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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mailvox: 25 reasons for Trinitarian skepticism

PB actually emailed me 100 reasons why he feels my skepticism concerning the Trinity doctrine are correct. But the first 25 are more than sufficient for the purposes of discussion.
1. Because Jesus Christ is represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father as one man is distinct from another. “It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me” (John 8:17 and 18).
2. Because he not only never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who sent him, as God, and as the only God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). This language our Saviour used in solemn prayer to “his Father and our Father.”
3. Because he is declared, in unnumbered instances, to be the Son of God. “And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Can a son be coeval(the same age) and the same with his father?
4. Because he is styled the Christ, or the anointed of God. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38). Is he who anoints the same with him who is anointed?
5. Because he is represented as a Priest. “Consider the ….High-Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 3:1). The office of a priest is to minister to God. Christ, then, as a priest, cannot be God.
6. Because Christ is Mediator between the “One God,” and “men.” “For there is one God, and oneMediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
7. Because, as the Saviour of men, he was sent by the Father. “And we have seen and do testify thatthe Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14).
8. Because he is an Apostle appointed by God. “Consider the Apostle,...Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him” (Heb. 3:1 and 2).
9. Because Christ is represented as our intercessor with God. “It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34).
10. Because the head of Christ is God. “I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).
11. Because, in the same sense in which we are said to belong to Christ, Christ is said to belong to God. “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:23).
12. Because Christ says, “My father is greater than all” (John 10:29). Is not the father, then greater than the son?
13. Because he affirms, in another connection, and without the least qualification, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
14. Because he virtually denies that he is God, when he exclaims, “Why callest thou me Good? There is none good but one, that is God” (Matt. 19:17).
15. Because our Saviour, after having said, “I and my Father are one,” gives his disciples distinctly to understand that he did not mean one substance, equal in power and glory, but one only in affection and design, as clearly appears from the prayer he offers to his Father in their behalf, --“that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).
16. Because the Father is called the God of Christ as he is the God of Christians. Jesus saith unto her, “....Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my Godand your God” (John 20:17).
17. Because an Apostle says of God, in distinction from the “Lord Jesus Christ,” that He is the “onlyPotentate,” and that He “only hath immortality” (1 Tim. 6:15 and 16).
18. Because it is the express declaration of the same Apostle, that the Father is the one God, and there is none other. “Though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:5 and 6).
19. Because the power which Christ possessed was, as him affirmed, given to him. “All power isgiven unto me” (Matt. 28:18).
20. Because he positively denies himself to be the author of his miraculous works, but refers them to the Father, or the holy spirit of God. “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John14:10). “If I cast out devils by the spirit of God” (Matt. 12:28).
21. Because he distinctly states, that these works bear witness, not to his own power, but that theFather had sent him (John 5:36).
22. Because he expressly affirms that the works were done, not in his own name, but in his Father’s name (John 10:25).
23. Because he asserts, that “him hath God the Father sealed,” i.e. to God the Father he was indebted for his credentials (John 6:27).
24. Because he declares that he is not the author of his own doctrine. “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16 and 17).
25. Because he represents himself as having been instructed by the Father. “As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).

Regardless of what your opinion on of the matter is, I think it is important to keep in mind that Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status. It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith, not an ability to see more clearly through the glass than others. Jesus, you may recall, was never overly impressed with intellectual ability.

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310 Comments:

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Blogger Heuristics October 23, 2013 4:12 AM  

This list is in very large need of first stating the doctrine of the trinity and then for every item saying what part of the definition is argued against.

An example of a definition of the trinity:
The Father is not the Son, The Son is not the Holy Ghost.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost share a common nature, that nature is God.
The Father is God, The Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God (for they share that nature).
The Son has two natures, one is God the other is Human.
The Son was once incarnated as human.
The three people in the trinity are ordered in a hierarchical relationship.



Anonymous Red October 23, 2013 4:16 AM  

The trinity exists to prevent heretics from claiming to be the son of god. It's just a tool to suppress heresy.

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 4:20 AM  

It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith, not an ability to see more clearly through the glass than others.


I have often wondered how and to what extent the holding of false doctrine affected a person's relationship to God. Can a person still worship in spirit and in truth ?

Every error hides some truth of God's character and plan.


Isaiah 29
13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 4:45 AM  

Vox, at a glance, it looks like those 25 arguments are just the same basic objection over and over - how can Jesus be God when He's obviously distinct from God the Father?

And no Trinitarian claims that Jesus and the Father are the same person. That would be the heresy known as Modalism, or Sabellianism. Go find a "Oneness Pentecostal" and throw those arguments at him - he'll probably have to dance like you were shooting bullets at his feet.

A Trinitarian has no problem. The Father and the Son are different parts of the same being, doing different things within creation.
Jesus is both Divine and human. As a human, He received power and authority from God the Father. While on earth, and even now, He is not exercising His own innate power which is His from all eternity, but acting with power delegated to Him as a perfected human being.
(This was something that John Calvin got wrong, btw. Calvin taught that the miracles Jesus performed while on earth were done by His own innate power, while the Bible is plain that it was the power of the Holy Spirit, operating through Jesus' human nature, due to His perfect obedience. The practical difference this makes? We as believers can now receive and operate in that same power, despite ourselves being only created beings. )

Anonymous Difster October 23, 2013 4:46 AM  

God said that man was created in His image. It should be obvious to conclude that it doesn't mean we "look like" God.

We have a body, a mind and a spirit. Three distinct parts but all necessary to make one. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit together all make God.

I posit that our understanding of God, being sorely lacking, is the cause for this confusion.

All that being said, we can only know the Father if we know the Son. So we approach the Son and are born again. That is all we really need to understand regarding our salvation.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 4:49 AM  

zen0 October 23, 2013 4:20 AM
I have often wondered how and to what extent the holding of false doctrine affected a person's relationship to God. Can a person still worship in spirit and in truth ?

Every error hides some truth of God's character and plan.


This is true. But happily, it doesn't depend on us with our fallible fallen minds getting it perfectly correct. God is the one reaching out to us, not sitting there waiting for us to grope our way in the dark to Him.

Its in Spirit and in truth.

Blogger CitizenOfZion October 23, 2013 4:54 AM  

Vox:

The clearest proof of Jesus' Deity (being God) in the days of His flesh (on earth), is seen in the fact that He received worship. Seven times in the gospels we are told that He accepted the worship that men offered Him (Matt.8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; Mk.5:6; Jn.9:38).
In at least two of these instances, the word "worship" is used in all translations.
God's angels and God-fearing men do not accept worship (Acts 10:25,26; Rev. 19:10, 22:8,9).

Some instances where writers of scriptures referred to Jesus as God:
Paul: "... to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28).
Paul: "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus " (Titus 2:13).
Peter: "...by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (2 Pet 1:1)

Anonymous p-dawg October 23, 2013 4:56 AM  

@Difster: Please prove that everyone has a spirit. The original definition of the word "soul", found in Scripture, simply means "person" or "human being". From where do you derive the existence of an innate spirit in each person?

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 5:17 AM  

p-dawg October 23, 2013 4:56 AM

@Difster: Please prove that everyone has a spirit. The original definition of the word "soul", found in Scripture, simply means "person" or "human being". From where do you derive the existence of an innate spirit in each person?


I'm not Difster, but here's a nice Bible verse for you:

1 Corinthians 2:11

In the NKJV: For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

In the NLV: Who can know the things about a man, except a man’s own spirit that is in him? It is the same with God. Who can understand Him except the Holy Spirit?

Blogger River Cocytus October 23, 2013 5:49 AM  

This again. Come on, Vox.

This is not one of those things worth being insistent about.

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 5:51 AM  

Only in religion it seems do people maintain that using incorrect data will lead one to the correct result.

Why would Jesus warn to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees if doctrinal exactitude was not important?

Anonymous Difster October 23, 2013 5:56 AM  

Why would Jesus warn to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees if doctrinal exactitude was not important?

Because there is a difference between ignorance and fraud. It's impossible for us to have perfect doctrine.

Blogger River Cocytus October 23, 2013 6:02 AM  

Seriously though. As high priest he cannot also be God? So you're going to tell me he can't be message and messenger, the one who sacrifices and the sacrifice offered, the shepherd and the lamb of God, the Alpha AND the Omega?

Look if you're a Mormon or something I'd understand the deviation, but really, man. Arius was 'skeptical' of the divinity of Christ. By which I mean, he just simply didn't believe. Skepticism indicates a willingness to go either way based on evidence, not a disbelief masked by 'uncertainty'.

Not only is the Trinity the traditional doctrine held from the Church's beginning, it is also an important philosophical foundation. Given that there is no analogia entis, no analogy of being going from man to God, we either have these things revealed or we do not know them. 'As above, so below' is not, despite what some Hindus might aver, bi-directional. You can't take human relations and then use them to understand God. You can, however, given the revelation of God, especially the Trinity, understand a great deal about the cosmos.

I would guess your insistent non-Trinitarianism is the source of certain of your more persistent foibles. I guess we can't agree on everything -- however, if there was something I would prefer to agree on and that alone, it would be about the nature of God.

My position has already been elucidated in the previous thread, I will not be reiterating it.

Blogger Duke of Earl October 23, 2013 6:06 AM  

FrankNorman answered succinctly. Trinitarians do not claim that the Father and Jesus are the same persons. They claim that the Father and Jesus share in the same divine nature, and do this because whilst acknowledging Jesus as equal to the Father, the Jewish founders of our faith remained strict monotheists.

Philo, in his discussion of the Logos of God, described the three who came to Abraham, as the first the Father of the Universe, the other two those most ancient powers, his creative power and his royal power. Philo also refers to Wisdom (Logos) as God's firstborn son. Remember John's "through him all things were made" referring to the Word (Logos) of God.

No one would doubt that Philo was a Jewish monotheist, yet his reconstruction of Abraham's three visitors (whether technically correct or not) is one entirely congenial to a trinitarian reading.

Anonymous p-dawg October 23, 2013 6:12 AM  

@FrankNorman: You should not trust either of those translations. I recommend finding a Geneva translation if you can, or at the very least get a Strong's.

In the Geneva version, "spirit" is "wit of a man's mind". Does that sound like some eerie ephemeral eternal soul? No. It's your mind. Your reason. Which I never contested that we have. But please let me know which word, in the original, you are translating to "spirit", and maybe we can get a better ruling on the meaning.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 6:14 AM  

I remember that without looking, having fought this over with Jehovah's Witnesses dozens and dozens of time. It is pneuma in that verse.

Anonymous Samuel Scott October 23, 2013 6:19 AM  

Just for the record: The phrase "son of God" (ben Elohim) in context in Second Temple Judaism at the time merely meant a "holy person." Any righteous person could be termed a "son of God."

It was only later that nascent Christianity turned the phrase into something else entirely. As a result, Judaism pretty much dropped the term entirely.

As you were. :)

Blogger Hostem Populi October 23, 2013 6:22 AM  

Getting the popcorn ready for Pox Vay's brilliant rebuttal to this heresy.

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 23, 2013 6:24 AM  

These discussions are always interesting to have, but as Carlyle famously said, theology is not religion. Here is religion.

"Be not afraid."
"Have faith in God and faith in Me."
"Love one another as I have loved you."
"Blessed are the peacemakers."*

That sort of thing.

* -- please, no jokes about Colts or cheese.

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 23, 2013 6:30 AM  

@Samuel Scott -- that may be so, and I don't doubt your clarification, but when Jesus was brought before the council and questioned after his arrest, the high priest asked him what he meant by this stuff, and when Jesus gave his reply, the high priest rent his garment in outrage, implying Jesus had uttered an abomination. So there was something going on there. But Jesus generally referred to himself as the Son of Man. Does that phrase have particular resonances in Second Temple times?

There's also the matter of Jesus' response to Peter's sudden revelation when asked "Who do you say that I am?"

Anonymous Beau October 23, 2013 6:42 AM  

Since we are discussing the term, it might help to present a definition. Here's one from R.A. Muller's Dictionary of Latin and Greek theological terms : drawn principally from Protestant scholastic theology.

Trinitas: Trinity; viz., the existence of God as one in essence (essentia, q.v.) and three in person (persona, q.v.). The doctrine of the Trinity arises out of the church’s reflection on the biblical declaration that God is one, but is known as Father, Son, and Spirit. The correlation of the way in which God is known through his self-revelation and the way in which God truly is in himself constitutes the necessary presupposition of true doctrine, i.e., of the truth of the revelation itself; therefore, the revelation that God is one and the revelation that God is three cannot be reduced to an eternal oneness and a temporal or economical threeness. Equally, the oneness cannot be defined in such a way that it ultimately abolishes the threeness, or the threeness in such a way that it ultimately abolishes the oneness. Trinity, therefore, is an attempt to avoid both a monadic oneness and a tritheistic view of God through the affirmation that God is one in essence and three in person. The terms used to elucidate this doctrine come from both the patristic and the medieval church.



Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 6:46 AM  

Markku October 23, 2013 6:14 AM

I remember that without looking, having fought this over with Jehovah's Witnesses dozens and dozens of time. It is pneuma in that verse.


It is indeed.
Anyone want to look?
Greek Text of 1 Corinthians chapter 2

And pneuma is not the same thing as your intellect - Paul draws a distinction between them in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 14.

Anonymous Samuel Scott October 23, 2013 6:46 AM  

scoobius,

that may be so, and I don't doubt your clarification, but when Jesus was brought before the council and questioned after his arrest, the high priest asked him what he meant by this stuff, and when Jesus gave his reply, the high priest rent his garment in outrage, implying Jesus had uttered an abomination. So there was something going on there. But Jesus generally referred to himself as the Son of Man. Does that phrase have particular resonances in Second Temple times?

There's also the matter of Jesus' response to Peter's sudden revelation when asked "Who do you say that I am?"


Now, this gets really interesting. In Hebrew, "son of man" literally is "ben adam" or son of Adam. In English, it translates to "human being" and commonly used today. So I can imagine Jesus telling the high priest and others, "Hey, I'm just a guy!" when he says he's the "son of man."

However, I cannot know for sure. Jesus and everyone spoke Aramaic. And the Christian Bible was first written, I think, in Greek. I know neither of those languages, so I honestly don't know.

The other thing to remember is the different contexts of the Gospels. Mark was written the earliest, probably (I think) just after the destruction of the Temple and is generally written most simply. John was written last, many decades later -- and is therefore the most theologically complex and written in a way that most-clearly shows a division between Judaism and nascent Christianity. Luke and Matthew were written in the middle.

So, each Gospel must be read in the context of what was going at the time. For example, I think Jesus refers to himself as "son of God" in one Gospel but "son of Man" in others. Bible scholars have been discussing this stuff for centuries, and I'm just trying to remember a college course I took on this topic many years ago. :)

Anonymous Samuel Scott October 23, 2013 6:47 AM  

Running some errands and getting back to work. I'll check out the thread later.

Blogger Rantor October 23, 2013 6:47 AM  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God , and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
(John 1:1)

Tells me that Christ is God. That Christ recognized God the Father as greater than he is clearly shown by the scriptures, but he did not deny his own godliness. Later in John he is quoted saying " before Abraham was born, I Am." The Jews wanted to stone him for that because it was clearly blasphemous to those who rejected Christ's deity.

Having not reviewed the Catholic Catechism on the Trinity, I cannot say that I agree or differ from it, but having a Protestant understanding of three persons/one God, I can accept that.

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 6:47 AM  

For some reason this reminds me of the debates about credit and debt.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 6:48 AM  

"Son of man" is simply a more poetic version of "man" in the Hebrew, but Jesus was probably making reference to:

Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

In other words, used it as a Messianic title.

Anonymous Bob Ramar October 23, 2013 6:50 AM  

Vox: You have got the right idea here. What most Christians do not realize is how much 'Christian' doctrine is actually taken from Greek (pagan) philosophy. For instance Augustine was a pagan philosopher and converted to Christianity in mid-life. He then attempted to reconcile Christian doctrine (of the time) with his older philosophical models. Philo of Alexandria tried the same thing with Jewish religious thinking at the time early in the first century.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 7:02 AM  

Markku October 23, 2013 6:48 AM

"Son of man" is simply a more poetic version of "man" in the Hebrew, but Jesus was probably making reference to:

Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

In other words, used it as a Messianic title.


At the same time, its root meaning there is "one having the nature of man".
In the vision in Daniel, the previous kingdoms were represented by strange animals. The one God sets up, represented by a human figure.

Jesus is the only perfect Man in all of human history.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 7:05 AM  

Bob Ramar October 23, 2013 6:50 AM

Vox: You have got the right idea here. What most Christians do not realize is how much 'Christian' doctrine is actually taken from Greek (pagan) philosophy. For instance Augustine was a pagan philosopher and converted to Christianity in mid-life. He then attempted to reconcile Christian doctrine (of the time) with his older philosophical models. Philo of Alexandria tried the same thing with Jewish religious thinking at the time early in the first century.


Funny how the people who use that sort of argument to reject the Trinity, tend to themselves have a conception of God that looks exactly like something out of Paganism.

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 23, 2013 7:07 AM  

I tend to think that when the Most High calls us to grace, repentance, belief, and salvation, He isn't trying to get us to play a doctrinal guessing game with right and wrong answers like a heavenly episode of Jeopardy! God isn't Alex Trebek. (Although I do sometimes wonder what Alex Trebek's opinion of himself is.) The mysteries of the divine being are exactly that to the human mind -- mysteries.

"Have faith in God and faith in Me." works fine for me, and I try not to fret over the incomprehensibles.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 7:08 AM  

This list isn't impressive at all.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;

Anonymous DT October 23, 2013 7:09 AM  

* Didn't Jesus explicitly claim to be God in John 8:58?

* Why would Jesus have accepted worship if he were not God?

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 7:10 AM  

@ Frank Norman Jesus is the only perfect Man in all of human history.

What about Adam?

Blogger Hostem Populi October 23, 2013 7:12 AM  

@zen0 Adam managed to ruin that perfection, much like a teenager handed the keys to a Maserati.

Anonymous RP-in-TX October 23, 2013 7:14 AM  

Zen0, There was that whole fruit incident.

Anonymous CS October 23, 2013 7:16 AM  

It seems that some here are conflating VD's view with that of the person who wrote these arguments.

I know that VD does not affirm the standard doctrine of the trinity, but does he deny the diety of Christ?

And not to cherry pick here, but point number two is quite easily refutable:

(John 8:58) Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 23, 2013 7:17 AM  

For instance, if we compare Islamic theology with reference to Jesus, the Koran makes it painfully clear that it understands Jesus to be a normal human, a prophet in the line of prophets. At one point Allah explicitly says something to the effect of (paraphrase) "Allah formed Jesus in the very same way he formed all other men."

Jesus, on the other hand, often talks about himself sort of cryptically, like he knows all sorts of things that humans don't know, and being "sent," and being "in the Father"; things that rise above normal human dimensions, things Elijah or Isaiah would never say. So even if you question the literal nature of his divinity, it seems clear he felt he had some sort of transcendent nature that ordinary human beings don't have.

Oh, and plus, the Transfiguration.

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 7:19 AM  

Before the fruit incident, Adam was perfect, but he listened to Satan and became imperfect.

Jesus was tempted by Satan as well. Was there a possibility that he could be turned as Adam was, or was it a theatrical demonstration?

Anonymous DT October 23, 2013 7:20 AM  

@zen0 Adam managed to ruin that perfection, much like a teenager handed the keys to a Maserati.

You mean a teenager with a girlfriend who tempts him into a joy ride. I have to admit, I have sympathy for Adam when he tells God "The woman you put here with me...". Then again, Adam pulled the beta move of all time by accepting that fruit.

All of man's suffering, all the war, death, and sin...all because Adam failed the very first shit test.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 7:23 AM  

zen0 October 23, 2013 7:19 AM

Before the fruit incident, Adam was perfect, but he listened to Satan and became imperfect.

Jesus was tempted by Satan as well. Was there a possibility that he could be turned as Adam was, or was it a theatrical demonstration?


IMHO... no, it was not really possible for Jesus to "be turned". But the temptation, and His rejection of it, was not "just for show", it was an important step in the character-growth of His human nature.

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 7:23 AM  

CS rebuts: And not to cherry pick here, but point number two is quite easily refutable:

(John 8:58) Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”


Satan could have said the same thing, as he pre-existed Abraham as well.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 7:27 AM  

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth

Anonymous CS October 23, 2013 7:31 AM  

zen0: Satan could have said the same thing, as he pre-existed Abraham as well.

Pre-existence is not the only claim made here. The peculiar phrasing, placing "I AM" at the end of the sentence is a direct invocation of the name of God. Jesus is doing more than claiming pre-existence here. He is making a direct claim to be God. Which the Jews clearly understood, evidenced by verse 59: "So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple."

They didn't just try to stone people because they were upset. They attempted to stone Him for what they clearly saw as blasphemy.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 7:32 AM  

I can feel "historical present" coming... Not that anyone has ever seen a historical present in ancient writings outside supposedly that verse.

Blogger Drew October 23, 2013 7:32 AM  

"(John 8:58) Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'

Satan could have said the same thing, as he pre-existed Abraham as well. "

No, he couldn't. "I am" is a reference to God's self identification in Exodus, and the Jews knew it.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 7:36 AM  

In case anyone is interested in the rest of the list:

The following was written in 1825 by Samuel Barrett (Boston: American Unitarian Association).

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 7:38 AM  


Markku October 23, 2013 7:32 AM

I can feel "historical present" coming... Not that anyone has ever seen a historical present in ancient writings outside supposedly that verse.


There are two schools of thought in regard to rational debate.
One teaches things like "If you are asked a question to which you do not know the answer, admit it. Once!"
The other?
"If you are losing the argument, just make up stuff!"

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic October 23, 2013 7:41 AM  

This thread supports my thesis that Protestantism means you eventually become either a Jew or The Last Christian.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 7:45 AM  

I think it is important to keep in mind that Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status. It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith,

The latter is a " theological understanding" which nullifies the former statement.

I think you need to explain yourself. Or, ate least your authority for making the assertion.

Anonymous Skeptical October 23, 2013 7:46 AM  

All the semantics, mental gymnastics, constant contradictions... the Jews make more sense than you Christians. At least they understand One God without having to jump through all the hoops. No wonder they reject your doctrines.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 7:46 AM  

In other words:

It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith,...

is a statement of "theological understanding".

Therefore, you need to explain yourself, and your authority.

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 7:51 AM  

They didn't just try to stone people because they were upset. They attempted to stone Him for what they clearly saw as blasphemy.

Maybe they were mistaken. Jesus declaring himself to be God would be contradicting the his whole argument contained in Chapter 8 and make it absurd.

Anonymous DonReynolds October 23, 2013 7:55 AM  

The early Christians did not preach the Trinity. The Roman Catholic Church invented the Trinity centuries later.

What did Jesus say when he was being put to death on the cross? Why have you foresaken me. Obviously, this was not self criticism.

Anonymous CS October 23, 2013 7:57 AM  

zen0: Maybe they were mistaken. Jesus declaring himself to be God would be contradicting the his whole argument contained in Chapter 8 and make it absurd.

The use of the phrase, "I AM" in this context was not a normal construction in Jesus' language. There could be no mistaking His intent in making the claim. Whether this contradicts his argument in chapter 8 may be a debate worth having, but that is entirely beside the point. The list above says that Jesus himself never claimed to be God. John 8:58 (and supported by verse 59) shows otherwise.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 7:58 AM  

"Therefore, you need to explain yourself, and your authority."

Yeah Vox. Who gave you permission to think that? huh?

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 7:58 AM  

The early Christians did not preach the Trinity. The Roman Catholic Church invented the Trinity centuries later.

Incorrect, unless you're only referring to the term trinity rather than the concept.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 7:59 AM  

Yeah Vox. Who gave you permission to think that? huh?

Is he thinking it, or is God putting those thoughts into his head, because this is all a dramatic play?

Anonymous zen0 October 23, 2013 8:01 AM  

I think I see a pattern.

Any evidence AGAINST the doctrine of the trinity is actually evidence FOR the doctrine of the trinity because of the doctrine of the trinity.

Anonymous Beau October 23, 2013 8:03 AM  

Two more helpful definitions from Muller:

essentia Dei: the essence or “whatness” of God; God is the only necessary, self-existent being or, in other words, the only being in whom esse (q.v.), or existence, and essentia (q.v.), or essence, are inseparable; it is of the essence or “whatness” of God that God exist. Thus the essence of God, as distinguished from the divine attributes (attributa divina, q.v.), can be described as independent or self-subsistent spirit. This view of the divine essence coincides, the scholastics note, with the biblical self-description of God (Exod. 3:14) as the one who is.

and

persona: person; the equivalent in Latin patristic theology of the Greek term prosōpon (q.v.). The term persona received its first major use in Tertullian’s refutation of the Sabellian heresy. Like prosōpon, persona had the connotation of a dramatic role or, more precisely, a mask worn by an actor in playing a role. From that basic meaning it had, by Tertullian’s time, developed two further implications. In the first place, it had come to indicate the individual character in the play and thereby to have a certain objective significance. In the second place, crucial for Tertullian, it had come to indicate in Roman law an objective individual capable of having property or substance (substantia, q.v.). Tertullian found the terms persona and substantia ideal for identifying an objective threeness and an objective oneness, respectively, in God. In addition, the definition of three personae sharing one substantia made sense using legal analogies. It is clear from Tertullian’s works, however, that he pressed beyond the limitations of the dramatic and legal metaphors toward a metaphysical equation of substantia with the indivisible divinity of God and viewed persona as a term capable of indicating distinction within the divine substance without separation or division of substance. This usage prevailed in the Latin West and settled the trinitarian question there until the time of the councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon, at which point the ability to translate the Western language into terms of prosōpon and ousia and, finally, of hypostasis and ousia, contributed greatly to the establishment of a standard orthodox terminology in both East and West. ... In brief, the term has traditionally indicated an objective and distinct mode or manner of being, a subsistence or subsistent individual, not necessarily substantially separate from other like personae. Thus, in trinitarian usage, three personae subsist in the divine substantia or essentia (q.v.) without division and, in christological usage, one persona has two distinct naturae, the divine and the human. This can be said while nonetheless arguing one will in God and two in Christ—since will belongs properly to the essence of God and to the natures in Christ, and in neither case to persona as such. Thus, in the language of the scholastics, persona indicates primarily an individuum (q.v.), an individual thing, or a suppositum (q.v.), a self-subsistent thing, and, more specifically still, an intelligent self-subsistent thing (suppositum intelligens).







Anonymous CS October 23, 2013 8:04 AM  

zen0: Jesus declaring himself to be God would be contradicting the his whole argument contained in Chapter 8 and make it absurd.

Please support this by pointing out where the contradiction lies. In my reading of the chapter I see no contradiction created by this statement.

Anonymous Peter Garstig October 23, 2013 8:10 AM  

I've read the definition of the Trinity doctrine in the catholic catechism in german only, but it's probably the most unclear definition you might encounter. The definition can mean exact opposites based on your definition of 'essence', which is, of course, not given in the doctrine itself.

On this account, the definition of the Trinity doctrine as it is in the catechism is pretty useless.

Anonymous Anonymous October 23, 2013 8:17 AM  

old white guy says....... Vox, your last paragraph sums up my thoughts.

Anonymous daddynichol October 23, 2013 8:26 AM  

Vox-
Regardless of what your opinion on of the matter is, I think it is important to keep in mind that Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status. It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith, not an ability to see more clearly through the glass than others. Jesus, you may recall, was never overly impressed with intellectual ability.


My lesson for the day. Thanks for posting.

Blogger postmodern redneck October 23, 2013 8:28 AM  

My own take on this, and a lot of other things: Most of the fighting over the Bible is not over the text itself, but what people think it means. We need to keep a firm grip on our own humility when we undertake to interpret the Bible. The things we NEED to know are generally pretty clear; but one of the quirks of fallen human nature is a tendency to major in minors. We'll focus on one or two trees and forget the rest of the forest. There's also a passage in C.S. Lewis' "Perelandra" that has always stayed with me that has bearing on our finite minds trying to analyze the Infinite: toward the end, Ransom asked a question of the eldilla and was told, "There are no receiving places in your mind for the answer to that." Speaking for myself, there are a lot of theological issues that I have opinions on, often very strong ones; but I have accepted the fact that I am not the Final Authority, and when I get to the Real World and and find out God did not do something the way I thought He would, I have already made up my mind not to stomp my foot and walk out of Heaven over it. After all Jesus did not say, "By this will all men know you are my disciples, because you have the right view of the Atonement [End Times, church polity, inerrancy--insert any hobby horse you want]. He said, "...All men will know you are my disciples because you love one another."

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus October 23, 2013 8:29 AM  

"Why would Jesus warn to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees if doctrinal exactitude was not important?"

There is the a great difference between the more or less random errors produced by uncoordinated, and in the aggregate disinterested individuals working things out for themselves as best they can, and the systematic, tendentious and strategic errors produced by a gifted, highly trained body of scholars with a common interest in undermining a religion to which they are implacably hostile. Judaism's view of Jesus is strong pragmatic support for his view that any Jewish influence on Christian doctrine would be extraordinarily dangerous.

Jesus advice typically takes account of supernatural realities. Jesus made strong statements about Jews, their father, lying and so on. If you think he was just running his mouth, brain in neutral, that doesn't mean much, but if you take him seriously one implication is that letting Jews have any influence at all on Christian doctrine is a lot like letting the Devil rewrite parts of Christian dogma with the expert, malicious intention to introduce tendencies leading to total ruin. (Meanwhile the random errors of individuals with no supernatural power behind them might be supernaturally inert.)

Post-Vatican II and Nostra Aetate, this is all a dead letter of course. Since then, there is a strong one-way flow of Jewish influence on Church teaching, and Vatican II commits the Church to oppose anti-Semitism without the introduction of any matching label for anti-Christian dogma, sentiments and action, and with no demand that the humility and tractability of Christians in relation to their "elder brothers in religion" be reciprocated.

In essence: Jesus' warning was insufficiently heeded, and the synagogue won.

If you think that's true, it refutes the Church's claim to infallibility in a broad sense, but it underlines the wisdom of Jesus.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 8:42 AM  

zen0 October 23, 2013 8:01 AM

I think I see a pattern.

Any evidence AGAINST the doctrine of the trinity is actually evidence FOR the doctrine of the trinity because of the doctrine of the trinity.


Zen0, not one of you has produced any item of Biblical evidence that cannot be explained in terms of Trinitarian theology.
On the other hand, anti-Trinitarians seem to get a bit evasive when asked how they make sense of a good many Biblical passages.

If you don't understand our answers, that's fine. Maybe someone else could it explain it more clearly.
But is "That can't be true because it would take me too much effort to understand it" really the position you want to defend?

Anonymous Athor Pel October 23, 2013 8:45 AM  

I see the doctrine of the trinity as a tool to deny the power of the Holy Spirit to the church because by making Jesus the son of man into Jesus same thing as God the Father then there is no reason for the sons of men to attempt to emulate Jesus since He was always God, even when on earth, and therefore emulating Him becomes unattainable, impossible and you therefore shouldn't even try.

And it goes to the heart of most of the debates we have here, who do you serve.

We know what the world says, "Puny human, just shut up, sit down, pay your tithe, pay your taxes, do what the church and state authorities say and Don't Rock the Boat by trying to become what God the Father obviously did not intend for you to be."

Jesus told his disciples multiple times, to paraphrase, you will do these miracles just as I am doing them and you will do more and greater miracles than these.

Who you going to believe?

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 8:47 AM  

"Airships disprove the theory of gravity! Look, they float! Isn't gravity supposed to pull things down?"

"No, that's not a disproof at all. Airships float because they have less total mass then the equivalent volume of air. Gravity pulls the air down too, remember. So the airship gets displaced upwards. It's exactly the same principle that makes wood or ice rise to the surface of a pool or water. In the absence of gravity, there would be no force making that happen."

"Oh, so any evidence against gravity is actually evidence FOR gravity, because the theory of gravity?"

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 8:47 AM  

Nate the evangelical says:

Yeah Vox. Who gave you permission to think that? huh?

Maybe you can explain it then, superstar.

You still don't understand what I mean by "authority". I don't mean someone telling you what to think but by what tradition you take your understanding.

Jesus (as I know evangelicals like yourself like to say) didn't explain himself for no reason, nor did he explain by what *authority* he spoke, as exampled in the selections VD cites above, for no reason.

The Gospels are all about *authority*, Nate.

If the parables etc were self-explanatory then *Jesus* wouldn't have spent so much time explaining them, do you think?



Anonymous MrGreenMan October 23, 2013 8:48 AM  

And you thought we did harm to the work of the Great Commission by disagreeing over whether to baptize babies or withhold it until adulthood...

As we all know, a great correction is going to come, where all of the crooked thoughts will be set straight. The final paragraph of the original post is the most important - is it going to be a prosecutor or is it going to be a loving master and advocate who sets us straight.

On the Unitarian question, Arius was, of course, convicted, then cleared, then convicted again posthumously.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 8:48 AM  

"Zen0, not one of you has produced any item of Biblical evidence that cannot be explained in terms of Trinitarian theology. "

Oh you've certainly offered something... I suppose you could even call them explanations... if you defined the term very loosely.

Unsat.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 8:49 AM  

Zen0, not one of you has produced any item of Biblical evidence that cannot be explained in terms of Trinitarian theology.

You're proud of your rationalizations. Good on you.

Ain't good on your position, by the way.

Imagine Team Calvinist saying:

Zen0, not one of you has produced any item of Biblical evidence that cannot be explained in terms of Calvinist theology

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 8:50 AM  

"You still don't understand what I mean by "authority". I don't mean someone telling you what to think but by what tradition you take your understanding."

...

so you really don't realize that these two things are the exact same thing?

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 8:50 AM  

It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith,...

In short...why?

You explain that, Nate, and you'll get to lick VD's dog-dish.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 8:53 AM  

It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith,...

Why, Nate, why?

I'm waiting.

Anonymous Beau October 23, 2013 8:53 AM  

Perusing the list provided by PB, on close inspection it is revealed none are in any way offensive to the doctrine of the trinity developed by the church. The verses in detail do not provide the complete patristic, medieval, and reformation teaching; that God is One essence in three personae; however, they each are pixels of the larger picture of one divine essence showing usually two personae. A number of the verses are christological statements of the two natures of Jesus Christ, these do no harm to the teaching of the triune nature of God. Here's the first ten reviewed:

1. Because Jesus Christ is represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father as one man is distinct from another. “It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me” (John 8:17 and 18).
two personae, trinitarian

2. Because he not only never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who sent him, as God, and as the only God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). This language our Saviour used in solemn prayer to “his Father and our Father.”
two personae, one nature, trinitarian

3. Because he is declared, in unnumbered instances, to be the Son of God. “And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Can a son be coeval(the same age) and the same with his father? two personae, one nature, trinitarian

4. Because he is styled the Christ, or the anointed of God. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38). Is he who anoints the same with him who is anointed?
three personae, one nature, trinitarian

5. Because he is represented as a Priest. “Consider the ….High-Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 3:1). The office of a priest is to minister to God. Christ, then, as a priest, cannot be God.
two personae, trinitarian

6. Because Christ is Mediator between the “One God,” and “men.” “For there is one God, and oneMediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). two personae, two natures, christological statement, still trinitarian.

7. Because, as the Saviour of men, he was sent by the Father. “And we have seen and do testify thatthe Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14). two personae, one nature, trinitarian.

8. Because he is an Apostle appointed by God. “Consider the Apostle,...Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him” (Heb. 3:1 and 2).
two natures, one person, christological statement, still trinitarian.

9. Because Christ is represented as our intercessor with God. “It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34).
two personae, one nature, trinitarian.

10. Because the head of Christ is God. “I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).
A christological statement that does no offense to the doctrine of trinity

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 8:58 AM  

Why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ...the central issues of our faith,...", Nate?

Why, Nate, why?

Meagre minds require enlightenment, please let us know.

Anonymous Cameron October 23, 2013 8:59 AM  

A pack of faggots arguing over theological minutiae whilst Rome burns.

Blogger James Dixon October 23, 2013 9:01 AM  

Trying for 300 post threads in consecutive days, I see. Oh well...

Anonymous Harsh October 23, 2013 9:02 AM  

A pack of faggots arguing over theological minutiae whilst Rome burns.

An Internet tough guy insulting his intellectual superiors.

Anonymous bored October 23, 2013 9:02 AM  

I never understood Non-Trinitarians. If Jesus is just another created being then what's the point of his death and sacrifice? Why not just drop the middle man, Jesus, completely and focus on the Creator God Yahweh?

To Non-Trinitarians, Jesus is pointless.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:04 AM  

"In short...why?

You explain that, Nate, and you'll get to lick VD's dog-dish."

You realize I didn't actually say that right? Why is it up to me to explain something Vox said?

I mocked you for your appeals to authority. I took no position on Vox's post one way or another.

Blogger GF Dad October 23, 2013 9:05 AM  

In the past, I have asked VD to specifically tell us what he believes regarding the nature of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I may have missed it, but I have not seen a response. Yet we periodically get this type of post attempting to deny the Trinity.

One night in '91, I had a long conversation with a Oneness Pentecostal, Steve. For two hours, I tried to get Steve to help me understand the difference between what he believed and the mainline Protestant view of the Trinity. The exchange went something like this:
Me: Okay, you believe in God, the Father, right?
Steve: Yup.
Me: and in God, the Son?
Steve: Yep.
Me: And in God, the Holy Spirit?
Steve: Yep.
Me: Well, that's what I believe.
Steve(angrily): No it's not! You believe in the Trinity.
Me: Okay, then, what do you believe?
Steve: I told you. You just can't accept it because you believe in the Trinity.

It seems to me our super intellect is resorting to similar tactics to make his case (or lack there of). Oh and before someone dismisses me as a Trinitarian, I try to let scripture speak for itself and not trust the traditions of men. If VD believes a certain way on this, he should come out and tell us what that belief is and present it in a concise, defensible fashion.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 9:06 AM  

I have specifically asked Vox if he thinks Jesus is God, and he has said that he does. In other words, Vox is not an anti-trinitarian due to being Arian, but due to other disagreements with the formulation of the Trinity.

Anonymous dh October 23, 2013 9:06 AM  

How many of these come down to the exact original texts and their transliteration/translation throughout the ages?

It seems so many are semantically orientated instead of philosophically orientated... what do those who work directly with the source texts have to say?

Anonymous Matt Cochran October 23, 2013 9:07 AM  

That's a great list of verses that prove that the Father and Son are distinct persons. It just happens to be incomplete because it's missing the verses that show...

1) That Christ has the same nature as God: Phillipians 2:6-8; John 1:1; 3. Revelation 1:8, 1:11

2) That the OT predicted a divine savior: Psalm 2/Acts 13:33; Psalm 110/Matthew 22:43-45; Isaiah 9:6; Malachi 3:1-2

3) That Jesus applies God's name (Yahweh) to himself: Psalm 23/Hebrews 13:20 ("Yahweh is my Shephard" / "I am the Good Shepherd); Isaiah 6:5 ("My eyes have seen Yahweh Sabbaoth") / John 12:41 (Isaiah saw Christ's Glory); Joel 2:32 ("Whoever believes on the name of Yahweh will be saved") / Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13

4) That Yaweh's Titles (Reserved for himself) are applied to Christ: Isaiah 10:21 / Acts 3:13-14. "Holy & Righteous One"; Isaiah 44:6/Revelation 1:11 "I am the first and the last, and there is no God besides me"; Isaiah 43:11/Titus 2:11-13. "Yahweh, and there is no savior besides me."

5) That Jesus does the works of God: John 1:3, Collossians 1:16 (Created all things, also implying that he cannot be created); Matthew 9:2-7; Mark 2:7 (forgives sins); John 5:22-24, Acts 17:31 (Judges the earth)

6) That Jesus received worship and rebuked those who scolded the worshipers: Matthew 14:33, John 9:38 / John 10, Matthew 26 (even though Jesus affirmed to Satan that only God should be worshiped in Matthew 4:10)

7) That the Bible says Jesus is God: John 1:1-3, John 20:29, Titus 2:13, 1 Peter 1:1, Hebrews 1:8 (Father addresses the Son as God)

8) That Jesus says Jesus is God: John 8:58.

In short, if we believe ALL of the Bible rather than just parts of it, we end up with the Trinity rather than Arianism. Sure, you could try to explain away the whole lot of these verses with a gaggle of nit-picky but plausible-sounding arguments, but orthodox Christians generally have no reason to do so. After all, you would just end up with polytheism at that point since Jesus is basically a 2nd subordinate deity.

(Yes this is an old & abridged list/argument; I just don't think anything else of value has been added to the discussion in the last 1700 years)

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:09 AM  

I mocked you for your appeals to authority. I took no position on Vox's post one way or another.

Why mock genuine enquiry?

Do you not wish to convert me, and save me?

Explain it, Nate, explain it.

Whole villages are waiting right now, forever damned to perdition, on account of your authority.

Save me, Nate, save me.

Tell me, since you bought in and must know so much; why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ..."the central issues of our faith,..."?

Tell me now or admit to the thread you're just another ungrateful nigger.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 9:11 AM  

Toby Temple October 23, 2013 8:49 AM


You're proud of your rationalizations. Good on you.

Ain't good on your position, by the way.

Imagine Team Calvinist saying:

Zen0, not one of you has produced any item of Biblical evidence that cannot be explained in terms of Calvinist theology


Toby, you were here for those debates. There are passages in Scripture which someone like Wrf3 basically has to reject outright, or post paragraphs of waffle about why it doesn't mean what anyone with normal reading comprehension can see it plainly says.
The same is simply not true for us Trinitarians. It is, however, true for all of the non-Trinitarian theologies out there.
The JW's, for example, had to make their own Bible "translation" that blatantly rewrote various passages to fit what Charles Russel and company had decided to believe.

Perhaps you, or Nate, or one of the other non-Trinitarians would like to step up the plate and defend your views?

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:12 AM  

But hey... while we're here I may as well defend the position...

Romans 3:22

Acts 17:30-31

Romans 6:23

John 1:12

John 3:15 -17

Acts 16: 30-34

Ephesians 2:8-10

There. That should keep you busy. See mate... there no authority or tradition necessary to reach that conclusion. There is a collection of books we call the Bible. The message is hammered home over and over and over again.

Anonymous Cameron October 23, 2013 9:12 AM  

"An Internet tough guy insulting his intellectual superiors."

A nigger playing uncle tom to his racial superiors.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 9:12 AM  

Why mock genuine enquiry?

Coz it wasn't genuine?

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 9:13 AM  

what do those who work directly with the source texts have to say?

Check out Bart Ehrman's books. He is hostile to the concept of divine inspiration, yet his list of verses that are probably not in the original is exactly the same as his mentor's, Bruce Metzger's, who argued precisely from the opposing viewpoint - that the scripture IS the infallible word of God. You might reasonably expect that if the textual evidence did indeed support wide uncertainty about what was originally written, then a hostile investigator would find more problems than already identified long time ago by those who believe in divine inspiration.

Yet, you will find it is not so. The list is exactly the same.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:14 AM  

Nate, it's a simple question: Why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ...the central issues of our faith,..."?

Just a couple of sentences will suffice.

We'll take it from there.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:15 AM  

"Perhaps you, or Nate, or one of the other non-Trinitarians would like to step up the plate and defend your views?"

Whoa there Captain Binary...

When did I say I was non-trinitarian?

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 9:16 AM  

The same is simply not true for us Trinitarians. It is, however, true for all of the non-Trinitarian theologies out there.

Really?

I asked this before. None of you Trinitarians answered it.

Where in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is God?

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:18 AM  

When did I say I was non-trinitarian?

Stop equivocating and start evangelising, Nate.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 9:19 AM  

I never thought I'm gonna do this... but

SHUT UP, PAT HANNAGAN!

Blogger Andre B October 23, 2013 9:22 AM  

"All the semantics, mental gymnastics, constant contradictions... the Jews make more sense than you Christians. At least they understand One God without having to jump through all the hoops. No wonder they reject your doctrines."

Yep, theirs is a very simple tradition on the whole:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabbalah

Look, if you're looking for a discussion on the level of Spongebob Squarepants, try the Nickelodeon website. Philosophy and Theology can be stressful for some people, it's understandable.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 9:22 AM  

Nate October 23, 2013 9:15 AM

"Perhaps you, or Nate, or one of the other non-Trinitarians would like to step up the plate and defend your views?"

Whoa there Captain Binary...

When did I say I was non-trinitarian?


I seem to remember that in a previous discussion you said you thought the Holy Spirit to be a created being.
Was that not you?

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:22 AM  

"Stop equivocating and start evangelising, Nate."

equivocating? You blithering moron... I provided you with a list of scriptures addressing this topic.

read them. Or don't. I really don't give a damn. And I doubt anyone else does either.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:22 AM  

I simply wish to know: Why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ..."the central issues of our faith,...", and you tell me to shut up.

What sort of evangelisation is this? Was Corinth won by this sort of argument? Did Paul rely on "shut up!" to win the day?

Nate has the floor. Take it away, Nate.

Anonymous Beau October 23, 2013 9:23 AM  

In case anyone is interested, here are the next ten:

11. Because, in the same sense in which we are said to belong to Christ, Christ is said to belong to God. “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:23).

Another christological statement of Christ's two natures. No conflict here.

12. Because Christ says, “My father is greater than all” (John 10:29). Is not the father, then greater than the son?
two personae, still trinitarian.

13. Because he affirms, in another connection, and without the least qualification, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
two personae, trinitarian.

14. Because he virtually denies that he is God, when he exclaims, “Why callest thou me Good? There is none good but one, that is God” (Matt. 19:17).
virtually does not mean did.

15. Because our Saviour, after having said, “I and my Father are one,” gives his disciples distinctly to understand that he did not mean one substance, equal in power and glory, but one only in affection and design, as clearly appears from the prayer he offers to his Father in their behalf, --“that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).
two personae, one nature, despite the handwaving, trinitarian.

16. Because the Father is called the God of Christ as he is the God of Christians. Jesus saith unto her, “....Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my Godand your God” (John 20:17).
Another christological affirmation of the two natures of Christ.

17. Because an Apostle says of God, in distinction from the “Lord Jesus Christ,” that He is the “onlyPotentate,” and that He “only hath immortality” (1 Tim. 6:15 and 16). two personae, one nature, again.

18. Because it is the express declaration of the same Apostle, that the Father is the one God, and there is none other. “Though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:5 and 6).
one God worthy of worship? trinitarian.

19. Because the power which Christ possessed was, as him affirmed, given to him. “All power isgiven unto me” (Matt. 28:18).
two personae, one nature, trinitarian

20. Because he positively denies himself to be the author of his miraculous works, but refers them to the Father, or the holy spirit of God. “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the
three personae, one nature, trinitarian

I'll excuse myself at this point, I've got a roof to put on, a real Ephesians 2:10, for which I am profoundly grateful to God.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:24 AM  

"I seem to remember that in a previous discussion you said you thought the Holy Spirit to be a created being.
Was that not you?"

I really have no strong opinions on this matter at all. I find it deeply foolish for anyone to have strong opinions on it.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:24 AM  

read them. Or don't. I really don't give a damn. And I doubt anyone else does either.

I see. So you bought in, where none mentioned your name, then ran from the scene leaving several citations in your wake, none of which you care to explain.

You really are a nigger, aren't you, Nate.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 9:24 AM  

I seem to remember that in a previous discussion you said you thought the Holy Spirit to be a created being.
Was that not you?


No. You and Markku have poor memory.

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 9:25 AM  

Toby Temple October 23, 2013 9:16 AM
I asked this before. None of you Trinitarians answered it.

Where in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is God?


How about a verse I already quoted - 1 Corinthians 2:11.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:26 AM  

"What sort of evangelisation is this? Was Corinth won by this sort of argument? Did Paul rely on "shut up!" to win the day?"

Irony.

Pat referencing Paul.

Now if only Pat could figure out why that's ironic.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 9:28 AM  

How about a verse I already quoted - 1 Corinthians 2:11.

So God = Spirit of God?

~facepalm~

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:29 AM  

Now if only Pat could figure out why that's ironic.

You still have the floor, Nate.

You bought in, now explain it. Or, admit you're a weak minded simpleton who has not the ken nor the nouse to know his dick from his knee, or his Paul from his John.

Who told you what to think, Nate? Was it Martin Luther?

I bet you think that was Martin Luther King Jr.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 9:31 AM  

Ecce catholic.

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. October 23, 2013 9:32 AM  

A few notes:

When Jesus says "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30) the Jews that he is speaking to understand it to mean one in substance because they then accuse him of blasphemy; of making himself God (John 10:33). A misunderstanding right? But Jesus does not correct them. He continues to explain that the Father is in him and he is in the Father.

Also, it is self defeating to list any scripture from the gospel of John in defense of the "not God" argument when John 1:1 says the exact opposite.

I always took Christ's statement in Mark 10:18 'why do you call me good, none is good but God" to not be a denial of his Godhood but to be him playing coy and deliberately connecting the dots for the people. "if I am good, but only God is good then...."

There is also the many instances where Jesus refers to himself as "I AM", which is the name that God gave Abraham; the OG. Of particular note is John 8:58 "Before Abraham was, I AM" This is a very bold a declarative statement of his Godhood, which also resulted in the Jews trying to kill him immediately.

To address Zen0's question earlier about "Why would Jesus warn to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees if doctrinal exactitude was not important?" The leaven of the Pharisees is doctrinal exactitude to a fault. It is being so focused on the letter of the law that they miss the spirit of the law; freedom, love, charity, faith, grace.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:34 AM  

Pat

I have provided you with a nice list of scriptures which you so far have ignored. Until you address them... each and every one of them... you're just making an ass of yourself.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 9:36 AM  

Nate is a nigger?

I did not know ginger niggers existed.

Verily, Pat Hannigan, thou art a fount of great wisdom.

Please, teach us of these ginger niggers.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 9:40 AM  

I have specifically asked Vox if he thinks Jesus is God, and he has said that he does. In other words, Vox is not an anti-trinitarian due to being Arian, but due to other disagreements with the formulation of the Trinity.

From his public statements, I would categorize Vox not as anti-trinitarian, but as skeptical of most trinitarian arguments.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:41 AM  

Pat

I have provided you with a nice list of scriptures which you so far have ignored. Until you address them... each and every one of them... you're just making an ass of yourself.


Then I quote you the entire New Testament in return. I expect your reply in 5 minutes.

Reply to what? That's anyone's guess. That's just the way you argue, so I return it in kind. Now, kindly fuck off or explain yourself.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 9:43 AM  

Reply to what? That's anyone's guess. That's just the way you argue, so I return it in kind. Now, kindly fuck off or explain yourself.

We will wait for you to go ask your priest what you are supposed to believe.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 9:46 AM  

"Then I quote you the entire New Testament in return. I expect your reply in 5 minutes."

As I thought.

Shut up, Pat.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:51 AM  

Shut up, Pat.

Listen, Ginger Nigger, you bought in, now you need to answer for your insolence or apologise.

Just think of me as a benighted Novus Ordite, bended at your erudite evangelical heel, begging scraps from your dinner plate. Why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ..."the central issues of our faith,..."?

Convert me, sister, and you convert the thread.

We're all waiting for salvation. Give it.

Anonymous dh October 23, 2013 9:51 AM  

Markuu-- thank you. I see looking ahead that my study group has selections from "A Brief Introduction to the New Testament" and Metzegers "The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance" on our future reading list. Metzegers is over Christmas time and the other in early spring. Are these reflective of each authors broader stable of work?

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 9:53 AM  

Josh October 23, 2013 9:40 AM
From his public statements, I would categorize Vox not as anti-trinitarian, but as skeptical of most trinitarian arguments.


Which is not the same thing.
Personally, I wonder if certain denominations don't make their explanation of the Trinity incomprehensible on purpose.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 9:55 AM  

Don't even the dogs get to feed from the scraps, Nate?

Anonymous Stilicho October 23, 2013 9:58 AM  

Another papist with her knickers in a knot because someone noticed her unseemly desire to submit to a human hierarchy. One must wonder if her view of Heaven involves her teaching the RC catechism to Christ...

Blogger JartStar October 23, 2013 9:58 AM  

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

This seems particularly clear to me as the word for God here is theon. Jesus' contemporaries seem to understand very well He was claiming to be God.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 9:58 AM  

I see looking ahead that my study group has selections from "A Brief Introduction to the New Testament" and Metzegers "The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance" on our future reading list. Metzegers is over Christmas time and the other in early spring.

Freaking awesome.

Seek and you shall find. I am praying that God will open your eyes.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 10:00 AM  

dh: Bart Ehrman's quintessential work is Misquoting Jesus. As for Metzger, sounds good to me.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:00 AM  

One must wonder if her view of Heaven involves her teaching the RC catechism to Christ...

No, that's the pope's job. Because authority.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 10:04 AM  

I am deeply concerned that DH should be taking reading advise from the resident Satan Worshiper. I mean... Calvinist.

Anonymous Van October 23, 2013 10:05 AM  

Re. Bible translations:

I'm currently reading the KJV, but see two problems. I'm getting accustomed to the older English style, but still find it distracting. And there are translation issues here and there.

Is the modern Geneva more readable with fewer translation issues? The Key Word version has also been rcommended - anyone have experience?

Anonymous FrankNorman October 23, 2013 10:06 AM  

Titus Didius Tacitus October 23, 2013 8:29 AM

"Why would Jesus warn to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees if doctrinal exactitude was not important?"

There is the a great difference between the more or less random errors produced by uncoordinated, and in the aggregate disinterested individuals working things out for themselves as best they can, and the systematic, tendentious and strategic errors produced by a gifted, highly trained body of scholars with a common interest in undermining a religion to which they are implacably hostile. Judaism's view of Jesus is strong pragmatic support for his view that any Jewish influence on Christian doctrine would be extraordinarily dangerous.

Jesus advice typically takes account of supernatural realities. Jesus made strong statements about Jews, their father, lying and so on. If you think he was just running his mouth, brain in neutral, that doesn't mean much, but if you take him seriously one implication is that letting Jews have any influence at all on Christian doctrine is a lot like letting the Devil rewrite parts of Christian dogma with the expert, malicious intention to introduce tendencies leading to total ruin. (Meanwhile the random errors of individuals with no supernatural power behind them might be supernaturally inert.)

Post-Vatican II and Nostra Aetate, this is all a dead letter of course. Since then, there is a strong one-way flow of Jewish influence on Church teaching, and Vatican II commits the Church to oppose anti-Semitism without the introduction of any matching label for anti-Christian dogma, sentiments and action, and with no demand that the humility and tractability of Christians in relation to their "elder brothers in religion" be reciprocated.

In essence: Jesus' warning was insufficiently heeded, and the synagogue won.

If you think that's true, it refutes the Church's claim to infallibility in a broad sense, but it underlines the wisdom of Jesus.


If Credo in Unum Deum shows up to tell us all that we wouldn't have these controversies if we'd all believe what a man in a special hat said, I wonder how he'll respond to what you've posted.

Roman Catholic Traditionalist: "How dare you Protestants question The Church! The Church cannot go wrong!"
(Vatican II happens. RCT watches in horror.)
Protestant: "You were saying?"

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:06 AM  

Nate the evangelical says:

Nate ain't an evangelical. He worships neither George Bush nor Israel.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:08 AM  

I'm currently reading the KJV, but see two problems. I'm getting accustomed to the older English style, but still find it distracting. And there are translation issues here and there.

ESV and YLT

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:08 AM  

Josh interjects, as ignoramuses do: No, that's the pope's job. Because authority.

Because, nothing of the sort. None of your Judeo-American misdirection and collateral damage will have its effects here.

Look back up the thread, and see what I had to *ask*, of VD: Why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ..."the central issues of our faith,..."?

Feel free to answer the question as I'm all ears, not to mention ready for conversion.

(I thought it was rabbits who run from questions?)

Anonymous Brother Thomas October 23, 2013 10:08 AM  

The dismantling of Christianity continues unabated, even by those who believe they build it. The father of lies easily deceives the proud.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 10:11 AM  

Nate: You are a Freemason, I hear?

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:11 AM  

None of your Judeo-American misdirection and collateral damage will have its effects here.

WTF is "Judeo-American?" Is that fancy SPBDL talk for Joo or Joobag?

Anonymous dh October 23, 2013 10:15 AM  

Nate, well, it would be too much to ask that I jump straight into an authentic Southron religion. But I will say for the Catholics I know, there is a seemingly renewed push into bible study. There is little chance that I will slide in Calvinism as easy I have slide in Catholicism, so far.

Anonymous Anonymous October 23, 2013 10:15 AM  

As a non-trinitarian, my Christianity has been questioned often by those that hold to the trinitarian theological position. In short, here is my answer - I believe what Jesus says about himself.

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

But more importantly, I believe what, based on that authority, he says I should do.

Matt 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples......"

Many people are so focused on using their theological position as the line in the sand to determine who is in and who is out that they completely miss what He tells us to do. Jesus made disciples to lead them to God. We're supposed to do that too.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:15 AM  

WTF is "Judeo-American?" Is that fancy SPBDL talk for Joo or Joobag?

It's christianese, emanating out of holocaustianityville (aka as J'America) for Christianity, with a knel down at the wailing wall for our "elder brothers".

Jewgle Judeo-Christian for yourself and you will see that I am "justified".

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 October 23, 2013 10:18 AM  

Fine, we can go back and forth on whether or not Jesus was equal to God or merely His son (which is no small thing).

But where in the Bible does it explicitly state that the Holy Spirit is God? For the Trinity Doctrine to work, it requires three parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous Apollyon October 23, 2013 10:18 AM  

"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, "I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone." Isaiah 44:24

"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

Colossians 1:16-17

In the beginning was bthe Word, and the Word was cwith God, and dthe Word was God. John 1:1

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27

•"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,” Gen. 1:26

•"Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

These verses definitely suggest God is both One and a Plurality.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:19 AM  

The top results for a search of "judeo American" are destroyzionism.com and jewishterrorism.com

Pat, you are aware that Jesus was Jewish, aren't you? And so was your first pope?

Blogger tz October 23, 2013 10:20 AM  

John 1:1, In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.

John had a way of putting things so clearly they must be denied, like "unless you gnaw on my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you" in John 6.

I have to totally concede the argument to Vox - his thesis and reasoning is completely consistent.

The problem is one of what has authority.

Consider if Vox highlights his verses in blue, and the trinitarians highlight their verses in green, you need some other and superior authority to say which color is dominant.

But it is worse. Why should some anthology of ancient writings be authoritative? We can't even agree on the canon of scripture or a consistent algorithm for assembling it from the many ancient writings concerning Israel and the early church. So in the beginning is a loose canon.

Such arguments are properly conducted at that level - by what authority do you consider any text as inspired - if you can't even state that clearly, it is hopeless to try to figure out how to then interpret them.

Scripture itself only claims the 5 books of Moses (see the Saducees) and the book of Revelation are inerrant, but even that requires that you believe what they say - any book can say "I'm inerrant". In any case, the remainder have to be derivative or assumed or taken on Tradition or some other authority.

I would simply argue that whatever authority (Tradition) tells you what scripture IS also would tell you that God is the Holy Trinity. You can reject the Trinity, but then what is your reason to accept the Gospels and Epistles or anything else as anything but history or mythology?

The same authority (even if it is Calvin, Luther, Wesley, etc.) that says what scripture is also to some extent says what it means. Luther called James "an Epistle of straw", but managed to find a way to strip the plain meaning enough to keep it inside the canon. Your authority might be Tertullian, but that simply means you prefer his premises and framework, not that you can demonstrate it is true (nor can I prove a negative which was my initial point).

I think Vatican II stated ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ, but anyone can know scripture (there are atheists who study ancient languages and texts) yet be ignorant of Christ. And isn't the whole point of being a Christian to have a personal relationship with Jesus? Not to deconstruct old anthologies?

Mother Theresa was once a speaker at a theology conference, her comment was: too many words, if one of them would have taken the broom from the corner and cleaned the floor it would be more useful.

We are to be images of Christ. How clear is the image? If you know Christ you will know the scriptures. If you don't know Him, the words of scripture are no more inspired than today's sports section.

Anonymous RandyJJ October 23, 2013 10:26 AM  

I probably shouldn't be saying anything, lacking background on the topic, but here goes. I believe in the Trinity, but would very much like to hear good arguments against it. Unfortunately, there are not, to my limited perception, many such arguments presented.

The usual argument I hear against the Trinity (that of the OP) essentially goes:

1. The Bible says God and Jesus are distinct
2. It is impossible for two distinct things to be the same
3. Therefore, God and Jesus are not the same

By contrast, the argument for the Trinity (for me, at least) goes:

1. The Bible says God and Jesus are distinct
2. The Bible says God and Jesus are the same
3. Therefore, God and Jesus are both the same and distinct

From this, it is obvious that any argument saying God and Jesus are distinct is going to have no weight whatsoever with people who believe in the Trinity (or with me, at least). I find lists like that in the OP to be interesting, but ultimately of little use, as they don’t contradict anything that I already believe; they merely confirm claim #1 of the Trinity argument.

The way you should argue against the Trinity position (or my position, at least) is to establish that the Bible does NOT say that God and Jesus are the same. But this is frequently the last thing that anti-Trinity folks do, and when they do get around to it, their arguments seem frequently to be along the lines of: “We know that God and Jesus are distinct, therefore these passages are misunderstood”.

All of which is to say: I'd love it if there was more hashing out of those Bible verses that seem to be claiming that Jesus is God, and less of those that claim that he is distinct from God. The former are the only places where the differences lie (to me, at least).

Blogger Anthony Walsh October 23, 2013 10:26 AM  

The dismantling of Christianity continues unabated, even by those who believe they build it. The father of lies easily deceives the proud.

Agreed.

A.W.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:28 AM  

It's christianese, emanating out of holocaustianityville (aka as J'America) for Christianity, with a knel down at the wailing wall for our "elder brothers".

Jewgle Judeo-Christian for yourself and you will see that I am "justified".


My first response got nuked, obviously Joogle doesn't approve.

Judeo American returns results for sites like destroy zionism and Jewish terrorism. Fascinating. It does not seem to be used outside of an internet ghetto of very angry idiots who are most likely Yankees.

Pat, you know Jesus was Jewish, right? And that the first pope was Jewish?

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:28 AM  

Just remember: "I think it is important to keep in mind that Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status."

VD will explain that in the morning, by the light of his authority, and his dish-licker, Nate, will chime in.

What does VD man by "Christians"?

Furthermore, "elevate theological understanding", sounds kinda, I dunno, Talmudic in a roundabout way. Excuses making excuses for itself.

On the one hand: "It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith", on the other hand "Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status".

I can't reconcile one with the other, but, I know you lot will. So, please; explain it to me.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:29 AM  

What does VD mean by "Christians"?

Anonymous RandyJJ October 23, 2013 10:30 AM  

@Myself:

Perhaps it would have been more correct of me to say "The usual argument I hear against the Trinity (that contained in the OP)..., as Vox is not making the argument, merely presenting it as a spring-board for his own statements that are quite independent.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 10:30 AM  

Look back up the thread, and see what I had to *ask*, of VD:

Then shut up and wait for VD's response, you dumb nut.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:34 AM  

What does VD mean by "Christians"?

I ask this because I think VD is a bukkshitter, as you all are. You do " elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status" and by "Christian" you have a certain theology in mind.

So, if not, what is "Christian"?

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 10:34 AM  

"It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith", on the other hand "Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status".

Let us see.

The basic question introduced by Christianity is this - What must I do to be saved?

And what is the answer to that question?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus October 23, 2013 10:34 AM  

FrankNorman:

Roman Catholic Traditionalist: "How dare you Protestants question The Church! The Church cannot go wrong!"
(Vatican II happens. RCT watches in horror.)
Protestant: "You were saying?"

-

Pretty much.

So why shouldn't Vox Day work things out for himself as best he can?

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:35 AM  

I have to totally concede the argument to Vox - his thesis and reasoning is completely consistent.

Vox hasn't made any argument. The twenty five points are not his.

Anonymous Ten41 October 23, 2013 10:35 AM  

I will make no claim either way, but I have been trying to look into this. In general Trinitarian claims are easier to find on the web. Good anti-Trinitarian claims are harder.

One of the best anti-Trinitarian sites (by this I mean it is not just claims, but study of the words and phrases) is The Trinity Delusion

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:36 AM  

Then shut up and wait for VD's response, you dumb nut.

Or you could just stay out of it, fuckhead.

If you don't have anything to add then don't address me.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:38 AM  

Furthermore, "elevate theological understanding", sounds kinda, I dunno, Talmudic in a roundabout way. Excuses making excuses for itself.

OMFG GUYS! VOX IS A JOO!

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:38 AM  

Vox hasn't made any argument. The twenty five points are not his.

Correct!

All we have is his addendum. And it is to that I address.

So, how about it, answer it, VD.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:39 AM  

OMFG GUYS! VOX IS A JOO!

You were going well.

Saying something is Talmudic does not imply the person is a "joo".

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 10:40 AM  

"There is little chance that I will slide in Calvinism as easy I have slide in Catholicism, so far."

On your path... do take a good hard look at the orthodoxy... be it greek or russian. My own theology is in fact closest to Greek Orthodox.

Anonymous Northern Observer October 23, 2013 10:41 AM  

The Anti-Gnostic: "This thread supports my thesis that Protestantism means you eventually become either a Jew or The Last Christian"

This should have been the final comment on this thread.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 10:41 AM  

Or you could just stay out of it, fuckhead.

Or you can just stop being so damn stupid.

If you don't have anything to add then don't address me.

It ain't your turf, dumbo. You don't get to define the rules.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 10:44 AM  

'Or you can just stop being so damn stupid."

Are you really going to waste your time in a theological discussion with someone who's understanding does not rise to the level of John 3:16?

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:44 AM  

So, if not, what is "Christian"?

Christ follower.

By the way, since Jesus was Jewish, all those who follow Christ are following a Jew.

And Pat, since you also follow the pope, you are following an office first occupied by a Jew.

So you are twice the Jew follower.

Blogger The Deuce October 23, 2013 10:44 AM  

Er, I thought Vox believed that the Son and the Father are both one God, but that it's the Holy Spirit he's skeptical about.

Blogger jamsco October 23, 2013 10:44 AM  

So summing up - If Markku is correct that Vox believes that Jesus is God, then Vox disagrees with many or most of the 25 points. If that is the case, then Vox's primary reason for posting the 25 points is to give evidence that there are other thinkers who don't believe in the Trinity. So it's Vox making pot shots and, once again, not really telling us what he believes.

I'd really like to see Vox take a standard definition of the Trinity and say what about it he doesn't believe. Until he does that, I think it's unhelpful for him to post more about the Trinity.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 10:46 AM  

This should have been the final comment on this thread.

Why?

Blogger jamsco October 23, 2013 10:46 AM  

For example, here is the definition from my church.

I don't think it has a omniderigent slant to it. Perhaps a non-calvinist could verify that. In any case, it's fairly short and simple. What do you make of it, Vox?


2. The Trinity, One God as Three Persons

2.1 We believe in one living, sovereign, and all-glorious God, eternally existing in three infinitely excellent and admirable Persons: God the Father, fountain of all being; God the Son, eternally begotten, not made, without beginning, being of one essence with the Father; and God the Holy Spirit, proceeding in the full, divine essence, as a Person, eternally from the Father and the Son. Thus each Person in the Godhead is fully and completely God.

2.2 We believe that God is supremely joyful in the fellowship of the Trinity, each Person beholding and expressing His eternal and unsurpassed delight in the all-satisfying perfections of the triune God.


Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 10:46 AM  

This is to help the current thread shorty, Pat Hannagan:

Pat's problem:
On the one hand: "It is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that are the central issues of our faith", on the other hand "Christians should not elevate theological understanding to an overly sacred status".

I can't reconcile one with the other, but, I know you lot will. So, please; explain it to me.


The basic question introduced by Christianity is this - What must I do to be saved?

The answer to the above question is what Pat is looking for.

Anonymous Anonymous October 23, 2013 10:46 AM  

I never really understand where heresy comes from as it is usually neither based in the bible or in philosophical dispute. First the biblical record, surprisingly the question of Jesus's divinity isn't raised that often in the gospels, but when it is raised Jesus clearly indicates "Very truly I tell you before Abraham was, I am!" - john 10:58. The significance of this should be obvious to anybody familiar with the Pentateuch. It seems difficult to imagine a clearer way in which Jesus could say I and the Father are one divinely simple and timeless being that is necessarily existent without actually launching into a philosophical dispute. Additionally Jesus claims to be able to forgive sins him through his own power. Why do you think the pharisees were trying to kill him? It was abundantly clear to the Jews that he was committing blasphemy of the worst kind, namely claiming to be God. Finally when the ultimate supreme being conceives with a woman it doesn't even seem possible for anything other than the supreme essence to result from the union, e.g. I highly doubt cthulu would result under any circumstances from such a union.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 10:47 AM  

If Markku is correct that Vox believes that Jesus is God

It was an explicit question by those exact words, and the answer was unambiguous.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 10:47 AM  

"Until he does that, I think it's unhelpful for him to post more about the Trinity."

Unhelpful to whom?

The Ilk are happily running on the hamster wheel and Vox can work in peace.

I suspect its quite helpful to Vox.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 10:47 AM  

It ain't your turf, dumbo. You don't get to define the rules.

So, why did you say to me: Then shut up and wait for VD's response, you dumb nut.?

There is a distinctive lack of consistency going on here, in the post and in the thread.

I don't find it convincing.

Anonymous Anonymous October 23, 2013 10:48 AM  

^forgot a handle
-Porphyry

Blogger jamsco October 23, 2013 10:48 AM  

"I suspect its quite helpful to Vox."

Sounds about right.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 10:49 AM  

"The answer to the above question is what Pat is looking for."

Yes.

And I provided a lengthy list of scriptures that all address that exact question. If he'd bothered to read even one of them he would have his answer.

He didn't.

Which indicates he's not actually looking for an answer at all. He is seeking a target.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 10:50 AM  

I never really understand where heresy comes from

Unless you can come up with a doctrine or doctrines on which everyone else is supposedly wrong to a damnable degree, then you are going to have hard time arguing why everyone else should subject themselves to your spiritual leadership. With orthodoxy, you'll have to climb to the top the hard way.

Anonymous Daniel October 23, 2013 10:50 AM  

Servetus took another approach: he claimed that the trinity was in Christ - that He, as Lord (and noting that the term "Lord" in translation is a substitution for the actual name of God - Elohim) was not a cerberus head-member of the Trinity, but was instead the sole object of faith - God and begotten Son/man and interceding spirit.

Calvinist theology itself - both on the Trinity and on Sovereignity and Predestination - and not, as it is widely defensed, the bloody age and culture of the day*, led directly to the execution of green wood.

So at least in the negative, theology is, at its very base, is important.

*After all, there were many heretics who were exiled and excommunicated. Calvin himself argued in the Institutes that excommunication was the scriptural limit to addressing heresy. Reformed theology, however, opened the door for heresy to rekindle the Catholic tradition of hanging, flame and spear.

I'm not saying you are a heretic or non-Christian if you believe the traditional Trinity (or if you don't)...only that Calvinists today are still able to justify the execution of heretics on theological grounds, and, because of that theology, are able to identify anti-trinitarianism as heresy - not just a Church dispute.

Yesterday, I finished a fascinating little old book written in the 19th century by a Swedenborgian researcher of Servetus that reviews the theology in Restoration and his other work on the Trinity. I've had to rely on slowly picking through the Latin of the original Restoration of Christianity, because the only English translation costs about $200 for some bizarre reason - whether that's the hand of fate or some nervous Reformed theologians, I couldn't tell you...

Anonymous Harsh October 23, 2013 10:52 AM  

"An Internet tough guy insulting his intellectual superiors."

A nigger playing uncle tom to his racial superiors.


My mistake, you're not a tough guy. You're just a garden-variety troll. And not even a clever one at that. Yawn.

Blogger wrf3 October 23, 2013 10:53 AM  

This isn't that hard and the 25 "reasons" are wonderful examples of several forms of muddled thinking.

Ask yourself the question, "what is the difference between 'what God says' and 'what God is'?"
John 1:1 says that they are both distinct and exactly the same. Everything follows from that.

Blogger wrf3 October 23, 2013 10:54 AM  

FrankNorman wrote: The Father and the Son are different parts of the same being...

God does not have "parts".

Anonymous Toby Temple October 23, 2013 10:56 AM  

He didn't.

Which indicates he's not actually looking for an answer at all. He is seeking a target.


Looks like you are right about that.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 10:58 AM  

wrf3... Sorry... but you're not needed on this thread. Pat Hannagan has your nominal role covered.

Thanks.

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 11:05 AM  

John 1:1 says that they are both distinct and exactly the same. Everything follows from that.

This is almost cause for me to consider rethinking my original response. Almost.

Anonymous Northern Observer October 23, 2013 11:08 AM  

Markku: "I have specifically asked Vox if he thinks Jesus is God, and he has said that he does. In other words, Vox is not an anti-trinitarian due to being Arian, but due to other disagreements with the formulation of the Trinity."

I thought that he said that Jesus was a god (one among many), but not God; and that worshipping Jesus was okay because God only commanded that we not have other gods before Him. So as long as you worship God as the primary god, then worshipping Jesus as a separate god (but probably not any other gods) is okay.

Again, I this is only what I thought he'd previously wrote, but I haven't bothered to try to find the quotes.

Blogger RobertT October 23, 2013 11:10 AM  

"This list is in very large need of first stating the doctrine of the trinity and then for every item saying what part of the definition is argued against.

Isn't it interesting? Someone always comes along to say where you're deficient.

Thank you for not taking that approach. This isn't a college course and I probably wouldn't have read it if you had done that. Too much overkill.

Blogger RobertT October 23, 2013 11:11 AM  

Now ... what's your take on the Holy Spirit?

Anonymous Ten41 October 23, 2013 11:13 AM  

I have a question, that I shall throw out; if the Trinitarian claims are not correct, does raising Jesus to god status violate any commandment?

The reason that I am asking is that if it does violate a commandment, or God's wish for our worship, then this question is important enough to dive into completely.

Otherwise, this is just a fun time reading everyone's input.

Anonymous Kevin October 23, 2013 11:18 AM  

I know this one was already brought up, but I think it bears repeating. John 10:33 says, "The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

Also, even IF Jesus was somehow not God, we wouldn't be able to tell the difference, since Hebrews 1:3 states he is the exact representation of His nature.

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 11:19 AM  

It should be pointed out that in the early church... the debate wasn't about the Godness of Jesus.

They didn't doubt that at all.

What they doubted was His humanity. They could not accept that any part of Him was man.

Blogger Markku October 23, 2013 11:23 AM  

I thought that he said that Jesus was a god (one among many), but not God

Well, I capitalized it in the question, and did not have an indefinite article.

Anonymous dh October 23, 2013 11:29 AM  


On your path... do take a good hard look at the orthodoxy... be it greek or russian. My own theology is in fact closest to Greek Orthodox.


I was born orthodox but my particular sect is basically extant, especially in the US.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 11:30 AM  

Two homers I've hit so far:

1) Explain National Libertarianism

2) Why is "repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" ...:the central issues of our faith,..."?

Looking forward to making it 3 from 3.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 11:34 AM  

The beauty of it is, from my perspective, that I really want to know the answers.

It's just that they aren't forthcoming

But, I've got nothing to lose as I think VD is a bullshitter and his threads full of rabbits, and likewise "ilk".

Anonymous Josh October 23, 2013 11:35 AM  

In what way are those homers?

Blogger Nate October 23, 2013 11:37 AM  

"But, I've got nothing to lose as I think VD is a bullshitter and his threads full of rabbits, and likewise "ilk"."

you asked a question and were given direct answers.

The fact that you are to lazy, and or, to stupid to understand those answers... is not reflective on us.

Mongoloid.

Anonymous Northern Observer October 23, 2013 11:40 AM  

Josh: "why?"

Because there is not likely to be better comment in the thread.

Blogger Brad Andrews October 23, 2013 11:40 AM  

Beat to death I am sure, but I would not the key failure is

> "Because he not only never said that himself was God"

He didn't say those exact words, but it is kind of like my wife arguing "I didn't say that," when I challenge here on the attitude she is portraying in some area. It was said, just not with words.

Others have noted the acceptance of worship. I can dig up a bunch of Scriptures that indicate the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the same, depending on how is noted at the time, such as Ananias and Sapphira lying to God in one verse and the Holy Spirit in another.

This is just an example of the point, a whole list of such locations exist even if you argue away that one instance.

I would ask "Who is Jesus" if He is not divine. Just a really exalted man? Something else unique? Created? It would be nice to see a clear definition of what VD and others think He is versus what He is not. Though even that is still not clear, even with all these posts.

Anonymous civilServant October 23, 2013 11:41 AM  

Matthew 14:33
And those who were in the boat worshiped Him

John 9:37-39
37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

Matthew 28:8-10
8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.
9 And behold, Jesus met them [a]and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet
and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus *said to them, “[b]Do not be afraid; go and take word to My
brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Matthew 4:10
Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and serve Him only.’”

Acts 10:24-26
24 On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called
together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at
his feet and [a]worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a
man.”

Anonymous Pat Hannagan October 23, 2013 11:44 AM  

Mongoloid

Lolz, Natesey.

Still waiting for you to refute the New Testament. I agev it to you and , whoopsies, nothing forthcoming from you.

Anyway, let's hear it from your master.

Till then - wait! that's a good dog ::pat pat::

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