Over at Parchment and Pen, there’s a six week, six-installment debate starting over “the” doctrine of the Trinity. That is, what I’ve elsewhere called the orthodox formulas – that each Person “is” God, that there’s only one god, and that the three Persons differ.
Here at trinities, we’ll offer summaries and philosophical commentary on each round.
Feel free to weigh in with your views on who, if anyone, wins each stage of the debate. As always, your initial comment must be approved. But then following comments – if you utilize the same self-identifying info – should sail through automatically.
In one corner, is experienced evangelical author, apologist, and debater Rob Bowman. In the other, Christadelphian pastor and “biblical unitarian” David Burke. The Christadelphians are an interesting group with an interesting history that we don’t have time to go into here. Let it suffice to say that like many non-mainstream Christian groups, they hold that the Bible, properly understood, doesn’t really support the above formulas. In short, they are unitarians, and their group arose in mid-19th c. America.
For the purposes of this debate, we will be focusing exclusively on defending our respective theologies biblically. This means that in our debate we are not supposed to address concerns about the development of each other’s theology in church history. We are also not supposed to discuss philosophical arguments for or against each other’s theological model. These historical and philosophical issues may be worthy of attention in their own right, but they are not germane to this debate.
(NOTE: After I posted the above comment, Dave emailed me to let me know that he had not understood the ground rules of the debate to preclude reference to historical or philosophical issues. We discussed this question and agreed to move forward despite our differences over it.) (emphases added)
When I read the above, I thought, uh oh. How are they going to keep “philosophical” moves out of the game? Will they not be evaluating arguments? Will there be no differences regarding the epistemic status of “mysteries”? If they got beyond proof-texting, then won’t they of necessity be employing non-biblical premises?