it necessary to list all the numerous verses that show we can account for it… since really all it takes is a simple look at a Lexicon to see our definitions are everywhere to support our position as a whole. If you need me to further explain that, I’d be a bit disappointed but I surely can do so if need be.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203561 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:17:36 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203561 I think Mario already did a pretty good job replying but thanks for the references Aaron. Yet I do not see a necessity to interpret those texts as a “person” as the “word.” They seem to be referring to “prophecy” or “messages” contextually each time which then were later spoken BY the prophet[Jeremiah 22:29 as example]. They spoke the “word.” Jesus was ultimately a prophet who spoke God’s “word,” which was “God”[Father]. I simply see it as a message about the Father overall since it’s his words that create but John 1 would be a long go through here.

I can of course see how you may interpret those texts in light of your position, but what then would you do with very clear verses that seem to say otherwise?

Heb 1:1-2
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,

I think it’s quite clear this writer believes that “God” is the Father here who spoke in the past times. You seem to think it was the “Word/Son” who spoke to others though? Yet the text states clearly that it was various ways in the past times, yet in these last days by Son. So which is it? Is the writer confused or do you think it’s both?

I appreciate the good conversation Aaron and the way with which you presented your arguments. I also appreciate the clarity of understanding that even non-trinitarians can believe in John 1 the same way as Trinitarians yet still clearly not be Trinitarian. So many trinitarians act like John 1 is just a nail in the coffin yet don’t see the non-sequitur they create.

Thanks

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203560 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:06:48 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203560 Okay, I may be assuming something incorrectly about your views then based on your consistent claims about Dale. Are you not a trinitarian then Mario? Or oneness? Binitarian?

Under my assumption the point is trinitarianism is not proven by John 1 and “word.” Even granted, Arians hold a similar position on “word” and “God/god” to Trinitarians yet they are clearly not Trinitarians. That was the non-sequitur.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by John Thiomas http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203559 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:33:24 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203559 There is no point in debating Trinity with Orthodox priests or bishops, in my opinion. I expected this kind of review from them. For them, Trinity is a mystery which cannot be explained. They accept it because church accepted it and believe that church was led by Holy Spirit in doing so. For them it is a given and all the arguments for its acceptance have already been concluded among their bishops by fourth century CE. The key for them is to keep the traditions that have been handed over to them by their fathers, experience Trinity in their worship and view the world in light of Trinitarian God. Especially Eastern Orthodox rejects any rational examination of doctrine of Trinity. I hope you get more interactions from theologians within Protestant and Evangelical community. That will be more interesting from a debate perspective.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203558 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:34:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203558 Mario,

Your replies are the same ones that I gave when someone first showed me these same passages. Certainly, I did and do say that people don’t completely agree about it. However, I don’t think that the position that the Word of Yahweh being a visible manifestation of Yahweh to the patriarchs and prophets is simply imagination. Incorrect, perhaps, but not dismissable as out of the question fantasy. Each of the instances has in common a visual encounter with Yahweh who is supposed to be invisible. And while I admit that there is more than one way to account for the Yahweh appearing visibly despite this fact, I also believe that the Trinitarian out working and view of these passages is consistent with their entire OT and NT view of the Bible, which is important.

In particular the passage in 1st Samuel I find most interesting, directly stating in 3:1 that “the word of Yahweh was rare in those days and there was no frequent vision.” You said that the word of Yahweh coming to someone just means God spoke to them. I agree it does mean that and as I stated in my original reply to Sean, sometimes it only means something like that. However, it also clearly refers to something visual that is happening in the literal eyesight of the prophets in other cases. “Yahweh revealed himself by the word of Yahweh” is quite a weird expression for mere audible speech, it seems that these few passages are referring to the direct physical presence of God and that this happens “by the word of Yahweh” whoever or whatever that is. All of this is not supposed to be justification for some hardline, dogmatic defense of the Trinity, but simply a point to Sean that it is not insanity to state that the word/logos/dabar be associated with personal, pre-existing presence of God in direct communion with someone in the OT which then has implications for John 1. Certainly he is correct that Arians and Subordinationists alike can account for all of this in a sensical manner and not be Trinitarian. I merely think that some allowance for conversation and the consideration of plausibility is warranted here. I try to be gracious toward people whether they are Trinitarian or non-Trinitarian concerning this issue, and have respect for people who can show internal consistency of their viewpoint, even when I disagree. Thanks again and take care.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203557 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:43:54 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203557

Genesis 15:1-6 has the word of the LORD appearing to Abraham as a visible person.

The expression “the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision” (repeated at Gen 15:4) simply means “the Lord spoke to Abram”. The Hebrew word improperly translated with “vision” is machazeh, which doesn’t mean that sight is involved, but simply an ecstatic experience.

Another place is 1st Samuel 3:1-21. This passages states that the LORD “appeared” to Samuel “by the word of the LORD.” It states that the LORD “stood” before Samuel in verse 10. Check it out. It’s Yahweh appearing physically by means of “the word of Yahweh.”

That the “word of the Lord” was first experienced by Samuel as the voice of the Lord is even more clear in this passage. When it says that “the Lord came and stood nearby” it doesn’t say the “word of the Lord”, but “the Lord”. Somehow the Lord was near Samuel. All the rest is pure projection.

The third place would be Jeremiah chapter 1:1-9.

For the third time, the expression “the word of the Lord came [to Jeremiah]” simply means “the Lord spoke [to Jeremiah]”. Again, it was the Lord, NOT some imagined “word of the Lord” person, that “reached out his hand and touched [Jeremiah’s] mouth”.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 2 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-2/#comment-203556 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:35:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39354#comment-203556

The thing about Trinity theories is that no matter how elaborate  they become, people still pick up the Bible and end up thinking along unitarian lines.

Of course, that entirely depends on what one means by “unitarian” and, as we all know by now, “unitarianism” is a rather broad concept, that embraces Socinus, at one extreme, and … Origen at the other.

For a great many people all the metaphysical fireworks pretty much boil down to this: sometimes they think that Jesus just is God himself, and sometimes they think God is someone and Jesus is someone else, that is, that they are two different beings.

Perhaps Paul has some responsibility in causing this confusion, when he says:

But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him. (1 For 8:6 – KJB)

It’s an interesting question why this [that the homoousion of Nicea 325 became all-important] happened, but it’s a question that presses on everyone, not simply on the unitarian.

Of course it was all-important! Here are two clues. The homoousion was the ONLY formula that the conciliar fathers could find that would obtain the wanted result, that is excluding the Arians from subscribing to the Creed decreed at Nicea. At least equally important is that the homoousion had been proposed personally by Emperor Constantine (probably based on his deed familiarity with Hermeticism)

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203555 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 03:36:46 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203555 -“I would love you to list those “several passages””

Sure. Genesis 15:1-6 has the word of the LORD appearing to Abraham as a visible person. It also states that whoever this “word” is that he “brought Abraham outside.” This means he was physically present and personal.

Another place is 1st Samuel 3:1-21. This passages states that the LORD “appeared” to Samuel “by the word of the LORD.” It states that the LORD “stood” before Samuel in verse 10. Check it out. It’s Yahweh appearing physically by means of “the word of Yahweh.”

The third place would be Jeremiah chapter 1:1-9. This again is a physical appearance of Yahweh by “the word of Yahweh/LORD” where this time he reaches out his hand in verse 9 and touches Jeremiah’s mouth.

These three instances are all what Sean was asking to be demonstrated. Namely, personal pre-existence tied to the idea of the word/logos/dabar of God. I don’t think this means Trinitarianism is true simply because of this or anything. I don’t have the agenda to prove that doctrine anyways. I’m simply stating that I see these texts as containing what he was looking for in his investigation.

“not once the “Angel of the LORD” is referred to as “word of the LORD”.”

I never claimed this to be the case. I simply stated that I believe the Angel of the LORD and the Word of the LORD (when spoken of as a someone who is personal physical and communicates God’s will to someone) are synonomous titles referring to the same person. Whether or not this is absolutely the case and who this person is, including whether this person is the pre-incarnate Jesus people certainly do disagree about. My only agenda is to try to be faithful to the scriptures…whether they teach the Trinity or otherwise.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203554 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:09:56 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203554 Aaron,

I would love you to list those “several passages”. If these alleged “several passages” are none but those where the “Angel of the LORD” appears, then yours is mere wishful inference, because not once the “Angel of the LORD” is referred to as “word of the LORD”.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203553 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 05:48:11 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203553 Sean, I would propose that there are several passages which say that God appeared to people in the Old Testament in visible form as “the Word of the LORD.”

In each of these cases it is most definitely a person (or as Dale would say, a “self”) who is present and obviously, these instances are such that the word is both personal and pre-exists Jesus Christ as man who wasn’t yet born.

Of course, most occurrences of the phrase “word of the LORD” in the OT are simply references to what God has commanded or said. Examples of this are sentences like “and he did everything according to the word of the LORD” or “he despised the word of the LORD.” Certainly these are times when it referencing the commands and statutes of God. But on a few occasions, it refers to a vision or direct physical appearance of God specifically said to be his “word.” I would also argue that this is interchangeable for the authors with the “Angel” (Messenger) of the LORD as well.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203552 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 05:46:20 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203552 Mine was a criticism of Unitarianism. I do not even consider the a Trinity, which, in spite of its “mystery” is just a political compromise between neo-Nicene and semi-Arians.

The non sequitur is entirely yours.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Vance http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203551 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 05:31:09 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203551 Fr. Kimel’s review is not surprising. The Orthodox are critical of the “scholasticism” of Western theologians in general, including Roman Catholics. Here’s an article on the Orthodox approach and how it differs from other traditions:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/hierotheos_difference.aspx

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203550 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 02:01:51 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203550 “The point of your book”—->>>>

[Fr. Al Kimel’s Head]

All I read in this article by Mr. Kimel is bait and switch[even if done on accident] and his refusal to admit he has a definition of the Trinity.

And I can’t help but laugh and scoff at the claim you’re “not qualified”[even by implication] to critique the Trinity. Can’t see the the forest for the trees? Yikes.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203549 Wed, 09 Aug 2017 01:51:52 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203549 “Unitarianism is simply incapable to account for the Word/logos/dabar”

Disagree, trinitarianism is unable to account for it. Prior to John’s Gospel writing, find me one reference in the entirety of the OT or NT where “word” refers to a pre-existent second “person” God which is defined as a “god natured” identity that somehow still amounts to only “one God”[monotheism].

I’ve asked every trinitarian I’ve met and still never had an answer. From my understanding trinitarians must take an eisegetical definition from outside the Scripture and input it into John 1. Even if I granted “personhood” definitions, there are still unitarian Christians[Arian like] that account for it from their position even if I disagree with them. So your point seems to be actually a non-sequitur.

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Comment on Kimel’s review of What is the Trinity – Part 1 by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/kimels-review-of-what-is-the-trinity-part-1/#comment-203548 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:53:18 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39338#comment-203548

I am a biblical unitarian because after a long and hard investigation, I now see this as a clash between the NT and later traditions.

Unitarianism is simply incapable to account for the Word/logos/dabar.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203547 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:15:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203547 Hey Dale,

I just read my explanation of the subordination of Jesus to the Father with regard to his “person” and I feel I did a subpar job and had a few typos as well so I wanted to give a few more examples to clarify.

If we think about two humans who share the same nature, we would still distinguish between them in other ways. Perhaps one of them is 6’5″, athletic, left-handed, and a gifted singer. On the other hand another human might only be 5’2″, uncoordinated, right handed, and unable to carry a tune while singing. Although the two share the same nature, one is greater than the other in some very real and measurable ways. This seems to be the view of the Eastern Orthodox. They view the fact that the person of the Father is the “fountain” of the Son and Spirit to mean he is greater in his person, but not in his nature. So thus, I call them “Subordinationist Trinitarians,” namely because they believe the subordination of the Son is in his person, but deny it has anything to do with his nature. Subordinationist Unitarians, on the other hand, affirm that this is an issue of the nature of the Father and Son respectively, and so they are necessarily two distinct beings, one having a superior nature to the other.

Of course, an easy and already understood way to refer to this view of the EO is to just say that a Trinitarian holds to “the monarchy of the Father.”

If you could, I would like for you to analyze what I’ve said and let me know if you believe it to be coherent and sensical. Thanks for your time.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203546 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:01:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203546 Dale, what is you do not understand? If you are serious, indicate precisely what you fail to understand. BTW, as I have said on other occasions, you and I are not the only ones who read, and can make their own judgment, about your and my comments …

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203545 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:40:01 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203545 Mario, after all your heckling and demands, I don’t know what your point is. Seriously. If you’re going to scold me, you should at least make your point clear!

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203544 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:05:06 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203544 Dale,

you misuse the word “counterfactual”. The fact is that, of the three possible outcomes that I have indicated, the “one ousia in three hypostases” eventually prevailed, mainly thanks to the Cappadocian scoundrels. The second option resurfaced in what the JWs preach. The third option that I mentioned (a long time ago, and to which you dedicated your post/podcast 175 – Marcellus of Ancyra [March 13, 2017]), although it was probably put forward, in its entirety, only by Marcellus, is perfectly consistent, intelligible, and fits with the Bible. It is not the amplitude of the scholarly consensus, or some little syllogistic game, that makes a doctrine all the things that you claim to look for in it.

I won’ even bother commenting on your claim that “my point”, that agrees almost entirely with Marcellus’ doctrine, is “neither philosophical nor theological nor biblical”. If you want to be serious, please argue against it.

Whatever is going to replace the Trinity (if it ever will, before the Second Coming), is certainly not going to be Unitarianism (Humanitarian Unitarianism, because there is no other …). It is no going to be Subordinationism either.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203543 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:36:53 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203543 “intrinsically unstable” Your point here is neither philosophical nor theological nor biblical, but is a speculative claim about history, a counterfactual claim. You claim you can discern what all of the options, or at least all the likely options were at that point in time (c. 150 AD).

I just don’t have anything to say about that either for or against. I’m skeptical about these sorts of judgments. This reminds me of people who confidently assert that “unitarianism is a halfway house to Deism” or who think that the implosion of American Unitarian Congregationalism and the genesis of Unitarian Universalism were somehow inevitable.

In any case, what you are saying does not in any way touch the distinction between a singular referring term and a plural referring term. I suspect that you haven’t read my chapter on the Trinity / trinity distinction and so are not too clear about what my point is there. But I’m not going to go through it all here.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203542 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:06:30 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203542 Dale, in reply to your 3 comments of August 7, 2017 @ 4:16 PM, 4:17 PM and 4:25 PM I will reply with the following statement.

The only reason why the (fully-fledged, co-equal, co-eternal, tri-personal) Trinity was eventually affirmed is that the notion of second god (AFAIK first introduced by Justin Martyr, probably filching it from Philo) – wrongly resorted to account for the divinity of Jesus Christ – was intrinsically unstable, when affirmed within Biblical Monotheism. It could only “evolve” EITHER into the notion of the “Son” as creature (which is what Arius did, breaking the status quo), OR into the fully-fledged Trinity. OR, with Marcellus of Ancyra, into the notion of Word/logos/dabar and Spirit/pneuma/ruach as essential attributes of the One and Only God. Jesus, is fully divine because he is the incarnation of God’s eternal Word.

Unless you simply agree with the above (and in that case the Trinity/trinity issue will vanish like snow on water), there is no point in me trying to show you that you are in a blind alley.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203541 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 02:17:20 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203541 Hi Dale,

As I see it, there are typically three ways in which people view Jesus as subordinate to the Father. Please forgive the information which you’re already familiar with, I feel it’s necessary to make a clear declaration of what I’m trying to say about the personal properties.

1. Role- Jesus is equal to the Father in every way is subordinate to the Father in the outworking of our salvation and in the plan of redemption. Most Trinitarians affirm this although some do not. It doesn’t affect the metaphysical reality of the tripersonal God but only how each “person” functions in relation to one another and us.

2. Essence/Nature- Jesus is inferior to the Father in the very nature of his being. That is, Jesus is usually in some what not seen as ultimate or supreme but the Father is in some way the source of Jesus’ being. Arian and Subordinationist Unitarians are here.

3. Person/Personal Properties- This is where it gets hairy in my view. I’m not going to say that Trinitarian Subordinationists (as I call them) are being consistent because I’m unsure if they are here. But it seems to be a real view that some hold to, including the Eastern Orthodox as far as I can tell. There is a distinction drawn here between “essence” and “person” so that, while the Father and Son are equal in essence, the Father is somehow greater in his person. I think we briefly spoke before about the same being true with regard to human beings so that even if my father were equal to me in my human nature, he could still be greater than me in his person so that he is my source of being for example, and thus I would be subordinate to him in some way.

I will say that for any Trinitarian I feel that some real reason must be given for the Son to properly be called “the Son” and it not be arbitrary that he be so called…otherwise there wouldn’t be any reason that the Father couldn’t be sent instead. Some reply, “The Son is begotten and the Father is unbegotten.” Well enough. But what does it mean that the Son is “begotten?” How does it make a difference if they are equal in *every* way? In some sense there must be a real and true difference which makes the Father truly “Father” and the Son truly “Son.” Each framework should attempt to work this out.

Sorry I know I answered with more than you asked about. I’ve been thinking about all this for a long time, especially since reading Clarke. Take care Dale. Thanks again for the blog and podcasts.

-Aaron

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203540 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 01:44:40 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203540 “subordination of Jesus to the Father…with respect to …his personal properties VS the personal properties of the Father”

Thanks for your comment, Aaron. Honestly – I don’t know what this means. I understand “subordination” to be a being to (another) being relation. One depends on the other, and so is (in at least one way, independence) less than that other. I can’t parse this talk of subordination of with respect to personal properties… unless this is just way of talking about being-being subordination.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203539 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 22:42:13 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203539 About this issue, when I first began to think on it as a Trinitarian about 3 years ago I saw subordinationism as a theological error *regarding one’s view of the Trinity.* Later, after deeper thinking I concluded that since subordinationists draw a difference between Jesus and the Father concerning their ontology that this must necessitate that they are Unitarians. However, upon looking at the Trinitarian view (capital “T” Trinitarian) of the Eastern Orthodox I revised my conclusion again to be that a subordinationist could be a Unitarian or possibly a Trinitarian depending on whether they saw the subordination of Jesus to the Father to be with respect to the essence of his being (sorry for the loaded phrase) or his personal properties VS the personal properties of the Father. The former, I see as Unitarians and the latter as Trinitarians (provided they believe the Holy Spirit is the one God as well).

I agree with Dale that if Origen and these other early writers are being understood as Dale has parsed it out, they are indeed Unitarians.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203538 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:25:52 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203538 Do you mean the Trinity or the triad/trinity? I will assume that you mean “Trinity.” Some creedal Protestants accept it because it is in things like the Westminster Confession, and they assume that the Trinity can be deduced from the teachings of the Bible somehow or other. Other, non-creedal Protestants, again, think that the Trinity can be deduced from the Bible, particularly from the New Testament. And as I discussed in the chapter in my book, often they confuse together “the deity of Christ” with the Trinity, not realizing how different those topics are, and how the first preceded the second by at least two centuries.

If you mean the trinity, then of course this is all over the New Testament – God, his Son, and his spirit. And in a few passages they are listed together, although rarely in the way that a Trinitarian would expect – Father, Son, and Spirit (in that order, and with nothing else in the list). And since the trinity is everywhere they conclude that so is the Trinity, although this is clearly a fallacious inference. Some theologians constantly make this mistake.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203537 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:17:41 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203537 “Vested interest”? LOL. Hard to see how I could have any of those, because I am what I call a humanitarian unitarian, and not a subordinationist unitarian! (What others would call, although this is terrible terminology, a “Socinian” and not an “Arian.”)

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203536 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:16:11 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203536 Mario, for years you have been harping on a simple terminological point. You don’t want to call subordinationist views “unitarian.” You want to reserve that term for views on which Jesus does not have a divine nature and the spirit is not an entity in its own right. As I have said many times, it seems to me that the defining thesis of Christian “unitarian” theology is its claim that the one God just is the Father alone, contradicting any trinitarian theology, which identifies the one God as the Trinity. I am focusing on this core theological issue. Of course, God willing, someday I will write a lot more about the christological issue. But I don’t really want to hear you harping on this anymore, because you never give any reason for your terminological demand. The reason for my usage is I am trying to sort the like with the like, and divide different theologies along natural lines. First we separate the trinitarian from the unitarian, and then we can divide the unitarian views on the preexistence question, and also on the question of the spirit. Unless you have something to say on behalf of your own terminological demands, again, I have heard them enough times, so stop.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203535 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 18:19:49 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203535 Dale, if you won’t answer at least this question …

If the “trinity” is so poorly represented in the NT (if at all), why did Protestants defend it, tooth and claw?

… I can easily conclude (and many other readers/commenters can as well) that youcan’t answer it.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203534 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 18:05:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203534 Dale, your 4 posts of March 2013, that I have linked (as a reminder for you and as an “evolution check” for the other readers/commenters), if they were in good faith, still seemed not to make the arbitrary choice, that you do, of subsuming Subordinationism under Unitarianism.

As I wrote in reply to your “unitarian” question at the end of your post trinitarian or unitarian? 6:

“However many times you repeat and vary your question [about Origen’s presumed “unitarianism”] this is “unitarianism” ONLY within your peculiar nomenclature.”

But then again, what else could we expect, from the author of the articles SEP > Trinity (where Subordinationism is merely hinted at in association with the Holy Spirit) and SEP > Unitarianism (a “Supplement” to SEP >, nearly half of which is spent on “Subordinationism”), for the obvious reason that you have a vested interest in them?

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203533 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 16:59:11 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203533 No, Mario. I don’t think it is “dogmatic.” It is sober, fully informed interpretation. I welcome people to test my conclusions against all his extant works, and yes, anything I’ve written before on thus. Thanks for the links!

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203532 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 14:45:37 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203532

Origen is a unitarian

Ipse dixit. Slightly dogmatic, ain’t it?
It is interesting to follow the quick evolution, by comparing the questions asked at the end of 4 successive posts on Origen, trinitarian or unitarian (the links are provided).

a. trinitarian or unitarian? 5 – Origen’s Against Celsus – Part 1 (March 9, 2013)

Now step back to look at the big picture:
Does Origen defend the monotheism of Christians by urging that the one God is the Trinity, the tripersonal God, and so when one worships any of those persons in the Trinity, or is worshiping the one God? And does he affirm the absolutely equal worship of there such “persons” internal to the one God? (trinitarian)
Or does Origen assert the one God to be the Father, and argue that in a sense, only he is worshiped, although in another sense Christians also worship God’s Son. (unitarian)

b. trinitarian or unitarian? 6 – Origen’s Against Celsus – Part 2 (March 11, 2013)

Question time:
Does Origen here argue that Jesus is the Christian God, the one true God? Or that the Son is “functionally subordinate” to the Father, though “ontologically equal” to him? Or that the Son is as great as the Father qua divine, but less great qua human? (trinitarian)
Or does Origen argue that Jesus deserves worship, even though he is not God himself, but is (eternally) caused to exist by God, so that God is greater than his Son? (unitarian)

c. trinitarian or unitarian? 7 – Origen uncensored (March 15, 2013)

What do you see here?
Is Jesus called “God” but is not the one true God, that is, the Father? And is Jesus caused to exist by God, and inferior to God in knowledge? (unitarian)
Or is Jesus God himself? Or is Jesus just as divine as his Father, and like him somehow “within” the one true God, which is the Trinity? (trinitarian)

d. trinitarian or unitarian? 8 – Origen on “God” vs. “a god” (March 25, 2013)

As in every post in this series, I ask what you see here:
The unique, one God being “unipersonal” (unitarian), or 
The unique, one God consisting of or containing more than one ontologically equal person/self (trinitarian)

I strongly recommend that everybody who is seriously interested read the 4 above posts (and relative comments), in their entirety.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203529 Sat, 05 Aug 2017 23:01:23 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203529 So, answer these simple questions.

If Origen (with his “eternal generation” of a “son”, who is deuteros theos) is a unitarian (small “u” as you do), is also Tertullian (the first to speak of “trinity” referring explicitly to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three distinct personae) a unitarian? Are the Eusebiuses unitarian? More in general, is every subordinationist a unitarian? YES or NO?

As for your distinction between theology and christology, if Yahwe (= Father) “generates eternally a son”, it is far from obvious that there is a clear-cut dividing line between them. (Would you call Plotinus, with his aporrhoia a unitarian, for instance? LOL!)

Doesn’t Origen, like many other Christian theologians, affirm that the “eternal son” gets incarnated in the man Jesus? So where is “one too many sons”?

My “By Jove! I think I’ve got it”, at your other post, was a provocation for a response (although I still think that the coincidence of the two “unfinished businesses”, 14 years apart, is something where the subconscious had more than a marginal –unwitting– role …). Anyway, if your invitation to “get serious” is … serious, then surely you will not have problems with … finishing the business of replying to my original question: if the “trinity” is so poorly represented in the NT (if at all), why did Protestants defend it, tooth and claw?

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203528 Sat, 05 Aug 2017 01:59:21 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203528 Mario, Origen is a unitarian. I am simply sticking to matters of theology here. Now, if we start to talk about christology, this is where his “enormities” are found. Namely, he has a man and also a lesser divine being. That is one too many sons.

About your strong suspicion, get serious.

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203527 Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:45:51 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203527 Dale, no point in trying to minimize the enormity of what Origen affirms.

Yahweh God who “generates eternally” a “son”? C’mon!

(And you still haven’t confronted my strong suspicion that your “Strict Unitarianism” is just a stage on the way to “finishing the business” of coming up with a satisfactory “theory of the trinity”, that is “consistent”, “intelligible” and “fits with the Bible” …)

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203526 Wed, 02 Aug 2017 16:27:43 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203526 Mario my point in this post is that Origen thinks that the one God, the God of the Jews, just is the Father. Yes, he has these speculations about the eternal generation of *another* being.
But, so what?

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Comment on Origen, Paul, and Peter: Christians worship the Jews’ god by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/origen-paul-and-peter-christians-worship-the-jews-god/#comment-203525 Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:52:23 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39322#comment-203525

Early Christianity differed from bulk of the Jews on whether Jesus was the Messiah, and on the necessity of full Torah observance.

This statement is associated with Origen’s Contra Celsum. But this cannot be the whole story. Otherwise, whence in the Scripture would have Origen whisked out his idea of “eternal generation” who he was the first to use (see Maurice Wiles, “Eternal Generation,” Journal of Theological Studies, 12 (1961): 287-289)?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Benjamin Scott http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203524 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 22:06:10 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203524 James White is a bulldog of a debater but his approach wouldn’t begin to work with Dale. It’s in White’s best interest as far as his career goes, to turn down debates he would clearly lose. I also think it’s in the best interest of evangelical leaders in general to continue to ignore and leave largely unaddressed the growing Biblical Unitarian movement. If they want to keep their positions in power then they must do this. Calm discussion would lead to an obvious winner.

It’s much easier to just say simply that the denial of the Trinity puts one outside of the faith “once for all handed down.” How ironic. This is the stage in history that we’re at right now but this may change in time.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203523 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:00:21 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203523 On the contrary, trinitarians take even too literally the appellatives “Father” and “Son”. Some (including Athanasius) resorted to the sophistic argument that it would be pointless to call God father, if the logos was not his son.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203522 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:30:49 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203522 @ Paul,

if you find my expression (“substantialist understanding”) too fancy, just carry on using your favourite one (“Father and Son are one and the same indivisible spirit”).

You immediately go on to admit, though, that John 17:21-23 is “not an easy passage to understand” (and you simply ignore John 14:20, BTW). Your resorting to the Holy Spirit, for a tentative explanation, is very crafty, especially as you (should) know perfectly well that the Holy Spirit is not even mentioned, in John 17.

Your “If any man have the Spirit of Christ” seems to be taken from Romans 8:9 (except that it is formulated negatively, there: “If any man have NOT the Spirit of Christ”). In fact in that verse both the “Spirit of God” and the “Spirit of Christ” are mentioned. It is a real mystery to me how “trinitarians” become so imbued with their doctrine as to read that “Spirit” as “one and the same indivisible spirit” that Father and Son are and, at the same time, as a “third person”, distinct from both. If this is not eis-egesis … mysterian eis-egesis … I don’t know what is 🙂

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203521 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:09:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203521 @ Mario,

who said: “This substantialist understanding of the phrase at John 10:38 is pure “trinitarian” eis-egesis. Cant’ you see? Then please explain how you interpret, in your substantialist way, the following verse: “You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.” (John 14:20) Or the entire sequence John 17:21-23, for that matter?
Oh, BTW, so who raised Jesus from the dead? The Father? Jesus himself? They did it together? William of Ockham would not approve …”

I’m just taking the plain, in your face, meaning of the words. You are the one who is telling me that there is a mystery meaning behind the words which cannot be gleaned from the text itself. I just take the words as a plain and simple ontological statement of fact, which Jesus demanded his hearers to believe. Did they know anything about “substantialist”? I would say you are the one who is doing the eisegesis here, and other Unitarians, not me.
As for John 17 I admit it is not an easy passage to understand. My own take is that Jesus is saying he is one spirit with the Holy Spirit therefore through the Spirit there is mutual indwelling of the believers and himself. The Holy Spirit seems to have an interaction with creation that is unique to himself. “If any man have the Spirit of Christ”, for example. If Christ can be united with all believers in this way this is an additional argument that supports the Trinitarian view as I see it. I hope this comment displays readable. Have a good one.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203520 Thu, 27 Jul 2017 23:19:46 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203520 Yes that’s what I meant.

I agree trinitarians are not to confuse the Father with the Son, yet they do it all the time. It’s impossible to avoid really unless they just think equivocation and contradictions are perfectly normal in their views of “God”… and many do.

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Comment on Dialogue with John on Thinking about the Trinity by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/dialogue-with-john-on-thinking-about-the-trinity/#comment-203519 Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:11:53 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39292#comment-203519 @ Dale

I have read the “Free Sample Chapter” (Chapter 1 – Don’t be Afraid to Think about God) of your book, What is the Trinity? Thinking about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Creed that is examined and criticized there is exclusively the s.c. “Athanasian Creed”, notoriously apocryphal, and besides, not even considered by the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Are you still trying to make sense of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381? Have you at all considered that it is the fruit of a compromise between the semi-Arians and the neo-Nicene?

Are you aware that the before all worlds (æons) [pro pant?n t?n aion?n] was NOT present in the original Nicene Creed of 325? Are you aware that that confusing clause was first proposed to Emperor Constantine I by no other than Arius, in a letter of 327, and that that suggestion (in which Constantine saw a splendid opportunity for compromise) immediately earned Arius the imperial pardon and return from exile?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203518 Thu, 27 Jul 2017 02:14:07 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203518 So, what you meant is that whoever affirms that Jesus is “God-the Son”, and that “God-the-Son” is the “Most High God”, ultimately is “calling Jesus his [own] Father.

If this is the case, then Aaron was right in suggesting to you that what you’re saying “lends itself to modalism”. Or “modalistic monarchianism”. Or Sabelliamism. Or “patripassianism”. However wrong, however scripturally unfounded “trinitarianism” is, it is precisely so an not to confuse the Father with Jesus that it was gradually developed.

The problem with “trinitarianism” (besides being scripturally unfounded) is “genetic”, as I keep affirming: sneaking into Christianity the notion of etheros theos started the “chain reaction” that ended up with the spurious “trinity”.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203517 Wed, 26 Jul 2017 22:39:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203517 I’m pretty sure there’s a mis-understanding, that or I’m the one confused.

My comments were in reference to a number of trinitarians who I’ve spoken with recently who are adamant saying “Jesus is the Most High God.” Yet not one of these trinitarians can give me a biblical reference to prove their claim of this title/phrase. So I, in response, gave them just a couple of texts that I posted above… Luke 1:32 and Mark 5:7 which show Jesus being called the “son OF the Most High/God.” By implication in these texts it’s quite clear the “Most High” or “Most High God” is referring to the “Father” of Jesus. So these trinitarians are the ones making ignorant modalist type claims when they say “Jesus is the Most High God.” Hence they’re calling Jesus his own Father while trying to claim to be trinitarians.

Does that clear my original statement up?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203514 Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:28:15 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203514 “.. calling Jesus his Father.”

Who’se whose Father?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203513 Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:17:10 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203513 I’m pretty sure he just meant check your sentence in comparison with Luke 1:32 and Mark 5:7 because it appears you made a typo which lends itself to modalism.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203512 Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:20:17 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203512 “I suggest you check this”

Check what? I’ve got an entire study on the subject copied down with every reference.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203511 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:31:44 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203511 @ Paul,

Isn’t Jesus claiming here [John 10:18] the power to raise himself from the dead and to have control over his human life, to determine when and how he dies?

What is it that you have a problem with, in my blog post Did Jesus “rise” or did God, the Father “raise him from the dead”??

I would claim that the phrase “Father is in me, and I in him” [John 10:38] means that Father and Son are one and the same indivisible spirit. This implies that strictly speaking they cannot act separately although some actions are attributed to one or other of the persons, such as the raising of Jesus from the dead.

This substantialist understanding of the phrase at John 10:38 is pure “trinitarian” eis-egesis. Cant’ you see? Then please explain how you interpret, in your substantialist way, the following verse: “You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.” (John 14:20) Or the entire sequence John 17:21-23, for that matter?
Oh, BTW, so who raised Jesus from the dead? The Father? Jesus himself? They did it together? William of Ockham would not approve …

I notice you did not tell me why, from your viewpoint, Jesus calls himself the Resurrection and the Life [John 11:25]. Makes no sense.

The explanation is in John 5:16-30. Mark how he repeatedly affirms that he “can do nothing from himself” …

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203510 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:50:20 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203510 @Mario,

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
Isn’t Jesus claiming here the power to raise himself from the dead and to have control over his human life, to determine when and how he dies?
“But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”
I would claim that the phrase “Father is in me, and I in him” means that Father and Son are one and the same indivisible spirit. This implies that strictly speaking they cannot act separately although some actions are attributed to one or other of the persons, such as the raising of Jesus from the dead.
I notice you did not tell me why, from your viewpoint, Jesus calls himself the Resurrection and the Life. Makes no sense.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Marvin Sanguinetti http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203509 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:16:03 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203509 Thanks Dale. Pretty weak replies indeed, and the charges seem more polemical than evidential; with a backdrop of setting out what one hopes to prove. Would be great to read the review sometime, and although we view divine ontology differently, I appreciate your work.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203508 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 02:26:44 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203508

… I can give them Luke 1:32 and Mark 5:7 showing they’re calling Jesus his Father.

Sean,

I suggest you check this 🙂

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203507 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:25:52 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203507 “I don’t care what philosophers think or say: I am a biblical Trinitarian. It is a divine revelation. You will not believe it if you do not believe in both sola scriptura and tota scriptura.” – James White

Awesome quote… since I believed the Trinity prior to really scouring the Bible for it in full.

Has James White done a full study of every reference of “o theos” in the NT? A study of every reference of “spirit” even in just the NT, let alone the OT? Has he done a study of every prophecy claim about “Jesus as YHWH” and compared other prophecies of similar nature with reference to other men? Has he done a study of every usage of the word “shechah” and “proskyneo” in the NT and OT? Has he done a full exegesis of Deuteronomy chapters 4-6 and the Sh’ma in Mark 12? Has he cross-referenced every phrase possible with each trinitarian proof-text[such as “great God,” “Most High God,” “true God,” or “God of Israel” for example] and exhausted all possibilities he can find to keep consistency both with his views and the Bible itself? Has he done a study of… okay this is getting old.

I run into trinitarian after trinitarian who has never done a study anywhere near the encompassing the breadth of the entirety of “tota Scriptura” that I’ve done of multitudes of subject relating to the trinity. I’m sure there are some who’ve done more than me, but it’s been unlikely in my experience. I just ran into a multitude of people claiming Jesus is the “Most High God,” yet not one of them can give me a single biblical reference to this claim while I can give them Luke 1:32 and Mark 5:7 showing they’re calling Jesus his Father. I’m not saying James hasn’t possibly done some of them, but I don’t think James has a clue what he’s claiming based on what I’ve heard from Dale.

I won’t hold my breath that James will agree to a debate. He’ll get his feet held to the fire on his statements and try to avoid answering. I’d just move on Dale, keep it open to James… but try to find another opponent so White will have to deal with you eventually.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203506 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:38:08 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203506 I reviewed that book for Faith and Philosophy, but it’s been awhile since I looked at it. I guess you are talking about pages 92 to 95? Pretty weak replies, especially the charge that I’m “painfully naïve.” He badly underestimates the case that the scriptures teach God to be a self! Maybe I will revisit that sometime…

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203505 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:02:07 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203505 @ Paul

Forgive me for intruding, but you have simply ignored Jon’s citation of John 14:10, where Jesus explicitly says that “… the Father abiding in me does His works”.

When Jesus says, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4), it is NOT because he will be glorified by the great event of the raising of Lazarus, but because by this events he hints to his own imminent death, that the raising of Lazarus contributes to precipitate. Jesus death and raising by God, the Father Almighty, will be his own glorification by God.

Jesus is NOT the author, by his own power, of the raising of Lazarus, and even less he will be the author, by his own power, of his own resurrection. You may find useful this blog post of mine: Did Jesus “rise” or did God, the Father “raise him from the dead”?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203504 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:20:15 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203504 Aaron,

as you can easily see for yourself, I only write in my blog in fits and starts. Knowing that someone wants to read it regularly will give me an incentive to contributing to it regulary. Thank you 🙂

No, I have only attended many conferences and participated in online forums. I have no formal education in Biblical Studies or Theology, but I do have a sound formation in Philosophy.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203503 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:53:49 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203503 @ Jon,

Tried to find some space so start here.

Your theory is that Jesus confirms his dependence on the power of the Father because he openly states that the Father has heard him. Is this conclusive? There could be other reasons why Jesus thanks the Father for hearing him. He doesn’t tell us directly from the words themselves. You make your choice for the obvious reason that it supports your viewpoint.

John 11 v 3 Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Why is the Son of God glorified by something that he didn’t do? Surely the Son of God can only be glorified in this case if he is the author of the miracle?

Why does Jesus say, in connection with the resurrection of Lazarus that he is the resurrection and the life when, according to Unitarians, he is neither of those things by nature because his power plays no part in making either of them a reality?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203502 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:49:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203502 By Jove! I think I’ve got it. The real reason why Dale Tuggy has only evasively replied to my first comment of July 18, and has simply ignored the first of my questions (“… if the “trinity” is so poorly represented in the NT (if at all), why did Protestants defend it, tooth and claw?”) is that, contrary to what it would be normal to expect from the title and – even more – the contents of his podcast 189 (“The unfinished business of the Reformation”), Tuggy has never entirely abandoned hope that some day someone will “finish the business”, that is come up with a “theory of the trinity” that is satisfactory, in terms of “consistency”, “intelligibility”, and “fit with the Bible”. A confirmation of what I am saying may be found in a journal article by Tuggy of 2003. Here are the abstract and title:

Abstract: In recent years, many resourceful thinkers have brought a new clarity to the issues surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity. Two incompatible families of Trinitarian doctrine have been clearly distinguished: Social Trinitarianism and Latin Trinitarianism. I argue here that no theory in either camp has yet evaded the triune pitfalls of inconsistency, unintelligibility, and poor fit with the Bible. These two main approaches appear to be hopeless, and I argue that appeals to ‘mystery’ are no way to avoid the difficulties at hand. Thus, the Trinitarian project is as yet unfinished [emphasis added]. (The Unfinished Business of Trinitarian Theorizing, Dale Tuggy, Religious Studies, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 165-183, Cambridge University Press )

What if his “Strict Unitarianism” (while his “core business” continues to be examining ad comparing “trinities, theories about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”) is just a stage on the way to “finishing the business”?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203501 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:34:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203501 I’ve been able to access it. I think I’ll add your blog to my weekly lineup of reading material.

BTW, have you attended a seminary somewhere? If so, what was your main concentration while there?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Marvin Sanguinetti http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203500 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:12:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203500 Hello Dale: Though brief comments but his piece on ST (Social Trinitarianism) in the book ‘Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism: Philosophical and Systematic Theologians on the Metaphysics of Trinitarian Theology, (Wm.B Eerdmans: GR Michigan, 2010). See index for bespoke references.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203499 Mon, 24 Jul 2017 07:42:25 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203499 Hi Aaron, and thank you for your feedback. I was not even aware that the access to my blog was restricted. Now it should be public.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203498 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:27:13 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203498 Thanks I appreciate your time. I can’t seem to access your blog as it says I haven’t properly been invited.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203497 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:28:13 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203497 There is another possibility, compatible with the Scriptural Religion, which is neither (bi-)trinitarianism nor (Jesus-man-only) Unitarianism. In my blog I refer to it (with a not entirely satisfactory expression) as Strict Monotheism.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203496 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:11:40 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203496 @ Aaron

There are many observations to make, in reply to your comment. Let me put forward a few.

1. Some claim (I believe Dale Tuggy is one of them) that one can only properly speak of “trinity” or “trinitarianism” when you have the whole hog doctrine (co-eternality, co-equality, tri-personality, “one ousia in three hypostaseis“). But this is pure sophistry, because that definition was only achieved at the end of the 4th century, after a prolonged strife first between the Arians and the Nicene, then the semi-Arians and the new-Nicene, then through the “great compromise” of the Synod of Alexandria of 362 AD, then through the (essential) role of the Cappadocian scoundrels.

2. As is known to (nearly) everybody, the Arian controversy started with the rebuttal by Arius, in response to the doctrine of the similarity of the “Son” to the father, preached by the (then) bishop of Alexandria, his bishop. Mark, only similarity, not equality. To which sermon, Arius replied that “if the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not. It therefore necessarily follows, that he [the Son] had his substance from nothing.” (The Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates Scholasticus) What Alexander affirmed was simply the standard belief of the Church, or at least of its highest ranks. Origen brought it even further, by affirming the “eternal generation of the Son” (a formula that, later, turned out to be very useful to the “trinitarians” …) It certainly did NOT alter the status quo. It was Arius who undoubtedly altered the status quo, affirming (or at least implying) that the “Son” was a creature.

3. Subordinationism, that is the doctrine that the “Son” (and the Spirit) are divine beings, BUT are inferior to the Father is intrinsically un-stable, if affirmed within the Scriptural Religion, that is a religion which affirm the unconditional Oneness of God. Inevitably, under a challenge like the one that Arius brought forth, it can only evolve (and stabilize) into full-fledged “trinitarianism” (or “binitarianism”), OR it can evolve into “unitarianism” (in the obvious sense that there is no such thing as a “pre-existing Son” – let alone “pre-existing Son” and that Jesus was just a man, however exalted.)

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203495 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 12:56:02 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203495 Hi Marvin, yeah, I have never really understood the methodology of presuppositionalism. Still reading more on that someday, God willing. McCall has responded to my article? Where? I have not seen it or heard about it.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Marvin Sanguinetti http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203494 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 10:44:04 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203494 It would be of great interests for a philosophical approach of biblical unitarianism to interact with presuppositional apologetics over the matter of Trinitarianism. The syllogistic argumentation would interest interlocutors enaging the ongoing dialogue. I am not quite sure if you have responded to Thomas McCall’s critique of your article ‘Divine Deception, Identity, and Social Trinitarianism’. If you have, would be great to read your response(s).
Marvin

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203493 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:47:15 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203493 @Mario Stratta,

Do you consider Subordinationism to necessarily be a Trinitarian (or Binitarian) view? I don’t think it is. I think we have to ask each individual Subordinationist himself for clarification about his views. It seems they can and do self-identify as Trinitarians as well as Unitarians depending on exactly what they see to be the implications are of the Son’s being “subordinate” in his nature to the Father and what they include as necessary for “being God” and whether they make a distinction between “nature of being” and “personal properties” etc. (I put all these words and phrases in quotes since they are buzz words/phrases). Samuel Clarke is for sure what almost anyone would call a “Subordinationist” and clearly states that strictly speaking God is only the Father. Perhaps one can argue about the earlier writers from the 100s-300s and debate their stances respectively but I don’t see Subordinationism as necessarily Trinitarian (although I do think it can be).

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Wulf http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203492 Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:35:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203492 Perhaps someone can make a funny youtube video of White’s claims vs White’s actions as was done with Dawkins?

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203491 Sat, 22 Jul 2017 18:10:55 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203491

In sum, I’m a biblical unitarian, my objections are fundamentally revelation-based …

@ Dale
If you ever have that debate, I suggest you avoid claiming that Justin, Tertullian and Origen are unitarians (or even “unitarians”). They are subordinationists: tri- or bi- but it would be a cheat to claim that they are uni- … (and, as he comments here, I challenge Anthony Buzzard to affirm otherwise).

BTW, talking about “revelation-based”, I also suggest you seriously confront John 1:1 and John 1:14 …

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Aaron http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203490 Sat, 22 Jul 2017 17:32:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203490 I admire Dr. White in many ways and I have learned a lot from him. I’ve read a few of his books and was particularly helped by his explanations of translation in his book about KJV Onlyism when I was a young man who didn’t understand the differences in the way languages work and what a reasonable definition of an “uncorrupted text” would have meant (which I think is abused by Biblical critics in the face of wonderful and unparalleled evidence. I say all of that to say that as an admirer and as one who has learned so much from him I can’t help but say in this case that even if he thinks himself correct, simply more or less stating that Biblical revelation settles it and philosophy can go take a hike is not helpful or consistent with the way we would tackle most any debate about any subject or Christian doctrine/theory. I really hope he’ll reconsider and make his best presentation for this case. IMO as it now stands, the best case for scripturally based Trinitarianism comes from Dr. Michael Heiser’s “Unseen Realm” book where gives a pretty exhaustive explanation and case for OT patriarchs recognizing God as simultaneously “visible” and “invisible” as what one may now call two separate “persons” all the way back in Genesis and moves forward through the entire Bible highlighting each instance of this occurrence. However, the philosophical explanation is still lacking there so one must still appeal to mystery at some point. I want to see a formal debate myself, I’d go watch it in person if it were anywhere within a 4 hour drive here in the US from where I am!

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by David Kemball-Cook http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203489 Sat, 22 Jul 2017 11:14:29 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203489 Very reminiscent of the way Richard Dawkins uses an obviously fabricated reason to get out of debating WLC. He knew that he could not go toe-to-toe, so made out Craig was a ‘professional debater’ and said that he did not debate with ‘professional debaters’. He also refused the invitation on Craig’s UK 2011 tour to debate in Oxford, using Craig’s views on the Amalekite genocide as an excuse, and they had an empty chair for him. Dale why don’t you do a speaking tour of Phoenix Arizona and invite him to debate?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Jon http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203488 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:20:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203488 Paul,

About the miracles that Jesus did. Yes, he did miracles. Yes, he relied on God. I’ll give you the example which I think sums up how I feel about it:

In John 12:1,9, it says that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This is how we would all say it, but the part of Jesus in this is where we differ, I think, unless you just misunderstood my point. However, I said what I did based on what you were discussing with someone else.

In any case, in John 11:11, Jesus also said that he was going to wake Lazarus up. Again, we’d both say this and accept it. What happens when Jesus does this?

In John 11:41,42, Jesus thanked the Father for always hearing him, and said it out loud so that everyone would know that the Father did send him. In other words, for Jesus to do it by his own power would negate his efforts in saying this, and if Jesus did it by his own power, he would have nothing to thank God for in hearing him as He always does. If the Father heard him, then Jesus must have asked; and if Jesus asked, then he relied on God to raise Lazarus from the dead.

There’s no reason for me to believe that Jesus was doing things by his own power, what when he says things like in John 14:10.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Jon http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203487 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:11:28 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203487 Paul, hi!

Sorry for the long delay, but I must’ve missed the e-mail which notified about the blog post.

John 5:36 – it’s weightier because John didn’t do miracles (John 10:41), but Jesus did. This proves that God was with him. (John 9:29-33; Acts 10:38)

John 6:28 – they wanted to know how to do what God wanted so that they could always have food to eat. Earlier in the passage, Jesus said that they only looked for him because he fed them, and in the very previous verse, 27, he said, “labor” for food which does not perish. The whole passage is kind of funny, actually, because they shamelessly try to convince him to make more bread and cite Moses in order to have a reason for them to “believe” him.

John 10:37, 38 – him doing miracles is evidence that God has approved of him. The way he refers to this is the Father being in him and him being in the Father. He speaks about us that way when we are also approved of God. (John 14:20) This is them being “in the Spirit”, as the Spirit is in them. The Spirit was in Jesus, and so Jesus was in the Spirit and the Father was in Jesus and Jesus in the Father. Jesus said he would return, and for those who believe, both he and the Father would make their home in him. This is by the Spirit, and this is by the words of Jesus which they keep. I could go a lot into this, but realize that’s too much for this point; though I’ll leave what I already typed in case it’s of interest.

In any case, it’s what Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 6:17 — and it is because we are one Spirit, or we have the same Spirit. The Spirit here is the “flesh” that we are partaking of and being joined in, like Paul speaks about in Ephesians 5. It’s a spiritual mystery that you understand by the Spirit, the Spirit having spoken mysteries, with words taught by the Spirit, which Jesus promised to give.

All-in-all, the reason behind why Jesus would say these sorts of things isn’t compelling me to think anything other than what I proposed with the initial statement. Do you see why?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by paul anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203486 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 21:12:07 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203486 @ Jon,

How do you interpret these verses, for example?
John 5:36

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

John 6:28

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

John 10:37

If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

John 10:38

But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

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Comment on Some clarifications for Dr. White by Anthony Buzzard http://trinities.org/blog/some-clarifications-for-dr-white/#comment-203485 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:36:10 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39307#comment-203485 Dale, I do hope you and Dr., White will further illumine this huge subject. The public is ready for more light, I think, in view of all the massive disagreement which is not NT Christianity
Anthony

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by paul anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203484 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:24:08 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203484 @ Jon,

OK, what’s your evidence then that Jesus was the passive middleman? I assume that’s what you believe. My own evidence to the contrary, apart from the fact that the text itself obviously shows that his words and actions are causative of the miracle, is that Jesus does not invoke or do any miracle in the name of the Father. Perhaps someone can prove me wrong.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203482 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:42:02 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203482 Check … check … check … mate …

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Comment on Dialogue with John on Thinking about the Trinity by John Bainbridge http://trinities.org/blog/dialogue-with-john-on-thinking-about-the-trinity/#comment-203481 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:59:40 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39292#comment-203481 Hi Dale,
Thanks so much for this thoughtful and at times challenging response. I’ve responded in some detail on my blog here: http://faithandscripture.blogspot.fr/2017/07/responding-to-dale-tuggy-on-trinitarian.html

Note to “spectators”: Dale has warned that he may not have time for further interaction on this, particularly not in the near future, so please do not interpret his non-response as me simply having some great final word. I don’t, and I’m learning a tonne in the whole process. The conversations must continue!

Blessings,
John

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Comment on podcast 191 – Ware’s Outline of the Testimony of Scripture Against the Trinity by Rivers http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-191-wares-outline-of-the-testimony-of-scripture-against-the-trinity/#comment-203480 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:09:03 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39263#comment-203480 Excellent podcast and reading from Ware’s material.

One thing that always impresses me about the Unitarians from previous generations is that they developed their argumentation from what was available to them in the biblical testimony instead of resorting to speculation about uncorroborated “background” influences or appealing to extra-biblical Jewish writings to “indirectly infer” things that cannot be derived from exegesis.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203479 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:12:08 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203479 @ Paul

Perhaps you would agree somewhat less if you realized that this is NOT an argument in favor of the “trinity” … 🙂

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203478 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 22:51:12 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203478 @ Mario,

“The manifest incapacity to deal with this is “the weakest part of the unitarian case” …”

I couldn’t agree more.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203477 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 22:17:58 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203477 @ Paul

I am happy to leave it to you to explain how the Evangelist attributed those words to Nicodemus … 😉

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Jon http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203476 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 22:13:39 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203476 Paul Anchor, you do realize that Jesus claimed that he was not the one doing the miracles, right?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203475 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:29:05 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203475 @ Mario,
Nicodemus is, not the evangelist. Is it a statement from which you can disprove the trinity? I wouldn’t think so. Just as little as Peter’s statement when he says that Jesus is a man in Acts.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203474 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:13:49 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203474 Dale,

When Jesus said in Matthew 8:7 “I will come and heal him.”

Was he lying according to the Unitarians?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203473 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:06:53 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203473 @ Paul

The only difference is that in Ex 7:3 (see also Ex 14:4) YHWH’s action is made manifest.

BTW, what do you make of this: “This man [Nicodemus] came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2)?

Isn’t the Evangelist manifestly contrasting Jesus and God?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203472 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:04:01 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203472 Thanks Dale,

OK, I accept that you are a fellow seeker of the truth and I respect that. You have your beliefs, I have mine. No “axioms” to grind!

Just to clarify I am not saying that Jesus did any miracle exclusively in his own power. I believe, as a Trinitarian, that the power of God exerts itself as one single force whenever it acts, which would be continuously, at least since creation.

Perhaps the weakness appears to me to be the strange, or surprising, situation that Jesus does not invoke the name of the Father or do any miracles in the name of the Father to my knowledge. If Unitarians are correct surely we would expect this occurring with each individual miracle.

Always an interesting and friendly discussion here.

Thanks.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203471 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:54:48 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203471

… those [miracles] are strong evidence that God is with him, so that he really is God’s Messiah! This is most clear in John.

In John is also most clear that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) an that the very same Word was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth (“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” – John 1:14).

The manifest incapacity to deal with this is “the weakest part of the unitarian case” …

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203470 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:48:32 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203470 @ Mario,

But Jehovah asserted that he was doing the miracles, not Moses.

“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.”

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203469 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:44:20 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203469 Sure! The same applies (with a vengeance) to Jesus raising himself from the dead (usually John 10:17-18 and John 2:19 are brought forth), as opposed to being risen by God, the father Almighty (Romans 10:9)

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203468 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:27:41 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203468 @ Dale

1. You have simply ignored my first paragraph/question. Which ignorance, especially in a speech (and podcast) that practically affirms that there is no excuse for properly thinking Protestants (not tied to the doctrinal authority of the Catholic Church, but – in theory – to “Scripture only”) to subscribe to the “trinity”, sticks out like a sore thumb. You should at least (try to) give some explanation for the sake of poor David Kemball-Cook (“Great talk, thanks Dale. One ends up wondering how on earth any (Protestant) Christian could be a trinitarian after hearing this.”)

2. In Ps 110:1, in Hebrew, the One and Only YHWH is with contrasted ?adôni (“my lord”). In the LXX translation, we find ho kyrios contrasted with ho kyrios mou. So this is perfectly in line with the usual LXX translation of YHWH with ho kyrios. The key word, for both versions, is “contrasted”. However, and unlike Ps 110:1, Paul, in 1Cor 8:6, refers to Jesus as eis kyrios (“one lord”). Exactly as Deut 6:4 refers to the One and Only God, not only in the LXX translation (kyrios eis), but also in the original Hebrew YHWH ?echad). Check … unless you are ready to resort to the desperate gambit of affirming that there is a (great) difference between eis kyrios (1Cor 8:6) and kyrios eis (Deut 6:4 – LXX). Once again: what if affirming that (the resurrected, ascended and exalted) Jesus Christ was (had become?) eis kyrios was (rightly) considered by the orthodox Jews Paul’s peculiar heresy?

BTW, affirming that Paul is “reconfiguring the identity of God” is just another way of saying that, Paul’s claim that (the resurrected, ascended and exalted) Jesus Christ was (had become?) eis kyrios is precisely what I called “Paul’s peculiar heresy”, from the POV of the orthodox Jews.

3. As for my question about the incompatibility of considering a (presumed) “pre-existent Son” as “second god” with the sh?ma? and with the Unitarian notion of Jesus as just man, however exalted, your “reply” was “No, and yes.” (sic and sigh!) Can you please unpack this, at lest for the sake of the other readers/commenters? Thanks.

4. It is true that in my (rather lazy) blog (Strict Monotheism) there is a post titled John 17:3 and that little squirmy thing, Augustine but I never claim (there or elsewhere) that Augustine suspected that John 17:3 was altered by the Arians. Otherwise I wouldn’t call him a “little squirmy thing”, would I?

This is what I have written: “That little squirmy thing, Augustine, dares to change the order of the words of the Gospel of John [in John 17:3], for the simple reason that, otherwise they wouldn’t jibe with his “trinitarianism”. Check …

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203467 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:59:19 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203467 “axiom”
Don’t fall for the James White slander that unitarians are constantly just closed-mindedly “assuming” their theology. Quite the contrary. Most of us have thought quite hard about the options. And many, like me, desperately wanted to be convinced that some Trinity theory best made sense of the Bible.

And as argued in yesterday’s podcast, it is just a plain NT teaching, an explicit teaching, that the Father is the one true God. No speculation in that.

But there is speculation here: the idea that if Jesus did a miracle, this must’ve been something he did on his own power, without assistance from any other being.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203466 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:55:41 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203466 Thanks, Paul.

“but I am still a convinced Trinitarian”
Good! No one should switch on such a big subject after one presentation.

As I thought about this over many years, all the pillars of trinitarian belief just crumbled, one after the other. Just so many bad arguments, bad in various ways. But I resisted quite hard, holding on to the remaining ones, as each fell. And I think that is a conservative, reasonable thing to do.

“does not disprove the possibility”
Ah, but I was talking about improbability – big difference. To retreat to mere possibility is to miss the point, and to set the bar for your own theories way too low.

“They are just things he did in his own power. Not the Father pulling the strings behind the scenes.”
Wow. My friend, you’re in the teeth of explicit scriptural statements here. Jesus is portrayed as being filled, indeed empowered by God’s spirit (Luke 4), and he always, he says in John, follows God’s lead. And also in John, he says that it’s the Father in him, doing his works. And he credits God’s spirit with his message. And he explains that someday, his disciples will do even greater works. And… they do!

What’s surprising to me, is how people ever started thinking this was a valid inference, rather than a wild non sequitur:
X does miracles,
Therefore X has a divine nature.

Elijah? Moses? Peter?

Goodness. The reader of the NT should have some familiarity with the OT.

There is, in such cases a divine nature (i.e. divine being) in such cases – but that’s God.

“Why did Jesus appeal to his miracles to convince”
Because those are strong evidence that God is with him, so that he really is God’s Messiah! This is most clear in John.

If this is the weakest part of the unitarian case… we’re in good shape! 😉

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203465 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:44:27 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203465 Thanks.

“In 1Cor 8:6, Paul refers to Jesus Christ as “one Lord”, in the same verse in which he refers to the Father as “one God”. How do you explain this?”

The one Lord is here *contrasted with* and *named in addition to* the one God. This is a new usage of “Lord” based on Ps 110:1. http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-16-how-is-jesus-the-one-lord/ What makes it confusing is that the old usage of “the Lord” (from the LXX) continues too in the NT. But this new sort of speculation that somehow he’s reconfiguring the identity of God is just pure confusion and eisegesis.

“Won’t you admit that this is INCOMPATIBLE (at least) with the shema and with the Unitarian notion of Jesus as just man, however exalted?”
No, and yes.

About John 17 and Augustine, you have those refs on your own blog.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203464 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:02:34 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203464 Your insistence on the miracles of Jesus is moot (read: very weak). Certainly Moses worked quite spectacular ones. But he never claimed to be the Son of God. Jesus, OTOH, openly affirmed to be the Son of God, but never claimed to be God.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Mario Stratta http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203463 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 17:47:33 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203463 @Dale

Congratulations on your speech, well articulated in its 15 Observations.

Which, when compared with the more famous 95 Theses, makes immediately for an obvious question: if the “trinity” is so poorly represented in the NT (if at all), why did Protestants defend it, tooth and claw? Just as a reminder, the Socinis (uncle and nephew) had to find a safe haven first in Poland, then in Transilvania. Miguel Serveto was even burnt at the stake in Geneva, in 1553, under the auspices of John Calvin. Why?

In 1Cor 8:6, Paul refers to Jesus Christ as “one Lord”, in the same verse in which he refers to the Father as “one God”. How do you explain this? Isn’t the Father Lord, nay, the One Lord? What if (from the POV of the orthodox Jews) this was considered Paul’s peculiar heresy?

You consider “pre-existence”, or even the “pre-existent Son” as “second god” (as Justin Martyr was probably the first to do) as compatible with Unitarianism. Won’t you admit that this is INCOMPATIBLE (at least) with the shema and with the Unitarian notion of Jesus as just man, however exalted?

You affirm that Augustine suspected that John 17:3 was altered by the Arians. Can you provide a reference for that?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203462 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:27:04 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203462 You’re asking us to adopt a counter-intuitive view of the miracles of Jesus based solely on the Unitarian axiom that the Father alone is God.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Paul Anchor http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203461 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:12:00 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203461 Interesting podcast. Good arguments but I am still a convinced Trinitarian myself though after listening to it.

From the point of view of the incarnation we would expect Jesus to call the Father his God, even the one true God. It may be paradoxical if he is God himself but that does not disprove the possibility in my view.

I think perhaps the most convincing evidence that Jesus is God are simply the miracles that he did, which of course were never mentioned in your talk, if I am not mistaken. These are not abstract theological statements. They are just things he did in his own power. Not the Father pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Why did Jesus appeal to his miracles to convince the Jews to believe in him as such and not just to believe that he was a prophet?

If Unitarians can prove that these miracles were not done by the power of Jesus I think they would have a much stronger case. As a Trinitarian I believe that is impossible for Unitarians to convincingly make a case in this regard.

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Comment on podcast 190 – What is the Trinity? A triad of book reviews by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-190-what-is-the-trinity-a-triad-of-book-reviews/#comment-203458 Mon, 17 Jul 2017 01:14:58 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39224#comment-203458 Great little expose’ on these books Dale. It was interesting to hear you contrast them quickly and effectively showing that they don’t really deal with the language of the trinity much. *Hint* it’s because there’s nothing on it in the Bible. But I think you knew that already.

I have an idea for a future podcast IF you’ve not done it already. There’s a lot of podcasts of yours I’ve not heard since I only recently started listening more often and picking through some old ones here and there. But if you’ve not done it already–you may want to do a more detailed explanation of the chapter in your book on “Substance Abuse.” I mean, I’ve dealt with a lot of the language claims by trinitarians and I can hold their feet to the fire but even this chapter sort of went over my head. I think it’s because the options you gave are so similar… I may have to re-read that chapter many times but it’d definitely be helpful for you to explain that subject and your options in more depth.

Thanks

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Comment on podcast 190 – What is the Trinity? A triad of book reviews by Benjamin http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-190-what-is-the-trinity-a-triad-of-book-reviews/#comment-203457 Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:53:33 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39224#comment-203457 Great stuff KG. I remember listening to RC once tell the story about Athanasius as “contra mundum” or “against the world.” In his own time he was persecuted and only later shown to be
“right.” What a story, and we get to inherit all of that so that we ourselves don’t have to be “contra mundum” to be right as well. Because if there’s one thing that Christianity has always agreed upon ever since the 4th century, it’s that Athanasius is right.

RC and many other hugely popular religious leaders are defending established traditions rather than the clear teachings of the Scriptures, which themselves are truly contra mundum. Their call for “modern reformation” is frequently just a call to go back to the historic teachings of the first reformation, as if that was any sort of unifying or original thing. On the contrary, how could they have ever expected the Reformation to stop reforming once it had started? How can the spirit of one thing become the spirit of its opposite? How can what was contra mundum now be it’s opposite? It amazes me sometimes how they celebrate Luther almost as if he were the true founder of Christianity. They never call to go back to the original faith itself, once delivered. Whether we go back to Luther or Calvin, we’re not back at an original.

They judge whether people are in “the fold” or not by the “essentials of the historic christian faith”, which essentials they constantly disagree about as well, depending on how they view the history…. Which creed, which council, which idea, which religious leader, which tradition, which history book, which cult of personality?

Everyone’s an apologist for their own party and none have the freedom to really search the Scriptures or else they will be kicked out of their respective parties. “Fellowship” itself being based on everyone agreeing about everything, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos.” The moment they discover that they disagree, then they bring out the axe so they can remain a one branch tree with no leaves on the ends, leaving other branches to try to grow more roots in mid air. Thus they cut off their most honest seekers. They frequently even divide their “worship services” up between the various age groups/sub-cultures which frequent their large buildings, because some prefer “contemporary” and others “traditional”, thus highlighting division as central to the way they do business. Every segment of their inherently split culture must be individually catered to, whether youth, college age, singles, young adults, or retirees.

Disinterested in the original faith once and for all delivered, rather, they assume that history couldn’t have gotten it wrong…. Yet that’s exactly what Protestantism was initially founded upon was the idea that history did get it wrong…. Why, if they are unwilling to drop their historical baggage don’t they just become Catholic, Orthodox or Coptic? Why do they continue to occupy this middle ground, luke warm and half way reformed? If the foundations are bad then the house won’t stand, so why not go one way or the other?

Yet perhaps they are standing on the same empty things that all major world religions have stood on; the established political and cultural power structures which have always been offered to religious leader throughout history. None of us founded Protestantism but we’ve inherited it from the violence of history, and it does provide a coherent structure which people can use to attain status and power throughout their lives, whether old or young, so heck, keep it around. Founding our own religions would take too much talent and too much time. “Church” is a social club with a great many benefits to those who attend and play the games it offers. Just don’t associate with the other social club down the street too closely and don’t ask too many questions after you’ve already learned to fit in.

Once upon a time they crucified Jesus for this same power game Jn. 5:41-44. The reformation’s power was clearly in the fact that it was magisterial as well. Nothing other than politics can last in this world, because mobs of people with a lie in their hands are always stronger than individuals with the truth. And yet nobody worships Artemis of the Ephesians anymore, though her system of religion worked the same way ours does, and it once caused riots. Clearly all men’s kingdoms come to an end someday, no matter how much power they once had. Some testimony.

False religious leaders have always been unwilling to step down and surrender their power and influence, even when proven false. Roman Catholicism is a safe haven for thousands of robe wearing child molesters. Unfortunately it’s not a safe haven for children, but that’s a small price to pay compared to what it would mean to dismantle “the Church”, the place where men attain rank, respect and global influence. Until death do they part, all manufacturers of idols have a business to run. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Acts 19:23-40

There are tens of thousands of denominations and mega-churches lead by delusional people. They are all “called” by God, they all have profound “testimonies” and are all bold characters with stage presence. They’d be out of jobs if they gave up their games and admitted the emptiness of their mutually exclusive, conflicting stories and the inner voices they follow around so boldly.

By contrast to all this, Jesus said that the greatest would be the least of all. He calls all of us to give up the games and to dethrone our worldly ambitions. Paul said that if he had come with words of wisdom, it would have voided the cross of Christ he was intent on preaching. What does this mean for the gospel of those who so deeply exalt the wisdom or Aristotle and Plato? Jesus made no promises that His religion would become a kingdom of the world in this age, the way the historical churches have done. Rather He said that when He returned, He would do that work Himself in the age to come. With our hopes set on His return and His coming Kingdom, we can give up trying to establish our own empires here and believe this gospel of the kingdom. The good news that someday the world will be ruled by the Messiah, and all those who follow Him, having taken up their crosses.

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Comment on podcast 190 – What is the Trinity? A triad of book reviews by Kevin George http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-190-what-is-the-trinity-a-triad-of-book-reviews/#comment-203456 Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:07:09 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39224#comment-203456 At https://youtu.be/Sh72wgZEcKk you can listen to RC Sproul giving a lecture in which he unashamedly admits historical facts that undermine his entire Trinity claim.

Here are the RC Sproul quotes, referencing the minutes and seconds in the lecture:
17.10 – 17.48 “Judaism, at its core, celebrated what we call monotheism, one God. Now the problem that the early Christian church faced in dealing with her theology was that the Christian community of the first century was totally committed to monotheism. They embraced the Shema, “Hear oh Israel, the Lord your God is one.”

18.48 – 19:26 “Remember that the Christian faith grew out of Judaism, and with the embracing of Jesus, there was not at the same time – there was not a repudiation of classic, biblical monotheism. But the difficulty that the church had in understanding her faith was to reconcile the multitude of references in the Scriptures that would indicate the Bible’s teaching that Jesus was God incarnate. He shares titles that belong only to God.”

26.00 – 26.44 “…So that the deity of the Logos is clearly confessed here by John in this writing. Do you see why the church then had to go to the drawing board and say, “How can we understand this? How can someone be on the one hand identified with God, and on the other hand distinguished from God, so that you have an identity and a distinction?” And therein came the development of Trinitarian theology.”

RC Sproul admits historical facts that so many apologists and pastors do not want to face. He does not, however, “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) of the first century Christians, but contends for a later, future development of that faith, a faith that was a new “development” by the church’s use of Greek philosophies that he resorts to repeatedly in his lecture. Sproul has no restraint or objection to having the original faith mentioned in Jude 3 developed further, based on the ideas and philosophies of non-Jewish men who read the Scriptures through an entirely different frame of reference.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203454 Mon, 10 Jul 2017 22:51:19 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203454 Great fair speech with good points in a simple manner. Hopefully the simple points will go far into bringing many of these individuals who heard back from the brink of so-called “mystery.” It was the simple that originally got me out of the trinity. Heck, I’ve even had a trinitarian tell me my views were “too simple,” implying too simple to be right.

Wish you could have had the Q&A posted though. That would have been good.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203453 Sun, 09 Jul 2017 13:35:25 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203453 There’s something bizarre about that idea. The deal is: you can join up if you confess A, B, C. You make the deal, so you’re in. Now, we tell you, oh, you’re kicked out unless you also confess D, E, F. You can’t change the terms of the deal, after the deal is made! None of A, B, and C was or entailed “I’ll accept everything else (some of) you guys tell me.”

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203452 Sun, 09 Jul 2017 13:32:56 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203452 Hey Jim – there is no written version yet. God willing, it’ll become part of a book chapter. But you can see the slides in the YouTube version.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203451 Sun, 09 Jul 2017 13:31:50 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203451 John – one last thought. Your “hub” thesis – how does it differ from U, C, and T in my talk? Or is it basically just one of those?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by Dale http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203450 Sun, 09 Jul 2017 13:31:00 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203450 Hey John,
You’ll have to say more about this “triune Hub” – I don’t know what you mean by that. About “mutations” – I would caution that we should be clear about what it is that is supposedly changing. For Hurtado, it is just religious practice that’s mutating. I think that can’t be denied – Jesus is worshiped in the NT, on the basis that God has exalted him to such a position. But they did not set out to rethink monotheism on that basis, as best I can tell.

To my eye, the NT authors, just as much as the OT ones, think of Yahweh, as a great Self. He’s “the God of our ancestors” https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?qs_version=NRSV&quicksearch=god+ancestors&begin=51&end=51 I don’t see that some new “Hub” has replaced God in their minds. If God shares his authority and functions with another, e.g. authorizing Jesus to forgive sins, heal, and eventually to judge – that doesn’t incorporate that other being somehow within the one God, right? In Daniel 7 and Rev 4-5, we still see God anthropomorphically portrayed as a figure on a throne, a transcendent King. No “Hub” apparent, right? But just, the exalted Jesus alongside him.

About the “spirit” – big topic. But in the OT, this is not a self in addition to God, right? I suggest the burden should be on the one who thinks this is an additional self in the NT. You suggest that there is a first-century “trinity”… how do you mean that? Is this a being, or a triad where God is one member of it?

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by John Bainbridge http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203449 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:59:28 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203449 Good clear talk, as usual and now expected of Dale. I have my usual quibbles, however, about some of the logical approach used here, particularly with respect to “the New Testament writers were Unitarian”. Let’s ask a different question: were the New Testament writers Unitarian in the same way that, say, Zedekiah was a Unitarian? The keyword to unpack the development toward Triune God advocacy of late fourth century Christianity, is “hitherto”. From a Jewish pre-Christian perspective, the core of the faith was Yahweh – all of his major qualities are included in that space and presumed unassignable, including creation, salvation, judgement, cosmic rule, etc. The “central religious space” in the Jewish mind would have been filled with this being along with his presumed non-attributable qualities. So the religious core, or “hub”, appears identical to Yahweh.
However, as it turns out, it isn’t. Some of those qualities can be shared and even be given to the Messiah and executed through an individuated Spirit. Extraordinarily, and in the wake of three important mutations:

– Early resurrection and cosmic rule of Messiah by God
– Worship of Jesus alongside God
– Participative/collaborative eschatological kingdom age

… a fourth mutation has occurred in the Jewish Christian sect: the triune Hub, filling up the same space Yahweh used to fill, now comprising God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Hitherto, that was not the case. Henceforth, it is understood to be so (including the historical prosopological reinterpretation).
Further factors fuelling this first-century emergence of a Triune Hub can also be identified, including the need to demarcate Jesus’ baptism of Spirit from John’s, a prior acceptance of the Jewish community of the divine Logos category, and some ambiguity around the LXX translation for Yahweh. I really like also Hurtado’s simple claim that no longer is possible to speak of God for more than a verse or three in the New Testament before returning to Jesus and vice versa.

Given the likelihood of a first-century trinity of this order, I believe it is misleading to presume no reconfiguration of the divine ordering, which later centuries will interpret via substance with a view to its defense in that setting. This was certainly not without its flaws, as Richard Winfield states in “From Concept to Objectivity: Thinking through Hengel’s Subjective Logic”, p. 36: “The appeal to substance not only begs the question, but undermines itself through the vitiating circularity of allowing what makes something determinate to be already determinate”. I can list along with any Unitarian who cares to join me a fair few more problems. HOWEVER, if fourth-century Triune God advocacy is rather an expression of a mutated Hub of the Jewish faith, then writing off first-century trinitarianism might actually be as guilty of importing fourth-century ideas as the Jesus is God apologists.

Thanks.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by John Bainbridge http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203448 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:42:39 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203448 Nice!

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Comment on podcast 188 – Dr. Paul W. Newman’s Spirit Christology – Part 2 by Sean Holbrook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-188-dr-paul-w-newmans-spirit-christology-part-2/#comment-203447 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 02:13:26 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39184#comment-203447 Hello Dokimazo,

Thanks for the comment. I have no problem agreeing with the guy interviewed on some manners just as Dale also said he questions the Gospel of John but didn’t give details. There’s good reason both with internal witness of the other Scriptures that shows problems and also the sheer difference between the synoptics. I still use the Gospel of John and don’t discount it in talks normally nor use it as any excuse to hide my views… but there’s no doubt it presents a very different light on the things Jesus said and at times, did. Mainly, what Jesus said though. I find it odd to have this testimony appear later on and somehow many of the details of the Gospel of John are completely missing from Luke’s account when Luke said he took great pains to gather witness accounts. The sayings are completely alien to the language of the synoptics, almost as if it was written as an after-thought to make the teachings of the Messiah palatable in a different manner of language for a different crowd. Some have argued for the meaning of it being written to combat Gnosticism(but I’ve also read some who think it IS gnostic). One major “did” example… The raising of the dead of Lazarus is completely absent from the other gospels, that is very odd for such a crazy miracle that had much of the towns talking and is supposedly one of the reasons that the religious leaders were upset at Jesus and wanted to kill him and Lazarus according to John’s Gospel(John 12:9-11). Also the one major one I highlighted already was how the Gospel of John presents Jesus as being much more open about his being the “Christ/Messiah” yet when it comes to the synoptics he hides it until the proper time. Then we can get into the calendar issue of the date of Jesus’ death with the Gospel of John compared with the synoptics but I haven’t read up on that in some time.

Overall I had to try to put myself back in that time period and imagine someone handing the Gospel of John then. It’s different, very different. I’d have been suspect if I’d read the other three gospels beforehand to read this drastic difference. I try my best to be as objective as possible(though I know it’s impossible to avoid presuppositions) and recognize that the canon was made by men ultimately and it has been altered since men began making it in the first place. So, just like false letters were going around in that time period and one had to be vigilant to test the letters words… I try to today even though I still have much to learn.

Thanks for the comments again

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by David Kemball-Cook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203446 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:57:15 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203446 Thanks Dale for your summary of the Q&A. I remember when I was a trinitarian, and how difficult I found it to deal with objections to the Trinity. Then the scales fell from my eyes, and I cannot now understand how any sane rational Christian could believe in it.
That is, unless he is a Catholic and has to believe whatever the Church says, or he is a professional philosopher with a PhD thesis to defend, or he is a minister whose livelihood depends on being orthodox.
NB Your correspondent Daniel Vecchio falls into the first two of those three. I have had lengthy discussions with him on the FB Unbelievable forum. He posted a proof that Jesus is God, to acclamation from the Catholics there. But he blocked me when I pointed out that his ‘proof’ rests upon an obvious equivocation in the meaning of ‘Lord’ (‘Lord’ in the sense of ‘YHWH’ vs ‘Lord’ in ordinary use).
For such people, who are presumably sane and obviously rational, objections like yours will have no effect, because they have vested interest in defending, and indeed defining, the orthodox belief system.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by David Kemball-Cook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203445 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:25:06 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203445 Dale. My second point on Acts is standalone, because it relates to the requirements for NT salvation. If it is essential to believe that Jesus is God to be saved, then Jesus’ deity should have been proclaimed in EVERY preaching. But it is not proclaimed in ANY preaching … I asked Rob Bowman on this (on your FB forum), and he said that the deity of Christ would have been explained to converts after conversion, and anyone who did not agree with it would have been expelled. I then asked him what was the evidence for these astounding claims, and he did not reply.

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Comment on podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation by David Kemball-Cook http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-189-the-unfinished-business-of-the-reformation/#comment-203444 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:24:14 +0000 http://trinities.org/blog/?p=39203#comment-203444 thanks Dale. My first point was about actual teaching, as opposed to ‘mentioning’. Where does Paul, over the course of several chapters, actually argue for the Trinity / deity of Christ? Where does he deal with Jewish objections to either doctrine, perhaps by citing the OT (‘and so you see that the prophets foretold that the Messiah must also be YHWH’)? Where does he draw explicit conclusion that YHWH is three / the Messiah must be YHWH?

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