• Help Spread the Fire
  • Click here to read Dr. Brown's latest article
  • Update on Tuesday Night’s Trinity Debate, and Some Thoughts on the Tea Party

    September 16, 2010 | 86 Comments

    James White Interviews Apologist Sam Shamoun About the Trinity Debate (airing online at 7:00 PM, EST, Sept. 16)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Spread the Word:
    • E-mail this story to a friend!
    • Facebook
    • Digg
    • del.icio.us
    • Mixx
    • MySpace
    • Technorati
    • Sphinn
    • StumbleUpon
    • TwitThis

    Comments

    86 Responses to “Update on Tuesday Night’s Trinity Debate, and Some Thoughts on the Tea Party”

    1. Eric
      September 16th, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

      Dear Dr. Brown,

      I deeply appreciate all the work you do for the Lord, it really inspires me to get out there and do something for the Kingdom! God bless you and Dr. James White!

      Thank you.

    2. Dr Michael L Brown
      September 16th, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

      Thanks, Eric. Bless you!

    3. Ray
      September 17th, 2010 @ 8:21 am

      Dr. Brown,

      Sometimes a Trinitarian will say that Jesus is called “our great God and saviour” in the scriptures and therefore he is God, while another Christian will say “So what’s the point you are making? Peter, Paul, and Mary are salt and together they are the salt of the earth, but do you think you will find them on the shelf of a grocery store and sold for pennies a pound?”

      How might we answer Christians with that perspective?

    4. Ray
      September 17th, 2010 @ 8:49 am

      Dr. Brown,

      How should we answer a Christian who says, “I was born again by hearing of the Lord’s conception by the holy spirit, and thereby being the Son of God who came from heaven by that means. I had no concept of his existing prior to that in any form other than as a promise of God, or as prophesies about him. I realized that he is the word of God because everything he said is true and of God himself. Therefore I believed and was saved. I came to find the knowledge of my sins and the atonement of the blood of Christ that was shed for me, that which I so desperately needed. I found the relief of guilt which came upon me because of my sins. I found it by faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. That Jesus existed with God was not upon my heart at the time, nor was the knowledge of it upon my mind at the time of my salvation, my being received into his heavenly family. I now know he has received me and given me the evidence of the holy spirit which I have received by his grace, and the evidence I now have is shown to me by the gift of tongues, something I can not speak by my own power, ability, or desire apart from being connected to God by the holy spirit given to me because of Jesus and all he did and gave for me.”?

      Should we tell them that they had to have believed that Jesus was existent with God as a person or being in order for them to have been so saved by him?

      I wonder why it is that so many Christians do not accept his being with God from everlasting, (preexistence) or that he is God as according to the discipline of the Trinitarian doctrine, yet they have received the holy spirit as evidenced by the speaking in tongues.

      This raises some serious questions, one of them being “Does God indeed give his gift of the holy spirit to those who did not believe in their heart that Jesus existed as a being or person before he came to be in this world in the flesh(preexistence)? ” and if so, then on what basis does God receive people into his family?

      Where in scripture can we find the texts that tell us that a person must receive the Trinity doctrine, or at the very least, the doctrine of the preexistence of Christ in order to receive sonship from God?

      Does the scripture actually say that, or have we been making up our own rules or standard for being accepted into the household of God?

      Have we become so enamored by our doctrine about God that we can not see the living stones, or a particular truth that is all around us? (see the Sons of Thunder dream / vision by James Ryle)

    5. Ed
      September 17th, 2010 @ 8:55 am

      “Peter, Paul, and Mary are salt and together they are the salt of the earth, but do you think you will find them on the shelf of a grocery store and sold for pennies a pound?”

      Personally, I find them in my audiotape collection and PBS specials. I especially enjoy “Puff the Magic Dragon”.

    6. Ed
      September 17th, 2010 @ 8:55 am

      Sorry, bad joke, but I couldn’t resist.

    7. Robert Pavich
      September 17th, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

      Dr. Brown…

      I enjoyed your debate with James White several months ago. I was a rare treat to hear to apologists duke it out with respect for each other and with such knowledge of the material.

      Now you’ve teamed up with Dr. White and although I haven’t listed to it yet…I’m sure it’s going to be even better…

      Thank you for the work you do…(though I am a Calvinist…) I appreciate it. :)

    8. Andy
      September 17th, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

      “Where in scripture can we find the texts that tell us that a person must receive the Trinity doctrine, or at the very least, the doctrine of the preexistence of Christ in order to receive sonship from God?”

      You don’t need to accept or understand these in order to be saved (after all, children or those recently introduced to the faith may not have necessarily been introduced to these doctrines yet, but can still trust Christ for their salvation from sin).

      However, if that person is later presented with these doctrines that are clearly taught in Scripture, and if they reject them, it’s definitely a red flag that their trust in Christ is perhaps not genuine.

    9. Patrick Robinson
      September 17th, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      I have observed a lot of doctrinal wars over the Godhead within Pentecostal circles. (I don’t think it is an issue anywhere else.)

      I come from a “Oneness” Pentecostal type background (although not like the UPC who are very devisive). I have been taught against the “Trinitarian” concept of the Godhead – i.e “One God in three persons”

      Our doctrinal statement reads, “We believe in One God manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Our teaching emphasizes Col 2:9 – “all the fulness of the Godhead” in Christ, and phrases like “Jesus is not in the Trinity, but the Godhead is in Jesus.” are often used.

      People in my stream seem to think that the phrase “three persons” implies “three Gods, three thrones, etc. that we will see in heaven.”

      Conversely, I hear “Trinitarian” Pentecostal people accuse us of heresy because we believe in “3 manifestations” rather than “3 persons” of the one God.

      The more I hear you teach on “God’s complex unity”, the more I realize that you seem to be saying the same thing yet with different terminology.

      I my opinion, “Oneness” teachers are really reacting to an extreme Trinitarian teaching bordering on Tritheism, and rejecting historical Trinitarian doctrine, while Trinitarians are reacting to extreme “Oneness” or “Jesus only” type teaching.

      Would you agree?

    10. Patrick Robinson
      September 17th, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      Perhaps the following illustration will clarify what I was trying to explain above.

      People in my background would never sing the song “Holy, Holy…God in three persons, blessed Trinity.” But perhaps if the words were changed to be “God in Christ Jesus, blessed Deity” they would have no trouble singing it.

      I think that if the words “Trinity” and “three persons” were never uttered in the teaching, they would say amen! So, it seems to me that both sides (perhaps more on our side) are misunderstanding/mis-representing what the Bible teaches about God’s complex unity.

      I think you articulate things well.

    11. Ray
      September 20th, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

      Patrick,
      I am also one of those who despises the words you mention above in post #10 which you say about them, that people in your background would never sing.

      I myself do not want to sing them, but do like the words, “God in Christ Jesus, blessed diety.”

      Neither do I like to hear the words “Trinity” and “three persons” in teachings that promote such things. I see no real purpose in it. I see no purpose of God in doing that. It seems to me that such things are the cause of much confusion and division.

      Maybe that’s why we don’t see such words authored by God in the scritures. (I Cor 14:33)

      I see by my Young’s concordance that the greek word under confussion which is connected to I Cor 14:33 carries the meaning of Instability, something the church is not called unto.

      I wonder if the church has for such reasons, not received things that could be due her. (James 1:8, James 3)

    12. Ray
      September 21st, 2010 @ 10:16 am

      I for one have seen far too much trouble going on about the Trinity doctrine. I don’t think it’s the great commission some seem to make it out to be. I do not see any good reason for me to become a Trinitarian. I think there’s far too much work to be done for the king of glory than to busy myself with some endeavor like that. I see no reason why I should try to defend such a thing.
      I see no way a man can truly serve God by doing so. I don’t believe it’s my calling to be a follower of that particular discipline or persuasion. It seems to me to be the cause of too much trouble and confusion in the church. It’s too devisive and sectarian for me. I’ll not enlist. I doubt I will be drafted into their numbers. I’ve decided not to serve such a thing, as if it is God. It isn’t. It’s a monument that’s been built in honor of him and defending it is not the real work we should be doing in my opinion.

    13. Tom
      September 21st, 2010 @ 11:46 am

      Ray,

      Your language about not seeing the Trinity doctrine as a “great commission” is ironic, given as how it was in the direct context of the Great Commission that the name (singular; as opposed to names, plural) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was revealed by our Lord Himself (Matt 28:19-20).

      As to your assertion that the Trinity is not worth defending on the grounds that it has caused division and sectarianism in the Church (“It seems to me to be the cause of too much trouble and confusion in the church. It’s too devisive and sectarian for me.” – your words): you MUST start thinking about this without your personal dogmatic whims.

      Look, is homosexuality wrong? Particularly, is it alright for practicing homosexuals to be ordained and serve as ministers in a congregation? It is this precise question that is causing much division and sectarianism within our own time in many denominations. For example, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted only within the past year to ordain practicing homosexuals into the ministry, and that very denomination is now in an upheaval due to the numbers of individuals holding true to the scriptures in defense of God’s word and His standards.

      By your logic, the members who oppose the ordination of homosexuals should just lie down and ‘not let it be an issue’ in the name of unity and avoiding sectarianism. This is absurd. If we follow this path of least resistance we will end up with a sterilized Church proclaiming a sterilized message (if there is even a Church left at all).

      Bottom line, we are to fight for the truth as revealed in God’s Word at every level, on every subject. A compromise on the Doctrine of the Trinity is not acceptable, it is only the beginning of sowing doubt and confusion regarding God’s revelation to us men.

      If the defense of God’s truth is not “the real work we should be doing” I ask you, pray tell, what is?

    14. Ray
      September 21st, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

      Tom, have you seen the Sons of Thunder dream/vision by James Ryle? It can be googled.

      There’s a lot to think about concerning the monument, the officers of the Law, what enamored them, why would something so occupy them, were they charmed, if so, why, was something enchanting them, if so why, is the answer more clubs and tighter interlocking of elbows, how long should anyone be at the monument, and yes, what else could we be doing?

      I have a lot of questions about it and it does seem to me to fit this topic.

    15. Tom
      September 22nd, 2010 @ 9:35 am

      Ray,

      Just read it. It’s great to have questions, but as a brother I plead with you, be careful that you don’t get distracted and dismayed by one man’s dreaming. Were Mr. Ryle’s visions from God? Perhaps, but in interpreting any such thing we need to hold it up against scripture and not fret over all these details.

      Given that, our example of Godly men in Scripture includes the Apostle Paul. This is a man who stood opposed to the proto-gnostics who tried to deny the full-deity of Christ; he stood up to defend the truth from those who sought to put the Gentiles under the law; he even stood up against his fellow Apostles to defend the Gospel.

      That said, I cannot see it being anyone’s intention here to prevent people from coming to Jesus to be saved – far from. The danger is real, though, that people will be LED ASTRAY from the Gospel by men like Anthony Buzzard and his Socinian ideas.
      Do you know what happened with the original Socinus? His preaching that Jesus is not deity, yet is to be worshiped as such fooled people – but his followers were more consistent than him and rightly decided they would worship no one but God, so they turned their back on Jesus and the Gospel. This is what’s at stake here.

      The Doctrine of the Trinity is in no way a form of clubs and interlinked arms. PLEASE don’t let yourself be disturbed by reading meanings into some man’s dreams that are not there – least of all when his dreams are not included in the canon of Scripture. Take your cues instead from Paul, who defended Biblical truth unto death at the hands of Rome. We must all hold true to what is right; our holding is not to forbid others from entering, but an invitation to greater things.

    16. Tom
      September 22nd, 2010 @ 9:49 am

      As an addendum, Ray – instead of meditating over Mr. Ryle’s dreams as if they were scripture and seeking to divine their meaning, I can’t encourage you enough to spend that time reading true scripture and seeking understanding from that.

      Please, truly, I’m praying for your attention to be turned to Jesus and his revelation, and away from Mr. Ryle.

      What else could we be doing is really the question of the day. One way or another I have a feeling it starts with immersing ourselves in God’s word, the Bible (and that goes double for me).

    17. Ray
      September 22nd, 2010 @ 10:44 am

      Tom,
      I suppose you are right. I should be concentrating more on Jesus. By him I should find answers to questions about the things I wonder about. And if no answer comes, I should be learn to be content.

      Instead of wondering if we as Christians are evangelizing effectively by defending the doctrine of the Trinity, I should be looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, lest I try to found my faith upon a doctrine rather than upon him and what I can learn of him by the scriptures themselves and what they say by how they testify of him.

      I remember how he took the bread and the wine just before his arrest and told his apostles to do the same. He gave them some understanding of what it meant, how he ate and drank and how they should do likewise.

      The apostle Paul was also told of the Lord Jesus how to minister holy communion, and the significance of it.

      Still, I wonder about some things I have seen in this world. I was taking holy communion once in a church and while we were holding the wine (juice) (in little cups which each of us held) he said that if anyone doesn’t believe that Jesus is God, he isn’t a Christian.

      I wasn’t so sure about what he meant by that, but later sent him a letter letting him know that in my opinion such a thing as saying that should have no place in holy communion as that was not something that we were all eating and drinking to, rather we were to have been examining ourselves, discerning his body properly as we could, accepting his sacrifice for our sins, honoring him for what he did for us, being thankful to God for his great love and for sending his Son for us, doing this each one privately, remembering to forgive others also as he forgave us.

      Now I wonder,… If it doesn’t belong in a holy communion service, maybe it doesn’t belong in my house at all. It such a thing is never in my house, it should never come out of my gate.

      One day every Christian will know who Jesus is.
      Until then, maybe the best thing we can do is be careful we don’t turn anyone out of the church service, or the church itself by anything we do.

    18. Ray
      September 25th, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

      I know that some Christians are Trinitarians and that some are not. Are we supposed to be Trinitarians or are we not? I can not at this time tell.

      I remember some pictures I saw of square watermelons. They were square in shape because the grower put some kind of baskets around them while they were growing. I think the baskets were made of steel wire.

      All the melons were about the same size, each one filled out to the size of the baskets which had held them.

      I heard that these melons stack real nice and that they taste just like watermelons should.

      Some people didn’t mind that they were square. I suppose some people liked that they were square. Some people didn’t like them and said that watermelons are supposed to be round.

      I don’t know if I can make a good case that simply stated, watermelons are supposed to be round.

      I wonder if some are supposed to be round while some are supposed to be square.

    19. Ray
      September 25th, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

      correction:

      After checking the internet I’m quite certain that the melons I saw in the pictures were grown in polycarbonate plastic cubes, not in wire baskets as I had presumed.

    20. Daniel Friedemann
      September 27th, 2010 @ 8:00 am

      do you believe if i don’t accept the doctrine of the Holy Trinity one God in three persons i will go to hell. I came out of a Oneness Pentecostal Church in anderson ca in december of 09. I believe Salvation is by Grace Thru Faith. Meaning repent and believe the Gospel. I believe the God of our faith is JESUS. I believe Jesus is fully God and Man. According to 1peter 1:20 I believe Jesus was the Eternal WORD OF GOD i believe he was the very word of Father God. I believe God is a Spirit John 4:24. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit or the Father is a person of God. The only Person of God is Jesus CHrist for their was only one GOdman am i right. Jesus is God in Flesh 1tim 3:16. I have no idea how God incarnated himself in flesh but i’m thankful. The problem with most oneness churches is they are legalistic and don’t show you the cross. Some problems with trinitarian churches is they lay too much weight on the tradition of the church fathers instead of just studying God’s word for themselves. Doctrine divides but Loves brings us together. so also i believe acts 2:38 is taken out of context by oneness groups i believe it means repent for the forgiveness of sins then be baptized in jesus name or its saying Believe in the Name of Jesus for your sins to be remissioned or from what i believe is to be baptized into Jesus Christ is to accept him as your personal LORD AND SAVIOR AMen.
      I believe the Holy Spirit is made up of the Seven Spirits of God and When Jesus comes back according to revelation his eyes are the seven spirits of God. I believe the Godhead is in CHrist. When Jesus Comes back to earth the Father,Son,and Holy SPirit will be in one BODY the Glorified Body of JESUS CHRIST OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR>

    21. Xavier
      September 28th, 2010 @ 7:51 am

      Tom,

      The danger is real, though, that people will be LED ASTRAY from the Gospel by men like Anthony Buzzard and his Socinian ideas.

      Unlike people like Calvin and many other so-called ‘Christians’ through the ages, such men are not forcing nor persecuting people to the point of murder.

    22. Ray
      September 28th, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

      Daniel,

      I do not believe that one must accept the trinity doctrine in order to be saved any more than one would have to accept someone’s twinity doctrine for salvation.

      If one group can read the Bible and arrive at a Trinity doctrine, why couldn’t another group read it and arrive at a Twinity doctrine? And why would one be any better than the other? I suppose that would be depending on the scriptures they believe and understand correctly.

      I believe much like you do and am still learning.

      Right now I am considering that Jesus was one with God in the beginning, and when God’s spirit moved upon the face of the waters, that the one who was with God (Jesus) spoke the word of God either right after the spirit of God moved, and / or in conjunction with the moving of the spirit of God and that all was created by the power of God according to the will of God which was exercised by the Lord Jesus.

      These things I am presently considering. I also am considering Col I:15 which in my KJV calls Jesus the firstborn of every creature.

      It seems to me to be a relationship situation, one of Jesus having the preemenance, priority, blessing, favor, and dominance as the firstborn does in a family, as Joseph was seen to have when he became next to Pharaoh in Egypt.

      So, are there creatures in heaven? If so, to them Jesus is the one with the dominance, priority, favor of God, preemanance, etc. to them.

      I do believe there are creatures in heaven.

      There’s a lot to learn. I think the Trinity doctrine is simply a way some people have chosen to describe something for they have the liberty to do so. This does not mean everyone must do likewise. We all have the liberty to share the gospel and we all will be judged by the Lord for doing so. We will be judged by how we have used the liberty he gives us, and how we presently use it. We will be judged by him for all eternity.

      I think we can expect an ever present judging by him for all eternity.

    23. Anthony Buzzard
      September 29th, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

      Dr White, describing his understanding of the Trinity says, “God is one What and three Whos”. He states clearly that he is not saying that there are three Beings that are One Being or three persons that are One Person. “Such would be self-contradictory.” [Forgotten Trinity, 1998, p. 27]

      However on p 132 Dr White falls into the trap of self-contradiction which he has just outlined. He says “the very Being of God is YHWH, the eternal God who created everything.” Notice that he now describes the One Being of God as a Who and not a What. Then he describes each of the 3 members of his trinity: “we can agree, I assume, that the Father is identified as YHWH. But I believe the Bible identifies Jesus as YHWH, as well.” [p. 132]

      So, White is now proposing 2 YHWHs Who make up 1 YHWH. This, as he said, on p 27, is “self-contradictory”. Such a self-contradiction is inherent in all attempts to make all 3 into 1. Much clearer are the words of Jesus: “The LORD our God is One LORD.” [Mar 12.29] One LORD, of course, is One Person.

      Calvin himself was confused about the difference between Adonai and adoni.

      Calvin, 3:43, raises the honest historical question: ‘Might not God have raised up someone of the human race as Redeemer to be David’s Lord and Son at the same time? For it is not God’s most essential name that is used [here], but only Adonai [Adoni] (Lord), which [name] in fact is often applied to men’…” Matthew: The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28, Frederick Dale Bruner, Eerdmans, p 243-244, 2007.

      He misreports the word in Ps 110.1 as Adonai and then compounds his error by stating that that word refers to human beings. Calvin is wrong on both counts. The word in fact is adoni which never refers to God. F. D. Bruner helpfully corrects Calvin’s mistake.

    24. Ray
      September 29th, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

      I’ve also heard that God is 1 What and 3 Whos. That almost sounds like it came from a children’s book to me.

      If that’s the language of today, maybe I can join in on the discussion.

      What if I turned it around? Suppose God is 1 Who and many Whats. What could we list as to what God is? How about truth? Then how about love? I suppose we could add righteousness, kindness, just and full of justice, good, clean, holy, and keep on going.

      Let’s say God is 1. There is one God and nothing is divided in him. All that is in him is one, and is of one. (God is a God of unity.)

      We all may have different views of God and I suppose that is to be expected. Since we know in part how can we describe him fully? The part that you know of him I might not have. I know there is much I can learn from all of you. Each one of you is unique and has a part. Each one knows God in some ways that are particular and unique to them.
      The way God has shown himself to me might not be the same way God has shown himself to you even though we have the same God. This is not to say that anything goes, for God is true, just, good, kind, meciful, and right.

      One thing people tend to do is organize truth for others. That can be helpful. God is a God of order as well as truth. But we have an enemy that might want to take the truth we have been given and he may want us to allow him to fix it up down there and bring it up back here, and he might add a little something to it. He might give us a formula and even try to get us to think it will be our righteousness for holding to it.

      Some people might take the formula and add a little meal to it to take care of whatever it was that was or could be seen as a bit off. They might adjust the formuala a little bit to make it acceptable to them.

      Sometimes the truth is like a salad bar and not everyone will fix their plate the same way and that is to be expected.

      Not everyone will make a sandwich the same way.
      We need liberty and grace for learning. Words are good for communication when they are used well. Even when used well, there is opportunity for misunderstanding. God gives us grace to learn from our mistakes, to try new things, and learn about him. We also want to learn from him.

      I don’t always know which ideas I have are from God and which are not. Lots of times I don’t know what to do with them.

      One of the first things God said about himself To Moses is “I Am What I Am.” Maybe we have to first learn what he is before we can learn much from him. I suppose we first must learn that he is and then learn about what he is. Then maybe we will learn to walk toward him.

    25. Dr Michael L Brown
      September 29th, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

      Anthony, as always, I appreciate you posting here. I’m not sure Dr. White will have time to respond on this forum, but everyone will be able to watch and judge for themselves when the debate is aired on Jewish Voice. I join with you, Sir, in saying, May the truth of God’s Word triumph!

    26. Tom
      September 30th, 2010 @ 9:56 am

      Xavier, you said: “Unlike people like Calvin and many other so-called ‘Christians’ through the ages, such men are not forcing nor persecuting people to the point of murder.”

      That, my friend, is immaterial. An attack on behaviors is no attack on doctrine, and the truth is the truth regardless of who knows it and proclaims it (or what they may do with it). You might benefit from reading up on post-Nicene Council Rome, where many Trinitarians were put to death or exiled by those asserting the non-deity of Christ and the non-Trinity of the Godhead.

      So yeah, your big quarrel with Trinitarians is that some heretics have been put to death, take it up with the 4th century Arians who likewise practiced “forcing” and “persecuting people to the point of murder”.

    27. Tom
      September 30th, 2010 @ 9:57 am

      Last paragraph should read: “So yeah, IF your big quarrel…”

    28. Anthony Buzzard
      September 30th, 2010 @ 10:38 am

      Dr Brown

      thanks for your kindness, and we are united in a common purpose to bring truth to light.

    29. Tom
      September 30th, 2010 @ 10:41 am

      Dr. Buzzard,

      Your statement that 1 YHWH = 1 person (in your words, “One LORD, of course, is One Person”) only shows an a priori assumption on your part about the definition of YHWH, not an understanding drawn AFTER an honest and critical reading of the text.

      Given that YHWH is beyond simple definition by nature and cannot be known by man but through special revelation, I presume we can agree that it is YHWH who should be our teacher as to what YHWH is. Given that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all identified as YHWH, I must conclude that the definition of YHWH involves 3 persons. Nothing contradictory about that, unless of course you’ve determined beforehand that 1 YHWH = 1 person, in which case your assumptive definition is to blame for creating a contradiction, not the definition of YHWH given clearly in scripture.

      That said, the Psalm 110 argument is a bit of a weak nail to be hanging such a massive argument on. Certainly, even if you want to make the case that Psalm 110 shows Jesus’ complete humanity (which any Trinitarian already believes in anyway), you still have to respond to Isaiah 6/John 12, Philippians 2, and Revelations 4-5 (to start) in a way showing that Jesus is not Deity as well. Psalm 110 seems like your golden egg, if you’ll pardon my saying so.
      Do you have anything with more oomph than an argument from some tacked-on vowel points, or is this really your coup-de-gras?

    30. Xavier
      September 30th, 2010 @ 10:54 am

      Tom

      The point I was trying to make is that truth, has nothing to fear. And those who hate, persecute and eventually murder others in the name of a specific religious denomination, is a clear sign that whatever “truth” they might claim to represent is faulty to say the least. Be they trinis, Arians or otherwise.

      History testifies that most of the persecutions/murders throughout “Christianity” has been perpetrated by such groups. I recommend you read The Radical Reformation by G. H. Williams, 1962.

      There is no man who has power over the spirit to retain the breath of life, neither has he power over the day of death…
      Eccl 8.8

    31. Xavier
      September 30th, 2010 @ 11:02 am

      Tom

      Given that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all identified as YHWH, I must conclude that the definition of YHWH involves 3 persons.

      You neglected to add “the angel of the LORD” who is also identified as YHWH:

      …the angel of the LORD appeared to [Moses]in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…the LORD [God] spoke to Moses from out of the bush… Ex 3

      You said,

      That said, the Psalm 110 argument is a bit of a weak nail to be hanging such a massive argument on…Psalm 110 seems like your golden egg, if you’ll pardon my saying so.

      Are you aware that this is the most often cited OT verse by the NT writers?

    32. Chuck
      October 4th, 2010 @ 10:12 am

      Following are excerts from Patrick Navas’Divine Truth, p 176, f. 47, 2007.

      It is confusing when Dr. White says that “God alone will be the object of our worship in all His fullness,” and when he speaks of “the Triune God Himself.” Because by saying “God/His/Himself” he is talking about God as the Trinity. Yet, according to popular Trinitarian belief, the trinity is not a “who” but a “what” (‘one what three who’s’; see The Forgotten Trinity, p. 27).

      Evangelical apologists Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes also affirm the same doctrine: “there is only one What in God, but there are three Who’s, there is one It, but three Is.” — Correcting the Cults, Expert Responses To Their Scripture Twisting (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997) p.130.

      Dr. White says himself: “We dare not mix up the what’s and the who’s regarding the Trinity.” But here he speaks of “His” glory, referring to the glory of the Trinity (and ‘the triune God Himself’). How can a what or it be spoken of as a who?

    33. Tom
      October 4th, 2010 @ 11:20 am

      Xavier,

      The point I was trying to make is that truth, has nothing to fear. And those who hate, persecute and eventually murder others in the name of a specific religious denomination, is a clear sign that whatever “truth” they might claim to represent is faulty to say the least. Be they trinis, Arians or otherwise.

      Then you must really have issues with the OT commands about stoning people who speak lies (blaspheme) against YHWH, huh? I guess that “truth” revealed at Sinai just was too faulty so people had to defend it by “murder(ing) others in the name of a specific religious denomination”.

      You neglected to add “the angel of the LORD” who is also identified as YHWH

      Not really. Given Jesus’ “before Abraham was, I AM” speech, I’m gonna go with that being the preincarnate Christ (and it’s not like there’s not a precedent for that).

      Let me say, I am not going to engage in a discussion about the identity of the Angel of YHWH here. Dr. Brown’s “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus” vol. 2 covers it with detail I could not hope to replicate here.

      Are you aware that [Psalm 110] is the most often cited OT verse by the NT writers?

      Sure. Doesn’t change my statement though.

    34. Chuck
      October 4th, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

      Tom

      Then you must really have issues with the OT commands about stoning people who speak lies (blaspheme) against YHWH, huh?

      I fail to see the connection between God’s judgment on those who disobey Him and the issue of religious persecution.

      Given Jesus’ “before Abraham was, I AM” speech, I’m gonna go with that being the preincarnate Christ (and it’s not like there’s not a precedent for that).

      Where are the precedents for this “pre-human God the Son” in the scriptures? And in regards to the continued misinterpretation/application of John 8.58, I’ll let some well known scholars explain it:

      To take the “I am” as the “ani hu” [I am He] of the divine name is a misreading which can be shown to be such by careful attention to the text. The “I am the bread, shepherd” certainly do not imply that the subject is God.” The “I am” statements do not carry with them the implication that He is Yahweh (indeed the latter two [8:28; 13:19] there is a contrast with the Father who sent Him), but in contrast ‘the Christ, the Son of God”’

      That Jesus is arrogating to himself the divine name is nowhere stated or implied in this gospel. Even the Jews do not accuse him of this — only of calling God His Father, and thereby implying equality with God or as H. Oldberg interprets this from Rabbinic parallels, rebellious independence being ‘as good as God’ (5:18). What they take to be the blasphemy of making himself ‘a god’ in 10:33 is again made clear to be a misunderstanding of Jesus calling Himself ‘God’s son’…. The worst than can be said of Him at the trial is that He claimed to be ‘God’s Son”’ (J. A. T. Robinson, Priority of John, 385-387).

      ‘I am He’ means a claim to be the Messiah and implies neither divinity nor preexistence.‘Before Abraham’s coming, I am He, that is, the promised Messiah. The simple phrase ‘I am He’ is used by Jesus 15 times, but in every case but the present it is rendered in the Common Version, ‘I am He’ or ‘It is I.’ See Mat. 14:27, Mk 6:50, 14:62, Luke 21:8, 22:70, 24:39, John 4:26, 6:20, 8:24, 28, 13:19, 18:5. 6, 8. LLD of Young’s Concordance, Concise Commentary

    35. Tom
      October 4th, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

      I fail to see the connection between God’s judgment on those who disobey Him and the issue of religious persecution.

      The assertion that Xavier made is to imply that the killing of individuals with a different viewpoint in the name of religion must therefore be “a clear sign that whatever “truth” they might claim to represent is faulty to say the least.”

      If that standard is applied evenly, then it must also be placed upon the OT Hebrews who stoned individuals who spoke out against their God, YHWH. The OT Hebrews clearly killed individuals “in the name of a specific religious denomination” and thus to apply the logic: this was “a clear sign that whatever “truth” they might claim to represent is faulty to say the least.

      Xavier’s words, Xavier’s logical construction, not mine.

      Thus the connection; but no, I agree that the history of religious persecution in the Church leaves a bad taste in my mouth as well.
      That said, using Ad Hominem and guilt by association fallacies do not establish your point that “since group A kills people for religious reasons, they must have a suspect ‘truth’”. Appealing to tactics like these is not how you win a debate or advance your point. If truth has nothing to fear, let’s stick to the relevant issues; religious persecution is not one of them.

      Where are the precedents for this “pre-human God the Son” in the scriptures?

      I’ll refer you back over to our conversation on the “Preexistence of the Son” topic where that point is already under discussion.

      And in regards to the continued misinterpretation/application of John 8.58, I’ll let some well known scholars explain it:
      To take the “I am” as the “ani hu” [I am He] of the divine name is a misreading which can be shown to be such by careful attention to the text. The “I am the bread, shepherd” certainly do not imply that the subject is God.” The “I am” statements do not carry with them the implication that He is Yahweh (indeed the latter two [8:28; 13:19] there is a contrast with the Father who sent Him), but in contrast ‘the Christ, the Son of God”’

      That Jesus is arrogating to himself the divine name is nowhere stated or implied in this gospel. Even the Jews do not accuse him of this — only of calling God His Father, and thereby implying equality with God or as H. Oldberg interprets this from Rabbinic parallels, rebellious independence being ‘as good as God’ (5:18). What they take to be the blasphemy of making himself ‘a god’ in 10:33 is again made clear to be a misunderstanding of Jesus calling Himself ‘God’s son’…. The worst than can be said of Him at the trial is that He claimed to be ‘God’s Son”’ (J. A. T. Robinson, Priority of John, 385-387).

      ‘I am He’ means a claim to be the Messiah and implies neither divinity nor preexistence.‘Before Abraham’s coming, I am He, that is, the promised Messiah. The simple phrase ‘I am He’ is used by Jesus 15 times, but in every case but the present it is rendered in the Common Version, ‘I am He’ or ‘It is I.’ See Mat. 14:27, Mk 6:50, 14:62, Luke 21:8, 22:70, 24:39, John 4:26, 6:20, 8:24, 28, 13:19, 18:5. 6, 8. LLD of Young’s Concordance, Concise Commentary

      Well, you can certainly quote sources… but so can I:

      I am (ego eimi). Undoubtedly here Jesus claims eternal existence with the absolute phrase used of God. The contrast between genesthai (entrance into existence of Abraham) and eimi (timeless being) is complete. See the same contrast between en in 1:1 and egeneto in 1:14. See the contrast also in Psa. 90:2 between God (ei, art) and the mountains (genethenai). A. T. Robertson “Word Pictures, 5:158-159

      Given your obvious esteem for A. T. Roberson’s scholarship as evidenced by your own quote of him, I thought you might like this one.

      Further, I see your Young’s Concordance and raise you a James White:

      We have seen that John uses ego eimi in more than one way – the majority of the time providing a predicate. Even these are astounding in their majesty in regards to the person of Christ. Here Jesus is said to be the way, the truth, and the life; the light of the world; the bread of life; and the good shepherd, each of which it should be noted, has parallels to statements made by Yahweh in the Old Testament. But the bulk of this paper has been devoted to those passages where the phrase is used in a specific sense – in an “absolute” sense.

      Upon examining these we have seen that they find their origin and background in the book of Isaiah’s usage of the Hebrew term ani hu and its translation as ego eimi in the LXX. We have seen the close parallel between Isaiah 43:10 and John 13:19, both in form as well as thought content.

      We have also seen how the context of the passages themselves – the setting and teaching of the entire book of John – makes the identification of ego eimi and its resultant presentation of the deity of Christ inevitable. We have seen how John purposefully emphasizes these phrases, helping us to grasp their significance. – Dr. James White Purpose and Meaning of “Ego Eimi” in the Gospel of John
      In Reference to the Deity of Christ

      Now then, are we through citing scholars? The majority affirm the use of Ego Eimi as a divine claim (or at least a claim to “absolute preexistence”) on the part of Jesus, so this is not a debate you can win with a “smart-person body count”.

      And yes, by citing that verse I do mean that the Divine Son was personally around prior to the conception and was exegeting the Father to men long before He Himself became one.

    36. Ray
      October 4th, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

      Why is it that most people read John 8:58′s reading of “…Before Abraham was, I am.” as if it says “…Before Abrahm was, I was.”?

      Is this an error of grammar or is there a better translation somewhere?

      I’ve heard it said that a better translation would be “…Previously Abraham was. I am.”
      If we read it this way, we find that Jesus was telling them that Abraham previously existed in the past, but now Jesus presently exists, context being in this present world, in the flesh.

      As Jesus was known to do, he was busy about the gospel, the good news about himself. This information about the existence of Abraham and the day of Christ is important to the gospel, is it not?

      Such a statement should raise questions such as
      “Why did Abraham first come before Jesus?” This does fit the context of John 8:56, as would the latter reading which I gave (by changing “before” to “previously” and also changing the punctuation.)

      Such a statement would not say that Jesus did not exist prior to Abraham, but would say that Abraham came first according to the flesh.

      It seems to be neutral as concerning his existing prior to the divine conception by the holy spirit, neither saying that he did exist prior, nor saying that he did not.

      It seems to me that many a Trinitarian use it for their purposes and it seems to me that I have never heard as to why it reads contrary to good grammar in my KJV.

      I am aware that Jesus used language creatively. It also seems to me that he usually used proper grammar. At least that’s what it looks like in my English version of the Bible.

    37. Ray
      October 4th, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

      Concerning God being seen by Moses through the angel in the burning bush, it’s not unusual to use language such that we say that God was seen in many ways, sometimes by angels, for example, or a cloud, or pillar of fire, by fire on a mountain, etc.

      God was seen by seeing Jesus. (John 14:9)

      If we have an agenda, we will likely read how we want to be reading, and read what we want to read into what we read, and doesn’t this cause division?

    38. Chuck
      October 4th, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

      Tom

      …then it must also be placed upon the OT Hebrews who stoned individuals who spoke out against their God, YHWH.

      Are you familiar with the New Covenant inaugurated by our [supposed] lord Messiah Jesus? What has Torah laws regarding stoning etc. to do with so-called Christians persecuting or killing other Christians?!

      Given your obvious esteem for A. T. Roberson’s scholarship as evidenced by your own quote of him, I thought you might like this one.

      I use such [trinitarian] sources to show the contradiction. Thanks for helping me out. Here’s a doozy from Dunn’s new book, Did the Early Christians Worship Jesus?:

      Jesus is not YHWH, not the God of Israel…our central question can indeed be answered negatively. Christianity remains a monotheistic faith. The only one to be worshipped is the one God…Jesus cannot fail to feature in their worship, their hymns of praise, their petitions to God. But such worship is always, should always be offered to the glory of God the Father.

    39. Dr Michael L Brown
      October 4th, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

      Chuck,

      Do you follow all of Dunn’s theology? All of his exegesis on Christological issues? Just wondering. If you simply quote him where it suits you but reject his other, relevant writings, then what’s the use of citing him, since there are plenty of scholars who differ strongly with his positions.

    40. des
      October 5th, 2010 @ 5:24 am

      Hi Dr Brown

      How do the Jewish Rabbis interpret Gen1:26 Let Us make man in our Image and in our Likeness?

      Do they believe God to be speaking to angels?

    41. Chuck
      October 5th, 2010 @ 8:36 am

      Dr Brown

      Do you follow all of Dunn’s theology? All of his exegesis on Christological issues?

      As I told Tom, the reason I quote such scholars [Hurtado, Bauckham, Robinson, etc.] is to show their own confusion regarding this matter. They say one thing and then contradict themselves. Even though I just noticed that Tom quoted an A. T. Robertson not J.A.T Robinson. Similar names different scholars.

      But to answer your question. I do not exclusively follow or prefer one scholar over another. But as I said, it is interesting to see the scholarly chaos regarding Christological themes and the Theology of the Bible.

      Just curious to know if you agree with people like Tom in using “logically odd language” to define the one God of Israel and Father of Jesus Christ, YHWH: “They is one. He are three.”?

    42. Tom
      October 5th, 2010 @ 9:33 am

      Are you familiar with the New Covenant inaugurated by our [supposed] lord Messiah Jesus? What has Torah laws regarding stoning etc. to do with so-called Christians persecuting or killing other Christians?!

      Of course. Chuck, I’ve explained it as clearly as can be done that I’m not advocating religious persecution, merely illustrating the fallacies of Xavier’s logic by applying it evenly. It breaks down, and if that is not evident already…

      Regarding Dunn:
      I can quote scholars who say that all illnesses are the result of an imbalance in the 4 humours… who say that aliens seeded life on this planet billions of years ago… who believe that the human appendix is a vestigial organ and serves no purpose… and who believe the Bible was cobbled together by monks in the 4th century.

      You are still not dealing with the issues, providing fair exegesis of the cited passages that support your position, or addressing the issues raised with your interpretation. Throwing out these sound bites is not debating, it is hiding behind words. Nowadays you can cite a scholar to support just about any position – you’ve proven nothing except your unwillingness to confront the topics.

    43. Tom
      October 5th, 2010 @ 9:38 am

      Even though I just noticed that Tom quoted an A. T. Robertson not J.A.T Robinson. Similar names different scholars.

      Oops, good catch! My mistake there.

      Just curious to know if you agree with people like Tom in using “logically odd language” to define the one God of Israel and Father of Jesus Christ, YHWH: “They is one. He are three.”?

      Chuck, if you maintain that the nature of the infinite God of the Universe Who created all things can be expressed in its fulness by human language without coming out a bit “odd”, that’s a pretty bold claim.

    44. Tom
      October 5th, 2010 @ 10:17 am

      And there again, the question is not “can we understand it logically?” but instead “is it taught in the Bible”?

      If it isn’t, no one would want to stretch their capacity and try to grasp something that is beyond logic (note, not defies logic, simply beyond). If it is, shouldn’t we believe that God’s knowledge of Himself is more complete than our knowledge of Him and give Him the benefit of the doubt to be accurate concerning Himself?

      To me, our debate is not over how logical the Trinity is, it is over whether that truth is presented in the Bible… or not. If the logical construct of the Trinity is where you want our focus to be, fine; but you can hammer that point all day and you’ve done nothing to prove that it’s not in the Scripture. At the end of the day, if the Bible teaches it, I have to submit to that over and above my shallow human understanding.

      To date, much more of your time has been spend trying to illustrate the fact that the Trinity is logically complex and beyond understanding.

      You note that I believe in one heck of a mind-boggling concept. Point well taken.

      For my next trick, I will tell you that I also believe the Baalam’s donkey actually spoke, that Jonah actually spent 3 days in the belly of a whale, that Jesus fed 5000 people at one time with one mere basket of food, that the same was born of a virgin without aid of a man, and (gasp) that a garden snake is actually a demonic force bent on world domination and was formerly a heavenly being in the presence of God and rebelled against the Most High only to be cast down and defeated and now lives only to draw the human race into perpetual darkness and fire in the very hell he is destined to inhabit for all eternity as an everlasting punishment for his deeds.

      Any questions?

    45. Chuck
      October 5th, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

      Tom

      …merely illustrating the fallacies of Xavier’s logic by applying it evenly.

      Your comparing apples with oranges. Trying to obscure the subject at hand. The logic is simple as we seem to agree: we are not advocating religious persecution! I do not see how comparing YHWH’s Torah laws pertaining to death by stoning etc. [applied only to Jews mind you] has anything to do with this subject. Your comparing apples with oranges. Trying to obscure the subject at hand.

      Throwing out these sound bites is not debating, it is hiding behind words.

      I have gone in-depth regarding exegetical examples of certain passages [virgin birth etc.] and have proven the contradiction when it comes to quotes by supposed Trinitarian scholars who really seem to be hiding a unitarian findings. Do not know how else to paint this picture for you.

      …if you maintain that the nature of the infinite God of the Universe Who created all things can be expressed in its fulness by human language without coming out a bit “odd”, that’s a pretty bold claim.

      WHO [and not WHAT, according to Dr. White] God is, is sufficiently expressed in simple, black and white words Tom. What Trinitarians suggest goes against the clear, grammatical structure that expresses the only immortal, invisible God the Father [YHWH]. When Jesus, the Jew, himself quotes the Shema and a Jewish teacher of the law agrees with this statement you have a supposed trinitarian [Jesus] agreeing with a staunch unitarian [the teacher].

    46. Tom
      October 5th, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

      Your comparing apples with oranges. Trying to obscure the subject at hand. The logic is simple as we seem to agree: we are not advocating religious persecution! I do not see how comparing YHWH’s Torah laws pertaining to death by stoning etc. [applied only to Jews mind you] has anything to do with this subject. Your comparing apples with oranges. Trying to obscure the subject at hand.

      Could I get a witness on this one? Was my point just that poorly made or does my logic stand?

      I appeal to the readers to decide my fate.

    47. Chuck
      October 5th, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

      Don’t worry Tom…

      God has set a day when he will judge the world and the secrets of all people, in righteousness, by the one human being, Jesus Christ. [Acts 17.31; Rom 2.16]

      For there is one God [the Father, 1Cor 8.6]] and one mediator between God and human beings, Christ Jesus, himself human1Tim 2.5 TNIV

    48. Ray
      October 5th, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

      It seems to me that Xavier’s point in #30 is a valid observation which was not made in reference to Israel under the law, when, yes they did kill by stoning those who sinned (at times) , who went contrary to the truth they received of God and believed.

      But how about today, or after the law which was replaced by the new testament in the blood of Jesus, or the new covenant?

      Do we have examples of people killing others on account of what they believed or preached and if so, was it done by those who held the truth that is in Jesus?

      If they did it, can we not resonably ask ourselves if something was wrong about either what or how they believed, and isn’t the fruit of what they did (the killing of another) the evidence of something wrongly held by them?

      It seems to me to be a valid argument, one of the idea that could be communicated something like this: If anyone kills another because the other believes or preaches something other than the truth one holds, then there is likely something wrong in their belief system that they hold to.

    49. Chuck
      October 5th, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

      Ray

      If anyone kills another because the other believes or preaches something other than the truth one holds…

      There’s the rub. The crux of this matter. Not comparing whether or not OT Jews fall into this same category because of YHWH’s laws regarding breaking the Sabbath etc.

    50. Ray
      October 5th, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

      I’ve been looking at Genesis 18 where the Lord appears to Abraham along with two others.

      To some this may appear that God is there with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and appear to Abraham as three men.

      To another this may appear to them that God is appearing to Abraham along with two angels, and this reminds them of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
      He may think that God did this as a reminder to him of Jesus and the Holy Spirit always being with God.

      To another this may appear to them that God is appearing to Abraham as a man and since he is about to verify something about Sodom, he takes along with him two witnesses, which are angels.
      He considers that Jesus may be in the angels along with the spirit of God.

      And there may be other perspectives such as God appears to Abraham as three angles and speaks through them, Jesus likely being among them also.

      There might be many perspectives to this. It’s my hope that we allow for such differences between ourselves, but also that we may freely share our perspectives with one another, that we might learn from one another and also learn about one another, and that such differences are not worth killing one another over.

      I now think of Cain and Abel. I wonder what they were talking about on the day of the killing. Maybe it was something about sacrifices or offerings. I really don’t know.

    51. paul
      October 6th, 2010 @ 2:44 am

      Genesis 18 Abraham sees The LORD and speaks with him. Jacob in Gen 32, Manoah Judges 13:22. Its interesting how the angel of the Lord is identified as God in the first person. Exodus 24 they see God and His feet. An apparent contradiction lies here, no man can see God and live and yet they Saw God. They saw the invisible, infinite God who dwells in unapproachable light. yet it was the mediator ship of an angel a separate entity. God so manifests himself through this angel, that people identify the God of Israel when he appears.

      Moses Could only see the back part of God. Humans can only see the God of israel as he manifests Himself in limited ways, through fire, clouds, angels, humans, Messiah Jesus the Word. The Son is the exact representation of the nature of God. The God of Israel the Father dwells in fullness in the Son.
      The angel of the Lord is not the pre existent Christ. Hebrews 1:2, 1 Pet 1:20 God spoke through the Son in the last days and he appeared in these last times not in the OT dispensation.

      The angel of the Lord is an angel a separate entity, we have no right to twist that and make it something else especially when it suits our doctrinal belief.

      God is identified and addressed in the first person when this angel appears as seen in the above verses of scripture. God uses this angel in a very unique way.

      I find it interesting that most will deny this angel of Lord is of the angelic order and a separate entity.

    52. Tom
      October 6th, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

      Very well, I submit to the fact that my argument wasn’t phrased well enough to be understood. You both clearly mistake my intention and my rationale, but I will chalk this up to poor explanation on my part and move on.

    53. Chuck
      October 6th, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

      Ray

      To some this may appear that God is there with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and appear to Abraham as three men.

      What’s funny about this view is the fact that 2 of the 3 figures ["messengers/angels"] leave Abraham to go down to Sodom and the 1 who remains identifies himself as “the LORD/YHWH” [v.22]. So if we’re dealing with a triune “LORD/GOD/YHWH” how do you account for this? How about the singular personal pronouns used in reference to YHWH whenever “He” speaks?

    54. Tom
      October 6th, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

      I have gone in-depth regarding exegetical examples of certain passages [virgin birth etc.] and have proven the contradiction when it comes to quotes by supposed Trinitarian scholars who really seem to be hiding a unitarian findings. Do not know how else to paint this picture for you.

      Yes, on those well-known synoptic passages you have certainly interacted. Problem is, you have in no way demonstrated that these passages exclude the possibility of a pre-incarnate Christ. I’m having trouble understanding your rationale that the Logos becoming flesh (as spoken of in said passages) in no way reflects that very pre-incarnate state of being.

      Regarding your Trinitarian quotes, you’ve really established nothing more than the fact that there are a variety of oppinions regarding the particular mechanics of the Trinity and how the doctrine can best be explained in human terms (surprise, surprise). Certainly your Unitarian scholars face similar discrepencies, especially where the denial of the Diety of Jesus is concerned. Seems there are endless varieties of ways they use to get around the clear passages (Hebrews 1 certainly has a confounding pedigree in this regard), so the point is essentially moot.

      Maybe you could explain your position on:
      1) The nature of the Logos
      and
      2) The nature of Christ

      That would make for an excellent painting so I don’t misrepresent your views in my own mind.

      WHO [and not WHAT, according to Dr. White] God is, is sufficiently expressed in simple, black and white words Tom.

      Sufficiently, sure, but completely, never. God is bigger and more mysterious than we both know, and I do not exclude the Trinity because of my inability to define the Eternal.

      Again, if the Trinity is not taught in the Bible, it’s finished. If it is, I’m willing to lay aside any presuppositions and believe in the truth of God’s word.

      What Trinitarians suggest goes against the clear, grammatical structure that expresses the only immortal, invisible God the Father [YHWH].

      I fail to follow the logic that the Eternal INFINITE YHWH must exist in a way that can be expressed in a clear grammatical structure by a noneternal, FINITE human being with only the faintest glimpse of the Divine nature. If He ain’t beyond my capacity to comprehend; if the infinite truth of Him does not stretch my frail and finite mind; if the infinite reality of His Being can be summarized in one statement (for which you’ve chosen, “God is One” – though certainly you could have chosen something else like “God is a Mighty Man of War”); then is He really God? That is to say: the existence of the Trinity is not subject to my ability to comprehend or grammatically assert the Trinity. It stands or falls on the witness of Scripture alone. Any other foundation (even “logic” – which I might point out is a humanistic construction to begin with) is sinking sand.

      Tell me: can you explain to me how Jesus fed 5000 with a single basket of food? Or better yet, please define for me in no uncertain terms how Jesus walked on water?

      The question about God’s wonders is never: “how is it?” Only: “is it?”

      When Jesus, the Jew, himself quotes the Shema and a Jewish teacher of the law agrees with this statement you have a supposed trinitarian [Jesus] agreeing with a staunch unitarian [the teacher].

      Again, you are assuming Unitarianism in your exegesis. The teacher was certainly shown to be a monotheist, but to call him a unitarian is to go beyond the text.

      Besides, I can say there’s only one God. You would agree with this. Doesn’t make me a unitarian.

    55. Chuck
      October 6th, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

      Tom

      Maybe you could explain your position on:
      1) The nature of the Logos
      and
      2) The nature of Christ

      1) According to the New Dictionary of Theology:

      From the OT perspective, the concept evoked God’s word that called creation into being (Gn. 1:1–3; Ps. 33:6, 9), the revelatory word that came to the prophets (Je. 1:4, 11; 2:1) and was preached by them (Je. 2:4; 7:2), the word as equivalent to the law (Ps. 119:9, 105) and the word as God’s agent of salvation (Ps. 107:20), or of judgment (Je. 23:29; Ho. 6:5), that would accomplish its purpose (Is. 55:11). It probably also contained echoes of the concept of Wisdom in Pr. 8:22–31.

      2) Christ means the anointed one from Heb. mashiak, Messiah. Designation for human beings who were said to be anointed by prophets in the OT.

      I do not exclude the Trinity because of my inability to define the Eternal.

      The Jewish-Christian creed, the Shema, defines how many God is. Of course there are many many many things we are yet to know from our 1 YHWH and Father.

      …can you explain to me how Jesus fed 5000 with a single basket of food? Or better yet, please define for me in no uncertain terms how Jesus walked on water?

      Because…

      Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. Acts 2.22

      Jesus himself attests that it was “by the spirit [finger] of God” [Mat 12.28} that he was able to do whatever God the Father empowered him to do.

    56. is
      May 9th, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. Mathew 1;18-19
      according to this “The Father” is not the one who is the father of Jesus but the “Holy Spirit” so when Jesus said I come in my Fathers name is he referring to The “Holy Spirit” or to ” The Father”?

    57. Chuck
      July 30th, 2011 @ 8:06 am

      For anyone interested, here’s a new book coming up on this “hot” topic.
      http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/printView/item6563099/?site_locale=en_GB

    58. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 30th, 2011 @ 10:23 am

      Chuck,

      Thanks for the link. I noticed that the Foreword is by Anthony Buzzard. How telling!

      Of course, the bottom line is: What does the Word say about this, not what later Church teaching or non-Christian philosophy say. And that, of course, is where you and I and others here so profoundly disagree. With that, I’m back out of this thread, but thanks for the link.

    59. Chuck
      July 30th, 2011 @ 10:30 am

      Dr. Brown

      Are you getting the book? A bit expensive but might be worth it methinks.

      Are you familiar with the author Marian Hillar? He is a world-reknowned expert on Servetus. I highly recommend you and anyone else interested to seek out his other books.

      PS: Mr. Hillar is a humanist so its a good way to read these topics from an objective POV.

    60. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 30th, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

      Chuck,

      Not sure if I’ll get the book, but again, my interest is in the biblical evidence, not later developments either way. Thanks again, though, for the reference.

    61. Chuck
      July 30th, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

      Dr Brown

      …my interest is in the biblical evidence, not later developments either way.

      I do not understand what you mean by that since your beliefs concerning this subject are based on the much later Nicene-Chalcedonian creeds of the nascent Catholic Church of the 4th-5th century, are they not?

      You are after all a trinitarian.

    62. Dan1el
      July 30th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

      Chuck,
      He already addressed this: “there was already, among the early church fathers” the belief in the Triune God.

    63. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 30th, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

      Chuck,

      As I stated a few posts back, I was making a comment on the book you referenced and not getting into a discussion here, so this is my last post, and if you have a question for me, please email it privately through the website but do NOT post it here, OK?

      So here’s the answer to your question (which, by the way, doesn’t seem sincere or honest in the least, since in all my discussion of this subject in every setting imaginable, I never once cite the creeds). Still, you ask: “I do not understand what you mean by that since your beliefs concerning this subject are based on the much later Nicene-Chalcedonian creeds of the nascent Catholic Church of the 4th-5th century, are they not?”

      No, they are not. I am a Jewish follower of Jesus and I base my beliefs about God’s nature and the deity of the Messiah on the Scriptures alone. End of subject. I’ve made that clear many times before — in my books, in my debates, on my radio show, and here — so there’s no reason to ask me about it again, unless you are trying to be contentious or obstinate, which I hope is not the case.

      Once again, please do honor my request, as time and priorities do not allow me to continue the discussion here, and if you’d like to ask me for clarification privately, feel free to do so, but not here.

    64. Ray
      July 30th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

      Trying to understand the Trinity doctrine has always been to me like trying to figure out a puzzle or a riddle.

      When they say Jesus is God, is it that they are saying so by comparison, or is it something more?

    65. Jabez H.
      July 31st, 2011 @ 4:31 am

      Chuck,

      What is a “Trinitarian” to you? In either objection or affirmation of God? All three references, as such, were exhibited at the baptism of Jesus, happening in a short time to “fulfill all righteousness”. An affirmation of Jesus came with the Father’s voice from heaven, and the descent from above of the visible Holy Spirit. What more could one ask as to confirmation of the intention of Jesus to bring His revelation of God to His own? What more could his followers require, after he went away, where, “it is better that I go away,” “in order that the Father and I send the Spirit”? Tarry in Jerusalem.

      This attitude of waiting and receiving is based on who God is, and what He promised through first sending His Son, as Father, Son, and Spirit.

    66. Chuck
      July 31st, 2011 @ 6:46 am

      Jabez H.

      What is a “Trinitarian” to you? In either objection or affirmation of God?

      Someone whose belief of a triune God is defined by the Nicene-Chalcedonian creeds of the 4th-5th centuries. As any history book or commentary will tell you…

      …no one clearly and fully asserted the doctrine of the Trinity…until around the end of the so-called Arian Controversy [c.300s].

      No trinitarian doctrine is explicitly taught in the Old Testament. Trinitarians normally grant this, holding that the doctrine was revealed by God only later…The New Testament contains no explicit trinitarian doctrine. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Trinity.

    67. Ray
      July 31st, 2011 @ 9:58 am

      There are likely many strict adherents to the doctrine that may end up in hell. It could be a part of the broad way that leads to destruction. It might not be so straight, or at the very least, it’s not what’s going to get a man to heaven, necessarily.

      I don’t see it as a doctrine that every Christian must be a strict adherent to.

      At best it seems to me to be a representation of the Word, a way of explaining something from, or about the Word.

      To some it’s like a hollandaise sauce that to their taste is just a bit off.

      Maybe it has just a bit of something added in that they’re just not quite sure what it is, or maybe it’s something that it lacks.

      To some it’s like a food that’s been a bit more processed than they prefer.

      I don’t think it’s something that will necessarily keep a man out of heaven, nor is it something that will keep a man in.

      It seems to me that there are some who will not be proponents of the doctrine that will enter heaven, while there are proponents of the doctrine that will not enter heaven, just as there will be those who are not proponents of the doctrine that will enter hell and not be allowed into heaven.

      There may be something within the doctrine that will bring a man to Christ.

      Now I think of the law, but that’s another subject I don’t want to get into here.

    68. EDH
      September 19th, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

      PS: Mr. Hillar is a humanist so its a good way to read these topics from an objective POV.—Chuck

      Is this a serious quote? Mr. Hillar being a humanist completely eliminates the possibility of him being biased?

      Unlike people like Calvin and many other so-called ‘Christians’ through the ages, such men are not forcing nor persecuting people to the point of murder.—Xavier

      Okay Xavier, can you please prove (with facts) that Calvin murdered Servetus? Accusing someone of murder is a very serious charge.

    69. Dr Michael L Brown
      September 19th, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

      Chuck, I did check out the links you provided, but we’ll be pulling your posts because we don’t allow personal attacks like this on our site. I am surprised, however, that you would post a link from a hostile, anti-Christian, Islamic YouTube video to attack a brother in the Lord, whether you like his conduct or not. Very surprising and troubling, far more than anything I saw on the video.

    70. Tom
      September 20th, 2011 @ 12:15 am

      EDH: The charge is grave, and the lack of logical consistency behind the argument it virtually removes it from serious consideration. I actually took this deal on in a post I did back in March – http://thechifiles.com/2011/03/13/modus-ponens-attack-a-lesson-in-consistency/

      Chuck: I thought this board was about the Trinity debate – when did it become ad hominem express? Oh, that’s right, back in post #21. Seriously, appealing to emotional argumentation does not make a valid case for your position.

    71. Chuck
      September 20th, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

      EDH

      Mr. Hillar being a humanist completely eliminates the possibility of him being biased?

      It should. Unless you can tell us how an objective observer can be biased to any view. BTW this is Mr. Hillar’s new book: http://www.cambridge.org/aus/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9781107013308

      …can you please prove (with facts) that Calvin murdered Servetus?

      Perhaps this video might help: http://vimeo.com/16735435

      Also, check out Did Calvin Murder Servetus? free on GoogleBooks.

      Dr Brown

      It was not my intention to “attack” anyone, I am simply asking if you were aware of this man’s “extracurriculum activities” on other sites and forums. That is all.

    72. Dr Michael L Brown
      September 20th, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

      Chuck, in that case, it’s best to email privately, since the link about Sam was certainly meant as an attack by Muslims against a Christian. But we move forward!

    73. Chuck
      September 20th, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

      Dr Brown

      I happened upon many links and websites like it with a lot more profanity. I apologize if I offended anyone but just wanted to know from you if you were aware of this. That is all.

    74. Dr Michael L Brown
      September 20th, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

      Chuck, again all clear, and apologies accepted. Again, I have no problem with you raising a concern to me, but as stated, it’s best to do so privately. I don’t catch many posts here, especially in times of active discussion, and our moderators may miss things at times as well. You were certainly not being singled out.

    75. Chuck
      September 21st, 2011 @ 8:57 am

      Dr Brown

      Thank you.

      But I feel the public, especially your audience, should know these things.

      Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning….Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed.

    76. Dr Michael L Brown
      September 21st, 2011 @ 11:02 am

      Chuck,

      You’re welcome.

      It appears, though, that you’re still missing the point, so this will be the last post on this subject. This is not the place to accuse others or bring charges against others regarding their alleged conduct. Plain and simple. End of subject.

    77. Chuck
      September 21st, 2011 @ 11:13 am

      Dr Brown

      Seems we are ‘typing’ past each other Dr. Brown. I just wanted to know if you knew about this facts. They are not “allegations” without a shred of evidence. I personally have been in contact with the man and he was insulting and judgmental to say the least.

      Again, no one is accusing anyone. Just pointing to the facts and whether you are privy to them and if so, what will you do about it if anything. It is only fair to the public at hand and ESPECIALLY your audience.

    78. Dr. Michael L. Brown
      September 21st, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

      Chuck,

      Please spare having to delete further posts, but I’m asking you to drop this subject and not to continue to defend or justify your previous posts. Facts, allegations, whatever — this is NOT the place to be making these posts. If you want the public to know, you can find other formats.

      Thanks for complying, and as always, your posts are welcome on regular subjects covered here, regardless of our disagreements.

    79. Ray
      September 21st, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

      Isn’t it something how we so often see two different camps that will each defend their position and yet they don’t seem to come to an agreement, the one defending the Lord’s diety and the other defending his sonship?

      In the end will the Lord commend them both, one for defending his sonship while the other has defending his diety?

      If so, I wonder where the rest of us would fit in.

      Will he give each of those two a kingdom to rule, a unitarian city, and the other a trinitarian one, or is it only one of them that will get a city to rule and be a delivering judge over?

      I noticed a strange thing. It was a man who saw a certain truth, and something that was something other than the particular truth he saw, though the thing was true, he regarded it as being false.

    80. crystal lee
      May 19th, 2012 @ 2:23 am

      Hello, Dr Michael Brown, there is a book online regarding this issue and I’m wondering if you have seen this book:

      “The Only True God: A Study of Biblical Monotheism” by Pastor Eric H.H. Chang

      http://www.theonlytruegod.org/

      Apparently I was with Eric Chang’s church for 10 years. But in later years ( in year 2000 or so)he came up with his book which I find it confusing.

      I would like to know what is your stand on this with him. Do you agree on all that he said and is true?

      This is the final truth he gave his churches.
      They no longer pray in Jesus name.

      Would you be kind enough to help me on this?
      Is it the truth or is it questionable?

      Can you comment on it and reply to my email address?

      Thank you.
      From Malaysia.

    81. Konstantin
      May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:53 am

      I ran into debate with Dr. Brown and Dr. White where they defended the Biblical doctrine of Trinity on youtube. Good job. The video was very informative and helpful. Is it for sale anywhere on DVD?

    82. Konstantin
      May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:54 am

      ..never mind. Found it in the bookstore! :D

    83. Benei
      October 30th, 2012 @ 8:12 am

      crystal lee

      Interesting story. E-mail me with further information please.

      I know an off-shoot of Chang’s movement.

    84. Jake
      November 30th, 2012 @ 8:53 am

      I am a firm believer in the Trinity myself. I was wondering Mr Brown if you could if the LORD wills if you can deal with this website on one of the line of fire shows.
      http://www.richard-2782.net/trine.htm
      I have a written an article myself (although not finished) but I was wondering if you could tackle the tricky parts where Merrell cites so called Catholic and Protestant sources and uses them as a pretext against the Trinity. Thanks muchly sir.

    85. Jake
      November 30th, 2012 @ 8:54 am

      BTW the link I posted, I didn’t write that article just to clarify.

    86. Jake
      December 29th, 2012 @ 7:00 am

      I also have this conclusion about the Shema being misused. It doesn’t talk about how many persons in the Godhead. I remember Mr Brown mentioning something like this (Forgive me for any misrepresentation or mishearing). Do you suppose that the Shema debunking the Trinity argument came from Maimonedes?

    Leave a Reply