Dale Tuggy

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

11 Comments

  1. Andrew Graham
    November 13, 2016 @ 2:19 am

    Rom 11:36 and ‘di’- Refuting Rob Bowman!

    Extract from my Essays:

    By – Andrew Graham, September 19, 2013

    Cause and Effect?

    In Rev 3:14 and Prov 8:22 LXX we see the term “arche” followed by the genitive expression “of” i.e. “of God”, this always denotes the beginning or start of an action; Trinitarians have tried to avoid the natural conclusion of such an action and that is, the object of the act or action had a start, a beginning…in our case, the son of God represents the object and the action is brought about by another; it is a matter of Cause and Effect, an ‘effect’ cannot, exist or bring itself about, or into existence, it needs a cause; the cause in this case is the God of Jesus Christ, the Father, who is the Efficient Cause, the Original Cause, the Final Cause, who is Eternal; as a result of an Original Action something was brought about, into existence and that was “the Word”; he was never (as Trinitarians claim) eternal along with the Father, as that would mean that the son is also an Original Cause, Efficient Cause, also the Final Cause, but the bible clearly shows that there is only one Original Cause…the Father, as the bible clearly shows that the son was brought into existence by the Original Cause… as Jesus himself said in the gospel of John “I live because of the Father”, in other words the term “because” is a synonym for “reason” i.e. the Father, the Efficient Cause… is the “reason” (or the ‘be-cause’) for the son’s existence, the Father made this “effect” (the son) the instrument of his divine will and brought about a second action, but this time the Father did not bring this second action about himself directly, as at the first, he empowered his son to bring about the second action, “all things were through the son”, the son is not a co-creator, but merely the instrument of the Original Cause in order that again, the divine will should be executed…!

    This maybe difficult for some to grasp, but the biblical facts are undeniable, the son is the Effect because of the Cause, when “di” is applied to the son it is in an instrumental way, the son, it could be said, is the ‘instrumental cause’ not the Final, or Efficient Cause and this is what Trinitarians miss, by and large!

    In Rom 11:36 (see also, Heb 2:10, where “di” is used of God) we read;

    “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” NIV

    Notice that the preposition “di” (through) is used of the Father, just as it is used of the Son, this could be argued by Trinitarians that it shows that both the Father and the Son are both Creators, therefore, making the Son God along with the Father, but this would be a serious mistake; below is the original Greek of Rom 11:36:

    “??? ?? ????? ??? ??’ ????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ????? ???? ? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ????.”
    “?? (ek) = from/out of and “??” (di) = through?

    The terms (ek) and (di)?

    The term (di) is used of both Father and Son, but only (ek) is used of the Father, but when (di) is used of the Son it has its normal meaning of “through” and carries no Causal sense, but the sense of ‘Agency, Instrumentality’ and also carries a passive connotation, whereas, when (di) I used of the Father, it does not carry its normal sense, as when applied to the Son, but becomes more of (what I would call a ‘heightened or emphatic) ‘di’ in that it now takes on a Causal connotation and takes on the sense of “hupo” an intensive (di) making it Active, rather than Passive i.e. the Father is the [Origin, Original Source] Active, Final Causality and the Son, ‘through’ whom the Final Cause, *causes* to become i.e. the Son is the medium, mediator, agent, instrument, through whom the Father executes His will and purposes!

    Repeatedly, Trinitarians either ignore or are totally oblivious to the above, they cannot have it both ways and it is seen continuously in the quality of their answers, replies; Trinitarians rattle of scriptures, as if there is no tomorrow, but with little understanding or consideration for what the original Greek I saying, and because of this ignorance, bias and limitation, they take it for granted, that when “di” is applied to both Father and Son, such a term carries the same weight for both, but they are sadly mistaken and not only that, if the Son was a co-Creator along with the Father and “di” was applied to the Son in the exact same way as to the Father, then why is there not a single place in the original Greek, where “ek” (from, out of) is used of the Son, just as it is used of the Father and in the insistence of the Trinitarians, they have much explaining to do!

    The son is the ‘instrumental cause’ NOT the Final or Efficient Cause, as such denotes Origin, Original Source, where as agency or instrumentality does not, thus the difference when “di” is applied to Father and Son!

    Julius R. Mantey and H. E. Dana

    Extract from their, “A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament”

    “…although “dia” is occasionally used to express agency, it does not approximate the full strength of “hupo”. This distinction throws light on Jesus’ relation to the creation, implying that Jesus was not the absolute independent creator, but rather the intermediate agent in creation…John 1:3; Heb 1:2…The Passive With Intermediate Agent. When the agent is the medium through which the original cause has effected the action expressed by the passive verb, the regular construction is “dia” with the genitive…All things were made through him. John 1:3 Here God the Father is thought of as the original cause of creation, and the “logos” as the intermediate agent.”

    Here, these Trinitarian scholars of repute are diametrically opposed to Bowman, even though they themselves are Trinitarians! The son is not a co-creator as Bowman claims; clearly, Bowman hasn’t got a leg to stand on!

    Also, another nail in the Bowman Trinity coffin are the words of Origen, and like Mantey and Dana, show Bowman up for his theological bias and agenda!!

    Origen in his “Commentary of John” Book 2 chapter 6, page 328, says regarding – Father and Son:

    “…the apostle Paul says in the epistle to the Hebrews:, whom he made the heir of all things,
    “At the end of the days he spoke to us in his son, whom he made the heir of all things, ‘through whom’ also he made the ages,” showing us that God made the ages through his son, the “through whom” belonging, when the ages were being made to the Only-begotten. Thus, if all things were made, as in this passage also, ‘through’ [dia] the Logos, then they were not made ‘by’ [hupo] the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than he. And who else could this be but the Father?””

    No wonder Trinitarians do not want to quote this bit of Origen!

    NB

    The preposition “di” is a contraction, a reduction from “dia” and the “a” is dropped from “dia” when “dia” precedes a word with starting with a vowel and other grammatical concerns, but the “a” in “dia” is kept in place, not dropped, when it precedes an Name, such as Apollos, Andrew… there is no contraction!

    The Trinitarian Paradox of John 6:57?

    Just a small point here, Jesus says in John 6:57, “I exist because of the Father”, this creates a paradox for the Trinitarian! How so, the Trinitarian may ask?

    When Jesus spoke those words, recorded by John, he was then, as a man, but, not only a man, but, supposedly, “the God/man” and as such, had a unified nature of the human and the divine, the divine, supposedly being eternal; here Jesus is speaking with a unified nature and as one person with one single centre of consciousness, more than such would then constitute more than one person, so, how can Jesus, as a person with one unified nature, the “hypostasis” say that his existence is because of another person, when the divine nature is merged with the human, the two being indistinguishable and cannot be separated, so, both have to be treated as one nature, so what befalls one, of necessity has to befall the other, lest the natures be separated, and thus separating the human from the divine, disintegrating into two separate persons with each having a single centre of consciousness!

    Also, when on earth, as a man with a unified nature, which nature prayed to God, as Jesus most certainly prayed to God, but, is it possible to separate the unified nature?

    When Jesus prayed to God, by default and of necessity, because of he unified nature doctrine of Trinitarians, the divine nature…prayed also to God, but, seeing as the divine nature is already existing as God (and there can be only one God) it ends up with the ridiculous and contradictory situation, where, God prayed to himself on behalf of himself!

  2. Paul Peterson
    November 3, 2016 @ 10:49 pm

    My favorite line: “So [William Lane Craig] doesn’t just do the fashionable thing. He doesn’t just declare [the Trinity] a wonderful mystery, then kick up a big cloud of dust, and make his escape.” 🙂

    • Jimspace
      November 4, 2016 @ 9:04 am

      Yes that was awesome. I agree. Too many defenders of the Trinity have a secret trap door.

  3. Jimspace
    November 3, 2016 @ 9:17 am

    This was really interesting. I especially enjoyed your refutation of the “love” argument (7:38-11:00) I hear frequently from Trinitarian apologists like Hugh Ross and Kenneth Samples from Reasons to Believe[1] and William Lane Craig. The way they argue from divine love just tortures my brain, and what makes it worse is that they think they’ve just handed the Patritheists[2] a resounding defeat, when all they’ve actually accomplished is expose their unfailing commitment to sustaining their preconceived Trinitarian theology.

    Footnotes:
    [1] Reasons to Believe (reasons.org) is an Old-Earth Creationist think tank.
    [2] Patritheism is a neologism for “Father is Almighty God alone.”

    • Dale Tuggy
      November 12, 2016 @ 9:27 am

      “tortures my brain” LOL. Me too. I have some other work on this too, that I’ve not had time to publish. Parody arguments, basically, howlers that seem to have the same structure as their arguments.

      “Patritheists”? That’s new to me! I guess that’s on OK term, but “biblical monotheism” is at leasts as good.

      • Jimspace
        November 12, 2016 @ 3:19 pm

        Hey thanks for your reply. I prefer “biblical monotheism” too, but Trinitarianism also claims that title. Unitarianism is good for specifying exactly what one means, but I find that “Patritheism” (a word I found on the Internet) specifically and informatively nails what I’m trying to communicate.

        Also, if you want to torture your brain, check this out: http://www.reasons.org/articles/the-triune-god-is-love

        Anyway, I look forward to your future expose of the “love” argument.

        • Andrew Graham
          November 13, 2016 @ 1:48 am

          Hi Jim,

          ” I prefer “biblical monotheism” too, but Trinitarianism also claims that title.”

          The way I see it is this:

          The problems I see with the Trinitarian position, is that, their view of monotheism, is akin to that of Gregory of Nyssa, where he reflects in his belief, Arianism and Modalistsic Sabellianism, also linked to Jewish monotheism and then, mixed in with pagan polytheism, they claim to be monotheistic, but, theirs is a patch/fix for the muddle Athanasius left after Nicaea; Gregory readily admits:

          “From the Jewish doctrine, then, they unity of the Divine nature has been retained: from Hellenism the distinction into hypostasis”

          So, here we see, that the unity of God is still in tact, because, Gregory recognises, that the monotheism originating with the Jews is still accepted, thus the divine nature is one nature, not more than one, but, then Trinitarianism, in order to posit its three persons in the one “ousia”, have to resort to philosophy, the three Gregorys could not agree with the definition of “ousia”, this is seen in that, Basil adopted the Stoic definition of “ousia”, whereas, Gregory adopted the Aristotelian definition of “ousia”, this was the definition adopted at Nicaea in 325 CE, thus, proto-Trinitarians and Trinitarians (proper) such as Athanasius and Gregory of Nyssa abandoned scripture, though they paid lip service to it and exchanged it for Greek philosophical technical jargon, hence nominal Christians ended up with “hypostasis”, three persons subsisting in the same “ousia”, not a bible teaching, by the end ogf the 4th century and afterwards, the form of Christianity that existed was not a shadow of first century CE Christianity, it was more pagan based, dressed up by intellectuals to look Christian to the masses, the minority decided for the vast majority, such was 99% Plato and 1% Christ and today, nothing much has changed since then!

          Regards

  4. OddintheTruth
    November 2, 2016 @ 9:47 am

    Hi Dale,

    Appreciate the positive comments about WLC’s view of Divine Simplicity and Eternal Generation. And likewise, though you didn’t mention it specifically, his opposition to the traditional view that the “will” is of the 1 nature and not the 3 persons.

    I just don’t see how the Bible supports any of these traditional views. Via Twitter and email I seek explanation from guys like Sanders and Stamps. They are super nice and cooperative, but at the end of the day they appeal to tradition and its age in years.

    I do wish there was more debate/dialogue between that camp, Craig and you. I would really like to see you organize a series of friendly debate podcasts around these issues (like Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable). It would be of great service to folks who are really trying to think through these things. At the end of the day, assertions from all sides need to be confronted with opposition in a real time format. This always helps reveal presuppositions, weaknesses and strengths.

    You mentioned your book. Surely full of critiques, I suspect. Why not get WLC on and have a series of discussions about your critique of his view? Why not get Hasker involved? Why not get Sanders or Stamps involved? Or some of the new guys like Bates or Tilling?…I get excited at the thought – how nerdy!

    • Rivers
      November 3, 2016 @ 4:45 pm

      OddintheTruth,

      Good suggestions.

      I also think there needs to be more dialogue between different camps, as well as different perspectives within the same camp. This is a good way for people to hear all of the evidence so that they can sort it out most effectively. I’m glad to see more use of the ZOOM technology recently to bring different people into the discussion.

      Even among scholars there is a tendency to access and process limited information. A theory is only as good as it can account for all of the evidence and withstand the best critical evaluation. Like the writer of Proverbs said … “the first to plead his case sounds right, until another comes and examines him” (Proverb 18:17).

    • Dale Tuggy
      November 12, 2016 @ 9:37 am

      “they appeal to tradition and its age in years” That is huge. What a lot of people are hung up on is the ideas that *surely* God wouldn’t let the mainstream go wrong on these issues for so long. My reply is: look at the history of the Jews, and look at catholic history, starting about at whatever point you (Protestants) get off the council train!

      I would love to debate someone good like Craig. I haven’t thought of trying to do a debate podcast episode… I have edited some other debates for podcasts a few times though. I think you need the classic format, with enough time to pursue issues in depth. I think Just Brierley does a great job with his radio show, but I’m not sure I can handle that very truncated sort of debating…

      The problem with debating is that evangelical apologists are loathe to admit this sort of disagreement in the Christian camp. They want to cast themselves as asserting what is *obviously* implied by the Bible, as against cultists, atheists, “skeptics,” and Muslims. So they tend, at least publicly, to ignore people like me. Our very existence shows that their views are simply not *obvious* implications of the Bible, but in fact are products of later catholic tradition.

      *Maybe* the book when it comes out will stimulate them to think biblical unitarian views are more than a kook fringe, and are worth addressing. But I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Raymond NAVARRO
    October 31, 2016 @ 6:26 pm

    Dale,

    Thanks for taking time to answer listener questions. Not only does it help to clarify concerns some might have, but it also helps to create a sense of community; and a sense of community is always helpful when you’re a member of a minority perspective; especially when the majority considers that perspective Hell bound.