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.

13 Comments

  1. John Thomas
    December 6, 2017 @ 4:35 pm

    I don’t agree with the objections brought up by Corby during the last part of the interview. I don’t see why Jesus can be a man and still be able to act righteously if he was filled with Holy Spirit and hence empowered by Holy Spirit to do so?

    Reply

    • JV
      December 6, 2017 @ 5:09 pm

      To be clear, scripturally, Jesus received Holy Spirit at his baptism. That empowered him as God’s agent. But he remained perfect, sinless up till that point.

      Reply

      • Rivers
        December 11, 2017 @ 3:44 pm

        JV,

        How do you define “sinless” and “perfect”? Do you think he never did anything wrong as a child when he may not have been aware of good and evil?

        We know little or nothing about Jesus prior to his baptism.

        Rivers 🙂

        Reply

        • JV
          December 11, 2017 @ 7:39 pm

          Good question and to define sin on a message board is perhaps, a sin.

          The word sin in Hebrew and Greek seemingly mean a “miss”, that is missing the mark or not reaching a goal. There is obviously more to be said about it and scriptures, which I’d love to discuss with you.

          But I can only take the scriptures at their word. 1 Peter 2:22 confesses that Jesus “did no sin”. And if there were no sin till Adam sinned, according to Romans 5, obviously Adam was sinless. I like perfect. If sinless isn’t perfect, what is?
          How do you define sin? Do you not think Jesus was sinless?

          Reply

          • Rivers
            December 12, 2017 @ 10:39 am

            JV,

            In the context of 1 Peter 2:22, the quotation about Jesus “who committed no sin” is referring to his suffering when he was falsely accused and put to death. I’m not sure it should be taken as an absolute statement regarding his entire life. Moreover, the apostles only knew Jesus as an adult.

            As far as Paul was concerned, “sin” came from “the knowledge of the Law” (Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7) and from being “under the Law” (Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:56; cf. James 2:9). He also seemed to understand that “conscience” was involved in knowing what is right and wrong according to the Law (Romans 2:15).

            It also seems that the Jews understood that it was possible to have “a perfectly clear conscience” (Acts 23:1) and to “always have a blameless conscience” (Act 24:16) and to be “blameless according to the Law” (Philippians 3:3).

            Modern Christians seem more introspective about “sin” and “conscience” and don’t typically speak of accountability in this way. Thus, I often wonder if the ancient Hebrews would have expected Jesus (a human being “beset with weakness”, Hebrews 5:2) to be held to the absolute standard that we now associate with “perfection.”

            Reply

            • JV
              December 12, 2017 @ 7:40 pm

              Rivers,

              According to 1 Peter 2:24, whose sins did Jesus die with? Ours or his?

              What is your opinion of Luke 1:30-35? Specifically, what do you think is meant by the term “holy” in describing Jesus?

              Lastly, perfection is certainly a relative term. For man, it would have to be relative to the human sphere. For instance, I might tell my wife that her dress looks perfect. But is it? In the sense that I meant it, yes. But we live in a fallen world. Was Adam perfect before he and Eve ate of the fruit?

              Reply

              • Rivers
                December 13, 2017 @ 9:28 am

                JV,

                My understanding of 1 Peter 2:24 is that Peter was referring to Jesus “bearing sins in his body” in terms of being a sacrificial offering for sins (cf. Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:28).

                It don’t think of it in terms of literal “sins” of others being somehow laid upon Jesus himself. To “bear sins” can simply mean “offering a sacrifice”

                Luke 1:30-35 is explaining that Jesus would be born of Mary in order to become the king of Israel. How do you think this relates to 1 Peter 2:24?

                Reply

                • JV
                  December 14, 2017 @ 11:36 am

                  I’m trying to understand your position.

                  What is your opinion of Luke 1:30-35? Specifically, what do you think is meant by the term “holy” in describing Jesus? This is more in relation to 1 Peter 2:22.

                  You mentioned that according to Paul, sin came from “the knowledge of the Law” and from being “under the Law”. I would suggest he realized that sin was in the World, but “was not accounted sin, because there was no law.” (Rom 5:13)

                  Are you suggesting Hebrews 5:2 applies to Jesus, or you think the Jews thought that?

                  Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned”. So, was Jesus a sinner? With or without law? You know my position. What is yours?

                  Reply

  2. kierkegaard71
    December 6, 2017 @ 5:18 am

    I am reminded of the podcasts with Robert Hach a few weeks ago. Could the discussion on the relevance of the “address” of Jesus to his ability to be a savior be an indication of an overly mechanistic view of atonement which Robert Hach criticized? Should we be understanding salvation as the result of a formula in which merit is mathematically debited from Christ’s divine account or as the result of a saving narrative in which God’s will for humanity is played out in the victory of Christ over the grave?

    Reply

    • Benjamin Scott
      December 11, 2017 @ 7:20 pm

      I agree. The whole “address” issue was based on philosophical, not Biblical instincts. Paul has been read in such odd philosophical ways for so long that people can’t really read him naturally anymore. It’s like a theological disease. Corby couldn’t even define it, let alone escape it. Dale kept trying to flush it out in one way or another in concrete terms, but it was so amorphous that it kept moving around. The instincts were all wrong on Corby’s side and he was very sincere and honest. It was making me sick to witness because of how much he is missing of the gospel, however.

      I’d say that if Jesus wasn’t born at the wrong address then how did he have the ability to move himself and all the rest of us to a new address through the power of the Holy Spirit, through his death, burial and resurrection? The wrong address is the address that is irrelevant to the rest of us!!! So in the end, the belief that only God could directly bring us redemption and actually couldn’t do it through a human agent, is a total cop out on the gospel itself and God’s ability to “get through” to humanity, which requires this very thing. If Jesus wasn’t purely and simply a man then the redemption he brought was not genuine and we don’t participate in it since that’s all we are. These are anthropological questions. Questions of human destiny and design. When you read Jeremiah 8 you see God’s overarching frustration that humanity are under defining themselves and acting corruptly when they were not created for this. They don’t have the imagination to see their true image bearing qualities and responsibilities to follow after the ways of God. What is a man and what is reasonably expected of a man?

      This whole discussion cuts to the heart of what is generally wrong with Trinitarian theology on a large scale in its loss of the human King, Messiah. It deprives God of the value and functionality of His own creation and His ability to show that what He initially created and saw that it was “good” is true. It gives too much to Satan or too little to creaturely freedom and responsibility and our ability to overcome in our Savior. In the Bible we learn that because of Jesus, God’s creative act succeeds in bringing in God’s kingdom and eventual total triumph. By contrast, Trinitarian theology tends to suffer from a sort of fatalistic instinct that under defines creation and creature and over defines God and the need for God to do more than He originally did in creation and giving of His presence to us. It is also so abstract that it teaches people to speculate in irrational instinct instead of just see life in straight forward and common sense ways.

      I know this is somewhat vague. I can definitely say that my testimony is that a belief in Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God has freed me to follow him in freedom as a man. A man following a man. He was exalted to the highest place and sits at God’s right hand. I believe the same offer is held out to us, to sit next to Him as well.

      Ben

      Reply

  3. JV
    December 5, 2017 @ 8:47 pm

    I appreciated this question, “If Christ was “just a man,” mustn’t he have been “under sin,” and so be unable to be our savior?”

    It seems more times than not, Trinitarians just assume that only “God” could be the savior, because only he could be sinless. And to make Jesus not “fully God”, but a man, he would have to fall into the category of a sinner. But this is not what the Bible says, in fact, it’s just the opposite. We appreciate the fact that Jesus could be “just a man” according to Hebrews 4:15 which reads “For we have not a High-priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; but one having been tried in all respects like ourselves, apart from Sin.”

    It comes down to justice. Adam was a perfect man who did not obey and thus sin came into the world, as Dale brought out. But he was perfect at the start. So, God’s justice demands a life for a life. In this case, to redeem mankind, it would have to be a perfect life for a perfect life. If Jesus were a sinful man like us, disobedient, there is no redemption. If Jesus were “fully God”, the scales of justice would be not equal, balanced. His life would be far more valuable than Adam’s. But Jesus being a perfect man, who died obedient, sinless, we can have life. “For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead came through a man too. For as by Adam all are dying, so too by the Christ all are going to be brought to life”.

    I really liked Corby’s honesty. I hope he spends more time thinking on this issue, especially the second Adam portion.

    Reply

    • Rivers
      December 6, 2017 @ 10:36 am

      JV,

      Good points.

      Another consideration is that there is some ambiguity as to what constituted being being “sinless” in the context of the ancient Hebrew religion. For example, Paul didn’t hesitate to describe himself as “blameless according to the righteousness of the Law” and he yet sought a “surpassing value in knowing Christ” (Philippians 3:6-8).

      Most modern Christians would consider it a “sin” to make this kind of claim to be “found blameless”. Thus, it may be that we have a different concept of accountability that causes some to think that Jesus had to be supernatural in order to qualify for redemption.

      Rivers 🙂

      Reply

  4. Troy Salinger
    December 5, 2017 @ 6:02 pm

    Hi Dale, I love your podcast and look forward to it each week. I listened to part 2 of your interview with Corby Amos twice. I appreciate his questioning mind regarding the Trinity but I got the feeling he really wants it to be true, and he seems to be reading scripture through the ‘Jesus is God’ lens. I was reading on his website part 4 of “Exploration of the Trinity” and he made an astounding statement that proves the point. He’s discussing Paul ‘s use of “mediator” in Gal.3:19-20 as to whether it refers to Moses or an angel or the Angel of the LORD. Under #2 of three problems with it being Moses he says the following: “It also may be significant that the only other time Paul uses the word (mediator)… He does not refer to a human.” He then quotes 1Tim.2:5 — For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man (i.e. human) Christ Jesus. WOW! If that is not the epitome of eisegesis.
    Hey Dale, if you get some time please check out my blog: letthetruthcomeoutblog.wordpress.com
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Reply

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