Trinity – What is it?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#76

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:40 pm

Gman, yours are the most moderate and balanced posts on this subject I read on this forum. Thank you.
Gman wrote:Fortigurn I don't believe that God can die either.. That isn't my point. My point is that our sins have an effect on God, and some of our sins actually hurt God as personified by Jesus. It's a much more personal view of God.. In other words, God doesn't go running away hiding behind a cloud retreating from his accusers. No... Instead he faces them straight on and takes the hit for us (for our sins)...
I understand that's your view. I just don't see that it requires God to die, even 'as personified by Jesus'.
No that isn't the point. My belief is that man turned away from God (original sin), not that God turned away from man.
Well right there, you and I are in agreement. I believe the problem was man's problem, not God's. I believe the purpose of the atonement was to change man, not God. It was man's attitude which had to change, not God's.
The sacrificial system of atonement in the OT was actually for MAN not God to get himself back in alignment with God. It was a legal way for man to believe that he was truly "right" or be cleansed again with God.
I agree with this entirely, except that I don't believe it was legal in its effect (I believe it was moral).
It was later amplified by the death of Christ because animal sacrifice could never achieve the ultimate payment. It had to be a man..
I have to depart from you here, because I don't believe that the animal sacrifices were paying anyone, for anything. But I do believe that the salvic efficacy of the atonement was predicated on Jesus being a man (certainly we are never told it was dependent on him being God).
To me, this (your response) is taking more the role of a martyr where you believe that everything you do is or should be in the attitude of complete suffering. Christ is our example, yes, but it is a very dangerous line... Remember we don't keep the scorecard of the wrongs done to us. Only God does.. You think you maybe suffering but in actuality you maybe hurting others..
I'm not talking about being a martyr. A martyr seeks out suffering as a penance or redemptive act. I'm not talking about deliberately suffering in order to gain God's favour or offset a scorecard. I'm talking about following his example of obedience, even if it results in our suffering.

Like this:
1 Peter 2:
18 Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse.
19 For this finds God's favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly.
20 For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God.
21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps.
22 He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth.
23 When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#77

Post by Byblos » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:52 am

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:If I teach people that Jesus is a man, and you teach people that Jesus is 'the God-man', then are we teaching the same thing?
Since we teach that Jesus is a man that would make you only partly correct.
Thank you. Someone finally said it. You do not believe that just teaching Jesus is a man, is wholly correct. You believe it is only 'partly correct'.
You make it sound like it's a new revelation. We've been saying that all along, the only difference is you want to label it the God-man implying one nature (perhaps 2 attributes? I don't know) and what we're saying is 2 distinct and separate natures, fully man (surprise), and fully God. You may not see the difference but it's there.
Fortigurn wrote:
What makes you wrong is the fact that you can declare Jesus your Lord, pray to him, not believe he is God, and yet not see how that is idolatry.
Just the Scriptures please. I can call on Jesus without that being idolatry.
Exodus 20:5 for one, there's a ton more but you already know that.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#78

Post by Byblos » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:18 pm

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:Yes, but the second person of the Trinity has two natures, something you are not grasping perhaps in part because your foundational theology does not allow for a being to have two natures, let alone God.
The problem is that every time you say this you're begging the question.
And the question was repeatedly answered, no need to regurgitate it yet again.
Fortigurn wrote:
And as I answered you, no, they did not teach that Jesus was only a man, as if an ordinary man born of the seed of man. No, they taught something entirely different; they taught that Jesus was the Son of God, and those early converts perfectly understood Jesus to be something other than just a man and most definitely something other than God's child since they all considered themselves God's children.
First you need to check Acts 2. There is no mention of Jesus as son of God (Jesus as son of God only appears twice in Acts). Secondly, you need to prove to me that 'those early converts' thought 'son of God' really meant 'God'. Bear in mind that Adam is also called the 'son of God' (or 'God', as you might say).
Ok, so now we've graduated from the Acts books to only Acts 2; this bible of yours is ever shrinking. Adam was called the son of God in the same way the listeners thought of themselves as the children of God. I don't believe they saw Jesus in the same light. As to what they actually thought and didn't think, you're in the same position. You cannot tell me what they thought either. But considering they did have their entire Jewish theology at their disposal, a theology that clearly teaches that God is their only savior; and here is this 'man' claiming to be their savior. I could only imagine what they thought (because I'd do the same).
Fortigurn wrote:
What set him apart from them? His divinity and no other.
Er, the fact that he never sinned? The fact that he rose from the grave? The fact that he ascended to the Father? The fact that he was given all authority in heaven and earth? The fact that he sits at the right hand of the Father and awaiting the time that he will reign as king on the earth? That didn't set him apart from them? And where do they mention his 'divinity'?
All of the above speaks to his divinity and the fact that he claimed to be their savior and they believed him, knowing full well that God promised them to be their savior and none other, as God will NOT give his glory to another.
Fortigurn wrote:
Disagree all you want. We are trinitarians and we are telling you what we believe.
So you disagree with other trinitarians, and you deny that Jesus is 'the God-man'? I don't think so. You've told me yourself you believe Jesus is '100% God and 100% man'.
But you keep asserting that we do not agree with it and you keep injecting that we teach Jesus is the 'God-man'.
Wrong. I have never asserted you do not believe Jesus is fully man. I have asserted you do not believe he is only. You believe he is the 'God-man'.
We teach that Jesus has two, separate and distinct natures, not one nature that combines both.
I know you do. That's why you believe he's 100% God and 100% man, the 'God-man'.
No, not the God-man, fully man and fully God. Again, if you don't see the difference let's move on.
Fortigurn wrote:
In other words, interpret scripture with scripture (even though I'm Catholic, please do note that I am not appealing to tradition here :lol: ). And that is precisely how Jesus' two natures are revealed, without discounting one part of the Gospel in favor of another. Otherwise let's just toss out the entire Gospel as a heresy and only consider Acts as inspired scripture. Trouble with that is Acts will no longer have its foundational premise and will become utterly meaningless.
You are not actually comparing Scripture with Scripture, because you aren't taking explicit apostolic teaching seriously. You are re-interpreting it according to your inferences. You are dragging in your interpretation of passages which were not available to the listeners.

Paul said that the benchmark of orthodoxy was what the apostles preached. Any gospel, any 'Jesus' other than what the apostles preached is (according to Paul), 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus'. It's that simple. The correct method of interpreting Scripture with Scripture is to start with the explicit teaching of the apostles, and then interpret other passages according to that. Move from the explicit to the implicit, not the other way around.
So unless I agree with your method of interpretation then I'm clearly wrong. But since you repeatedly appeal to what the listeners believed when they heard the apostles preach, and since we cannot verify what they actually believed, let's look at the students of the apostles, the ones who left written records of what the people who listened to the apostles believed. Students such as Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and so on who were taught (directly or indirectly) by the apostles and who overwhelmingly affirm the deity of Christ. Those are some of the same people who listened to the apostles preach and whom we can consult via their writing as to what they were taught and what they really believed (see here).
Fortigurn wrote:
Of course they preached the Gospel but of course I will tell you Acts MUST be interpreted with other scripture, lest we come to the wrong conclusions as we believe is clear in your case.
So the crowd who were listening, who had no access to the 'other Scriptures' with which they were supposed to 'interpret' what the apostles were teaching them, were going to 'come to the wrong conclusions'? This makes no sense at all. The apostles taught plainly, clearly, and explicitly. People didn't wait around for the gospels and epistles to be written so that they could 'interpret' what was explicitly taught, they were baptized immediately, with only the knowledge of what they had been taught.
Like I said before, they also had their Jewish knowledge which tells them God is their only savior and Jesus was claiming to be their savior and they believed him. Either they believed Jesus and no longer believed God are they believed Jesus was making the same exact promise.
Fortigurn wrote:
And isn't it interesting that all this confusion arose nonetheless?
Not at all. Greeks of the 2nd century, without a background in the Old Testament, attempted to interpret the New Testament according to Greek philosophy. Logos Christology was the first development, then binitarianism, and finally the trinity in the 4th century.
I mean exactly what the word means. The trinity was understood and taught from the early years of Christianity but due to the multiple heresies that were creeping up (Modalism, Arianism, Gnosticism, etc.) the trinity had to be formalized and pronounced doctrinally as an Orthodox Christian belief.
What evidence is there that 'The trinity was understood and taught from the early years of Christianity', and why were Logos Christology and Binitarianism permitted to be taught for two centuries before the trinity was 'formalized'? Why wait so long? When Marcion active in the early 2nd century, why wasn't the trinity 'formalized' immediately? Given that the Gnostic were running around the place in the 2nd century, why wasn't the trinity 'formalized' then? And why was Arianism the dominant theology of the church until the late 4th century? How could that happen? Why wasn't the trinity 'formalized' by the apostles?
Nothing was permitted to be taught, it was the heresies that ensued and how fast they spread.
No formalization was needed until these heresies became a serious threat. If it (the formalization) happened in 3rd century or the 2nd or even in the late 1st century, you'd still be arguing why it happened then and not earlier. The fact is that it happened exactly when it was needed.
Fortigurn wrote:Try reading 'When Jesus Became God', or even a standard academic level church history.
Thank you, I have.
Fortigurn wrote:
Because otherwise it would contradict the law of noncontradiction to which you introduced me privately.
How?
I've gone through this before but here it goes again:

1. According to John 1:1 The Word was with God and the Word IS God. By definition, that makes the Word eternal.
2. In John 1:14 we see that the Word (which is eternal) became flesh (by definition mortal, as he died for 3 days).

According to your logic, if X became Y it ceases to be X. The Word became flesh and ceased to be the Word. Eternal became mortal and ceased to be eternal. If that is not a contradiction I don't know what is. How could an eternal being (existing for ever) cease to exist? I mean really, the very law you are appealing to virtually kills your case in its entirety.
Fortigurn wrote:
And again, because I believe it would contradict your most basic belief that a man cannot have two natures.
No, the very idea of something having two nature (p and not-p), violates the law of contradiction.
To you, if the Word became flesh, it is then inconceivable that it remained as it was. It had to become something else, i.e. just flesh.
In Greek, when X GINOMAI Y, it is no longer X.
And according to you, if we apply the law of non-contradiction you've effectively killed God (something you always accuse us of doing) by turning His eternal Word into a mere mortal.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#79

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:47 pm

Fortigurn wrote:I never said or implied you had never considered those passages in your broader theology. What you hadn't done in our discussion was demonstrate how you reconciled your inferences with such explicit statements as these.
That's absolutely not true. I had previously stated that you had misdefined "God." Further, it is not my job to reconcile my theology with yours. I don't hold to the inference that you draw from the passages cited.
Fortigurn wrote:Of course I do. When the apostles baptize people as Christians with the knowledge that Jesus is a man, and no more, then I have to ask why trinitarians think that's not good enough, and why they insist that you have to believe in the trinity in order to be a Christian. I'm aware that there are trinitarians who don't believe that the trinity is necessary knowledge to be a Christian, but even almost all of them will insist that you have to at least believe that Jesus is God. But I don't find the apostles teaching that before they baptized people. So why should I believe it?
Notice the part I put in bold. This is still an argument from silence (see below). Even if I conceded (which I don't) that there is no evidence of the divinity of Christ in the disciples' teaching, it still does not necessarily follow that it was not a part of their doctrine. You must assume that the record we have in Acts is a complete record of the apostolic doctrine. There is simply no reason to believe that is the case. In fact, there is reason to believe that is not the case. I'll deal with that below.

Secondly, if you acknowledge that there are Trinitarians who do not believe it is necessary to be affirmed if we are to be saved, then why bring it up here? It simply has no bearing on our conversation. These threads get distracted enough as it is.
Fortigurn wrote:Where?
All the standard places with which you are familiar. John 1:18 (either variant, but especially NA27); 8:58; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20; 1 Tim 3:16 (Sorry, I follow Receptus here); Rev 22:13, etc. There are obviously dozens of others used as proof texts. Further, Byblos has walked through the basic argument of vocation, that is, Jesus acted in the very place of God.

Now, feel free to run through the standard Arian explanations of these texts, and while you are at it, mention a few of the others I left out. Quote some conservative scholars like Wallace who believe in the divinity of Christ to make it sound like even people from out own camp have seen the light on such verses. When you are done with all that, pat yourself on the back for the good parroting job you've done.
Fortigurn wrote:I haven't made any such argument (even though it would be valid, unless you believe that 'God' and 'man' are synonyms). I have said that since the apostles baptized people as Christians with the knowledge that Jesus is a man, and no more, I see no reason not to do the same. Why shouldn't I teach the Jesus they taught? Paul says that any gospel, and any Jesus other than the one they preached is 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus'. That means if I can't find the 'God-man Jesus' preached by the apostles, there's no reason for me to preach it. Why preach something they never did?
Sorry, not letting you get away with that. Yes, you have repeatedly argued that Jesus' humanity means He cannot, by definition be God. That's why you brought up Ps 33 and Gen 1. I'll point out again that this is only an inference, and a wrong one on your part.

Second, your softening of your position here isn't anything more than backpedaling. Your argument has been much more than an adherence to the apostolic teaching as recorded in Acts. While you have made that argument, it is simply a lie to say you've not gone any further than that. Regardless, the first error in this softened position is still the same: just because a doctrine is not explicitly recorded does not mean it was not taught. That is, again, an argument from silence. If there was a statement in Acts that said that the book was intended to give an exhaustive (or even complete) record of the entire apostolic tradition, you would have a case. But, such a statement is not included, because that is not the purpose of Acts. It is entirely feasible that there was much in their preaching that was not included for a wide variety of reasons. Further, you appealed to Paul's statement in Galatians. The simple fact is that you are NOT teaching the "same Jesus" that Paul taught. If you want to know what he taught them, all you have to do is turn to Acts 13. As in the Gospels, Paul identifies Jesus as God's Son. Now, when you look at Paul's own words in Gal 1 and 2, we get a deeper idea of what Paul meant here. In 1:16, he again refers to Jesus as God's Son, this time in more personal terms, and all in a way in which the readers are familiar with. The phrase appears yet again in 2:20, and again with the article, and then again in 4:4. The point here is that Paul's preaching clearly included the Sonship of Jesus. That was central, and an idea well understood by his congregations. It isn't hard to see that in the NT, Jesus' Sonship speaks of His divinity. Now, I know you don't agree with that interpretation, but my point is this: the apostolic preaching DID include the Sonship of Christ. As we believe the Sonship of Christ includes His divinity, we believe the divinity of Christ was clearly expounded in the apostolic preaching.

As far as the "God-man" comment goes, there is no reason to deal with that further. Byblos has disposed of that nonsense well enough.
Fortigurn wrote:Well of course that's the logical fallacy of proving a negative. But I can show you were Jesus said that the Father (one person), is the only true God, and I can show you where the apostles distinguish God from Christ (they don't say 'God the Father and God the son', they say 'God and Jesus'), and I can show you where Paul says that there is one God, who is the Father, and I can show you where Paul says that there is one God, and one mediator between God (not 'God the Father'), and men, the man Christ Jesus (not the 'God-man' or 'the God', or 'God the son'). Then there's Acts 2 of course.
It is certainly not asking you to prove a negative to show me a passage where the disciples said that Jesus was not God. You are making an assertion. You have to back it up. People were worshiping Jesus as God as early as Pliny's days. Apparently, a lot of people had gotten the idea a mere forty years (at the latest) after the NT was completed that Jesus was God. The immediate disciples of the apostles were still teaching in full force at that time. You'll forgive my incredulity if you ask me to believe that no one even thought up the idea that Jesus was divine until AD 100, and that the the apostles' disciples just ignored it. The teaching likely goes all the way back to the Apostolic days. You would expect, then, if it was NOT the case, for one of the NT authors to correct it. But, alas, they don't.

So, again, it isn't asking you to prove a negative. Again, the proclamation of the humanity of Christ doesn't help you, and unless you are just going to come out and accuse me of being a polytheist, then I have no problem with the statement that there is only one God. Acts 2 doesn't help because Jesus Himself claimed divinity repeatedly by both word and action, and the Jews there were fully aware of it. His resurrection was a vindication of that claim, and therefore, it is an unnecessary addition to the sermon. It is interesting to note that the SONSHIP of Jesus is not even mentioned in that sermon. But the believe in the Sonship of Jesus is clearly stated as a requirement for salvation in John 20:31. Either, then, the sermon is incomplete, or the Jews present were already aware of those claims of Jesus concerning Himself.
Fortigurn wrote:Of course it's an inference. Your entire position is derived by inference ('Jesus performed miracles, forgave sins, can judge men, hey Jesus must be God', and syllogistic reasoning ('The Father is God, the son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but there is only one God - must be a trinity'), whereas mine isn't. I can read Acts 2 as it stands, and point to what I believe without changing a word. I can say that's the gospel and that's the Jesus I preach.
Yes, and I have no problems with inferences. You are the one who brought it up. My point is that your position IS an inference, just as mine is. You don't have the market cornered on explicit teachings. We have explicit statements concerning Christ's deity; we Jesus' actions as God; we have the early church tradition concerning the divinity of Christ which must go back to the apostolic days. I've already commented on Acts 2 above. You are simply wrong. About the only thing at all you have been right about in this thread is the use of the word Elohim.
Fortigurn wrote:I didn't say you had contradicted Scripture. And it's precisely to avoid that fiasco that I raised the preaching of the apostles. It's right there in Acts. We don't have to guess about what they taught people before baptizing them as Christians. The Acts settles all the arguments. You and I can argue over our different interpretations of other passages, but the fact is that Acts stands alone. We can settle the argument over what the apostles preached simply by reading Acts. It's all there. If it's not preached in Acts as the gospel, then it's not the gospel. If it's not the Jesus preached in Acts, it's 'another Jesus'. Simple.
Of course you did. It didn't matter to you at all what arguments I was putting forward, because my arguments contradict YOUR UNDERSTANDING of the passages that declare the humanity of Christ. That is, they contradict YOUR INFERENCE that God cannot be a human. Secondly, it is absurd at best to say "Acts stands alone." That's retarded. It does NOT stand alone. It is the second of a two part work written to a BELIEVER who already understood the Gospel message. The purpose of Acts is NOT to give the basic theological suppositions of the apostolic tradition. It is written to trace the development of Christianity from being a sect of Judaism to a religion in its own right that included Gentiles, from its origin in Jerusalem to its pathway to Rome. Simple.
Fortigurn wrote:That hasn't been my entire argument (I've presented a lot more than that). But that is a significant argument which has to be addressed. And claiming 'Well they did preach it, it's just not in the record' is begging the question.
Minus the Elohim discussion, it has been what your entire argument can be boiled down to. Once that silly little assertion is done away with, you have nothing to stand on. Second, there are two problems with the supposed counter argument you've attacked. 1) If the divinity of Christ is taught in His Sonship, then the divinity of Christ IS taught in the apostolic preaching; 2) even outside of this, the statement provided is not begging the question. You are getting sloppy with your theological labeling. There is no conclusion assumed in any premise in that sentence. Now, in fact, even IF there was no divinity of Christ in the recorded apostolic preaching, there STILL is no problem with it. Why? Because the entire argument against it is based on two more problems. First, you have misunderstood the purpose of the book of Acts. The purpose of any book must be considered when we are interpreting it: Hermeneutics 101. Second, if belief in the divinity of Christ is taught elsewhere in the NT, then the fact that people were saved during the apostolic age proves that they did teach it, recorded or not. Therefore, your argument is, again, an argument from silence. What YOU have to do is prove the claims that belief in the divinity of Christ is necessary are invalid. You gain nothing, then, by appealing to any absence of anything in Acts. Your argument is fallacious.
Fortigurn wrote:Actually that wasn't my chief argument (though that is a valid argument unless like the Mormons you believe 'God' and 'man' are basically synonyms).
Actually, it was. Nothing I said about the Trinity mattered because I couldn't contradict your inference that Jesus' humanity denied his divinity. That is central. When that statement is shown to be wrong, your entire position falls.
Fortigurn wrote:It is not an argument from silence to appeal to what the apostles taught. That is not an argument from silence. It is not an argument from silence to say 'I preach the Jesus preached by the apostles'. It is not an argument from silence to say 'The apostles taught that Jesus is a man, and so do I'. The second is not based on an improper definition of God, unless you believe that 'God' and 'man' are equivalents.
I've already handled this. The disciples did not teach that Jesus was not God. Let's use your logic a second. Acts 2 doesn't record anything about the Jesus being the Son of God. Therefore, I conclude that, based on the lack of the explicit statement, that Jesus is not the Son of God. I don't care how many verses you show me that says He IS the Son of God. It doesn't matter what you say, because you can't contradict Acts 2.

See how silly your logic is? You probably don't, but the good news is that everyone else here probably does. So, yes, it IS an argument from silence. It is, again, fallacious.

Your second statement is even worse. I do NOT have to believe that God and Man are equivalent. If you want to talk about logical fallacies, let's go ahead and classify this as a false dichotomy, aka, the fallacy of excluded middle. "God" and "Man" are not equivalents, because if they were, then every man would be God. However, there is absolutely nothing in the definition of either that excludes one from being the other. If God becomes Man, then . . . get this Fortigurn . . . God is a human! Where the Mormons are mistaken is they think that God has always been a human. That is obviously incorrect. God created humans, and then God took on flesh, becoming human. That doesn't make Him any less God. Again, you have simply misdefined God to be, "The supreme being which is not human, and cannot be, human."

We should ask ourselves this: what makes a man a human? Well . . . that's pretty obvious. If you are a member of the classification of species known as homo sapien sapien, you are a human. Can God become a member of that class of species? I see no reason why not. OK, another question for us to ask. What makes God God? Ah, here's where you have made your mistake, Fortigurn. "God" is not a class of species. God is one of a kind. He is Himself. God is God because He is Himself. He is the Necessary Existence. Does that mean that if God becomes a member of the class called humans that He ceases to be the Necessary Existence? No. It does not. Can any human being, though, become the Necessary Existence? No, he cannot. Therefore, while God can become a man, a man can never become God.

edit:

Let me boil this down to a tl;dr -

1) Your argument that God cannot, by nature, be a man, is fallacious because it is simply a misdefinition.
2) Your argument that the lack of the divinity of Christ in the apostolic preaching is sufficient reason for you not to teach it is fallacious on several grounds:
a) it is an argument from silence;
b) it does not take into account the divinity of Christ proclaimed elsewhere in the NT;
c) it does not consider the purpose of the book of Acts;
d) it does not take into account the fact that the Jesus is declared to be God's Son (you must deal with the traditional interpretations that go with that);
e) it is further contradicted by the clear teaching of Jesus' divinity in the very early second century. For example, Ignatius (ca. 110) called Jesus Christ "our God" on several occasions; he also speaks of Christ's blood as "God's blood" (Eph 1:1); he also calls Jesus "God incarnate (Eph 7:2); he says that in Jesus "God was revealing himself as a man" (Eph 19:3). We have already mentioned Pliny's letter. Thus, the historical fact is that the early church widely believed in the divinity of Christ. The most likely historical source for this idea is the apostolic tradition. If it was a heretical idea, you would expect it to corrected in that tradition, as were many other false ideas.

So, both of your arguments are wrong, Fortigurn. All this mass of text comes down to that. Both of your primary arguments are simple fallacies. You either have to recast your arguments in non-fallacious terms, or find new ones, because these simply don't work.
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#80

Post by FFC » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:59 am

Good post,Jac!
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#81

Post by zoegirl » Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:39 pm

On fire, Jac!! Kudos to you

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#82

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:58 pm

Byblos wrote:You make it sound like it's a new revelation. We've been saying that all along, the only difference is you want to label it the God-man implying one nature (perhaps 2 attributes? I don't know) and what we're saying is 2 distinct and separate natures, fully man (surprise), and fully God. You may not see the difference but it's there.
First of all, it hasn't been what you've been saying all along. I've been pointing to Acts 2, and you've said 'Sure, that's what trinitarians teach', when in fact it is not what trinitiarians teach. By your own statement, Acts 2 is only half of what trinitarians teach.

Secondly, the term 'God-man' is not my label, it's a standard term used commonly among trinitarians to refer to Christ's two natures (Google 'Jesus God man',and see what you get).

Thirdly, no I am not implying one nature. I know you're talking about two distinct and separate natures which are united in the person of Jesus.
Exodus 20:5 for one, there's a ton more but you already know that.
What is it about this passage which says I can't call (EPIKALEW), on Jesus?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#83

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:48 pm

Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:The problem is that every time you say this you're begging the question.
And the question was repeatedly answered, no need to regurgitate it yet again.
I'm not sure if you understand what 'begging the question means'. It doesn't mean there's a question which hasn't been answered, it means you're assuming your conclusion.
Ok, so now we've graduated from the Acts books to only Acts 2; this bible of yours is ever shrinking.
This is a gross misrepresentation. I am not confining the Bible to either Acts or Acts 2. Instead of simply shooting insults, please address my argument.
Adam was called the son of God in the same way the listeners thought of themselves as the children of God.
Evidence please. That wouldn't make sense in any case, since Adam was the unique creation of God. He was the son of God in a sense in which we are not.
I don't believe they saw Jesus in the same light.
Evidence please.
As to what they actually thought and didn't think, you're in the same position. You cannot tell me what they thought either.
I know what they thought, because they make it clear. When Jesus performed miracles, they didn't say 'Ah, that must be God right there', the Bible says they 'honored God who had given such authority to men' (Matthew 9:8). When they were taught by Peter that Jesus is 'a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him' (Acts 2:22), that was exactly the understanding of Jesus which had previously been reached by their observations of Christ. It's also clear that they believed Peter, because they confessed and were baptized.

So there's no evidence that any of them believed Jesus was God, and there is clear evidence they believed Jesus is a man (as the apostles taught).
But considering they did have their entire Jewish theology at their disposal, a theology that clearly teaches that God is their only savior; and here is this 'man' claiming to be their savior. I could only imagine what they thought (because I'd do the same).
Unfortunately there's no evidence for this. That's hardly surprising, since they were unlikely to commit the fallacy of the undistributed middle as you have done. They knew that there were men in the Old Testament called 'saviour', and they were called 'saviour' because they were the agents through whom God saved. This is the standard pattern in the Old Testament, and you will have a hard time trying to prove they rejected it.
All of the above speaks to his divinity and the fact that he claimed to be their savior and they believed him, knowing full well that God promised them to be their savior and none other, as God will NOT give his glory to another.
Firstly, when you say 'All the above speaks to his divinity' you're begging the question. Secondly, this has nothing to do with God giving His glory to another. It has to do with the principle of agency and representation, God working through His chosen agent. This is not only a well established concept in the Old Testament, it's exactly what the crowds understood when they saw Christ (they 'honored God who had given such authority to men' , Matthew 9:8), and it's exactly what the apostles taught them (Jesus is 'a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him', Acts 2:22).
No, not the God-man, fully man and fully God. Again, if you don't see the difference let's move on.
There is no difference. It's the standard term used by trinitarians all over the place to refer to Christ having two natures.
So unless I agree with your method of interpretation then I'm clearly wrong.
Firstly it's not my method of interpretation. The principle of explicating the implicit with the explicit is probably the oldest recorded Biblical hermeneutic. Secondly if you're going to reject it then you need to give good grounds for doing so. Thirdly if you're going to reject it then you're certainly going to make mistakes.
But since you repeatedly appeal to what the listeners believed when they heard the apostles preach...
No, I have actually appealed to what the apostles taught, and what they taught is abundantly clear. It's for precisely this reason that 2nd century commentators writing about 100 years later don't really matter to me. Why would I use them in preference to the apostles? Why give priority to uninspired writings written 100 years later? Why not just read what the apostles themselves wrote?

I'll deal with the bible.ca list separately. No, it doesn't contain 'some of the same people who listened to the apostles preach'.
Like I said before, they also had their Jewish knowledge which tells them God is their only savior and Jesus was claiming to be their savior and they believed him. Either they believed Jesus and no longer believed God are they believed Jesus was making the same exact promise.
And as I've said, firstly you have to demonstrate that they didn't believe that God could appoint a man as His salfic agent, and secondly you're still going to have to address why the apostles didn't preach that Jesus is God. You're also going to have to deal with the fact that it's clear that the apostles taught that Jesus is the agent of God, and you're also going to have to deal with the fact that it's clear the crowds believed Jesus was the agent of God when they saw him perform miracles.
Nothing was permitted to be taught, it was the heresies that ensued and how fast they spread.
But many of these 'heresies' were taught by prominent men such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Theophilus, and others. Where were they rebuked? They weren't. What evidence is there that this doctrine was kept under wraps until two solid centuries of heresy had reigned?

This idea that doctrine isn't formalized until it's opposed by heresy is circular. Unless doctrine is formalized, then there's no such thing as heresy.
No formalization was needed until these heresies became a serious threat.
You're begging the question again. Not only that but you're ignoring the history. Marcion and the Gnostic groups were almost immediate threats, and they were very significant - so significant that they were repeatedly opposed.
If it (the formalization) happened in 3rd century or the 2nd or even in the late 1st century, you'd still be arguing why it happened then and not earlier. The fact is that it happened exactly when it was needed.
Again you're begging the question. When X appears at date Y, unless there's evidence that X already preceded date Y then you cannot argue it did. And what are you going to do about the historical evidence that the early beliefs moved from Logos Christology to binitarianism, and only later to trinitarianism in the 4th century? And why was Arianism the dominant theology for so long?
Thank you, I have.
Great, then you're aware that the doctrine of the trinity was a post-apostolic development after Logos Christology, after Biniatarianism, and after Arianism had all been the prominent (and even dominant), theologies in early Christianity.
I've gone through this before but here it goes again:

1. According to John 1:1 The Word was with God and the Word IS God. By definition, that makes the Word eternal.
2. In John 1:14 we see that the Word (which is eternal) became flesh (by definition mortal, as he died for 3 days).
You've gone wrong already with your understanding of what the word is (look up LOGOS in a standard lexicion, it's not complicated).
According to your logic, if X became Y it ceases to be X.
That is not simply my logic, that is the meaning of the Greek phrase. I have presented the Geek grammar, and you've just thrown it out saying it's wrong.
The Word became flesh and ceased to be the Word. Eternal became mortal and ceased to be eternal. If that is not a contradiction I don't know what is. How could an eternal being (existing for ever) cease to exist? I mean really, the very law you are appealing to virtually kills your case in its entirety.
The answer to this is simple - an eternal being did not cease to exist. The word of God is not an eternal being, it's the 'breath of His mouth' (Psalm 33:6). Your error lay in a wrong definition of the word of God.
To you, if the Word became flesh, it is then inconceivable that it remained as it was. It had to become something else, i.e. just flesh.
Can you please address firstly the Greek grammar here, and secondly the law of contradiction? You have Christ being p and not-p simultaneously.
And according to you, if we apply the law of non-contradiction you've effectively killed God (something you always accuse us of doing) by turning His eternal Word into a mere mortal.
No we haven't effectively killed God. The word of God is not God Himself. The word of Byblos is not Byblos himself. Why do you always read of wrongly?
Last edited by Fortigurn on Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#84

Post by Pierac » Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:42 pm

Jac3510 Wrote:
1) Your argument that God cannot, by nature, be a man, is fallacious because it is simply a misdefinition.
Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man

Num 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
Mat 16:14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
Mat 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Who does Peter say Jesus the Christ is? God or the Son of God?

Mat 16:17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#85

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:52 pm

Pierac wrote:Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man
This is an argument against God being a man HOW???

1) "They" refers to the heathen nations of the past, probably with special reference to the Greek idolatry;
2) You didn't quote the rest of the verse: "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."
3) With reference to "image," the the Bible explicitly says that Man is the "image" of God. In Genesis 1:25-28, man is said to be made in the "image" of God. The word is tselem. Let me give you a few other occurrences of the word to help you understand its meaning (all quotes NIV):
  • drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. (Num 33:52)

    Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and pay honor to Israel's god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. (1 Sam 6:5)

    All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Then Jehoiada the priest posted guards at the temple of the LORD. (2 Kings 11:18)

    All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. (2 Chr 23:17)

    They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them. (Ez 7:20)

    You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. (Ez 16:17)

    But she carried her prostitution still further. She saw men portrayed on a wall, figures of Chaldeans portrayed in red, with belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers, natives of Chaldea. (Ez 23:14-15)

    You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god--which you made for yourselves. (Amos 5:26)
The word translated from tselem is the one in bold. Notice that it is consistently translated (in the NIV) as "idol." The word itself refers to the physical representation of a person or idea. Thus, one of the words translated for idols in the OT was this one. Now this is important, Pierac. Man is God's tselem. That is VERY important. Just as the ancient idols represented their gods, so Adam was the physical representation of God Himself on earth. Of course, when man fell, that image was marred. Man no longer perfectly represented God. The Bible says that Adam had a son born in his own "image" (Gen 5:3, again, same word). Thus, when we are born, we are all in Adam's fallen image. We no longer accurately reflect and represent God.

Turning to the NT, we see that Jesus is the "image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15). Jesus, then, "makes God known" (John 1:18). That particular word is also translated "explain," and it is the word for which we get our word "exegete." This is why John says that when you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Why? Because Jesus is the tselem of God. He was not born in Adam's image. He was born in His Father's image.

How does all this come to bear on Rom 1:20? Simple. God has an image, and that image is human. God Himself became human by taking on the form of the incorruptible man, the incorruptible image. That is what the Incarnation is all about. You need to rethink your theology on idolatry. The reason we are not to make a graven image of God has nothing to do with worshiping false gods. The reason we are not to make an image of God (not even we believers are to do this!) is because God already made an image of Himself. Mankind, which ultimately He fulfilled Himself in the man Jesus Christ.
Pierac wrote:Num 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Yup, in the OT days, God had not yet been incarnated. He was not a man. That changed when "The Word became flesh."

Pierac wrote:Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
Mat 16:14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
Mat 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Who does Peter say Jesus the Christ is? God or the Son of God?

Mat 16:17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Did you not read my reply to Fortigurn? I have majored on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, which is exactly what Peter declared. It is not enough to believe that Jesus is the Savior or the Christ. It is not enough to believe in His Resurrection. You must also believe that He is the Son of God. That speaks of His divinity. Must we have a full comprehension of that? Of course not, but we must believe it. Peter did. He says so in this very text.

Tell me, if "Son of God" just meant some reference to a good person, or better yet, to a saint, then why is NO ONE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT called the Son of God??? We have SONS. We never have "THE SON." In fact, the closest we have to that is the Messianic Psalm that I have already cited . . .

Secondly, if "Son of God" refers to nothing more than a gifted teacher or prophet, then tell me, why was it that God Himself had to reveal that to Peter? Even Nicodemus recognized that much. No, Peter saw something much more than that.

Further, if "Son of God" has no divine connotations, then why do the earliest interpretations of Gen 6:4 regard these as more than human? And why does the author of Job use to term to refer to angels? More importantly, the Jew's themselves considered the term to be a claim to divinity!!!. Consider the following:
  • "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? (John 10:29-36)
First, let's note the obvious facts. Jesus claimed to be God's Son, and the Jews took that as a claim to BE GOD. For them, THAT IS WHAT THE TERM MEANT. Notice, also, that Jesus does not deny that claim. He does not say "I am not God!" He, instead, appeals to a technicality in their own Law. If the prophets were considered "God", how much more should He Himself be considered "God" since He is God's own Son?

You'll have to do much better than that, my friend. But, I will give you this: at least you, unlike your friend Fortigurn, have appealed to the actual words of Scripture and not to a silly inference and argument from silence out of Acts. Maybe he should learn a thing or two from you?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#86

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:24 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Because Jesus is the tselem of God.
I agree 100%. And the tselem of God, is not God. The image of God, is not God (Adam proved this, if proof were necessary). The image of Caesar, is not Caesar, any more than the transcription of Caesar, is Caesar.
Further, if "Son of God" has no divine connotations, then why do the earliest interpretations of Gen 6:4 regard these as more than human?
As far as I know, they don't. But you need more than that, you need to show the interpretations which demonstrate 'sons of God' was understood to mean 'gods'.
And why does the author of Job use to term to refer to angels?
Er, because angels are the special creation of God? I'm afraid arguing 'sons of God' means 'angels' is contrary to your position. You need to argue that 'sons of God' means 'gods', since you're arguing that 'son of God' means 'God'. And of course, am I to assume you believe that 'son of Jac' means 'Jac'?
More importantly, the Jew's themselves considered the term to be a claim to divinity!!!. Consider the following:
Yes, let's consider the following:

* The Jews say 'We are stoning you for claiming to be God'

* Jesus says 'God Himself referred to the judges in Israel as 'gods', and you stone me for claiming to be the son of God?'

So Jesus not only points out that THEOS can be applied to men without them being God, he points out that he hadn't even called himself God, he had said he was the son of God.

First, let's note the obvious facts. Jesus claimed to be God's Son, and the Jews took that as a claim to BE GOD. For them, THAT IS WHAT THE TERM MEANT.


Ooops, Adam (see Luke's gospel).

ut, I will give you this: at least you, unlike your friend Fortigurn, have appealed to the actual words of Scripture and not to a silly inference and argument from silence out of Acts.


As you know, I haven't appealed to an argument from silence. I have appealed to what the apostles explicitly taught. You are the one trying to tell me I shouldn't teach as they did.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#87

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:26 pm

Jac, this is for you. I really wish you could be as moderate and clam as Gman. I really don't see the need for all the aggression and personal attacks.


* Implicit, explicit: Again, this has nothing to do with my inferences. It has to do with what is explicitly and implicitly taught. If you believe you have explained how you reconcile your inferences with the specific texts I listed (such as Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 33:6), then please link to the post which does this. I must have missed it. Telling me that I have misdefined 'God' does not constitute explaining how you reconcile your inferences with these passages.

* What the apostles taught: No this is not an argument from silence. The apostles are recorded as having baptized people as Christians with the knowledge that Jesus is a man. The record says no more than this. It is not an argument from silence to say this is what is recorded, and that no more is recorded than this. I don't have to assume that the record of Acts is a complete record. All I have to do is point out that the record of what was taught prior to baptism includes the teaching that Jesus is a man, and does not include the teaching that Jesus is God. That means I am able assert positively that the apostles baptized people with the knowledge Jesus is a man, but you are unable to assert positively that the apostles baptized people with the knowledge Jesus is God (however you want to describe that).

* The trinity uneceessary for salvation: If you really believe that, and if others here believe that, then why do you insist on me accepting it?

* Explicit statements that Jesus is God: Of the 'dozens' you claim, you're well aware that the academic consensus (even among trinitarians), is that the vast majority are in fact no such thing. As you are also aware, the real number is around half a dozen, and Wallace notes that of those only two are undisputed. The fact that Wallace and others believe in the divinity of Christ is beside the point. The fact is that they disagree with your list of 'dozens' of proof texts, and carefully argue that it is acknowledged Jesus is called THEOS in two or three places (of course, that Jesus is called THEOS is no problem to my theology). So pardon me for going with the academic consensus on this instead of your claims. By the way, I'm not an Arian. I've made that quite clear several times.

* Jesus' humanity: Wait a minute, you are changing what you said. In the post to which I replied, you said:
You infer (wrongly) that the proclamation of the humanity of Jesus = the denial of His divinity.
I replied to that 'I haven't made any such argument'. But you now say this:
Sorry, not letting you get away with that. Yes, you have repeatedly argued that Jesus' humanity means He cannot, by definition be God.
I haven't ever denied saying that. What I denied was your claim that I had said 'the proclamation of the humanity of Jesus = the denial of His divinity'.

I have said is that it is violating the law of non-contradiction to say that X is both p and not-p simultaneously. I have said you cannot define him as p and not-p simultaneously. You have attempted to get around this by claiming that 'God' and 'man' are not 'p' and 'not-p', but that 'God' and 'man' are in fact both 'p', that they are equivalent terms. You are claiming that to be God does not mean you are not man, and that to be man does not mean you are not God.

* Implicitly recorded: Certainly just because a doctrine is not explicitly recorded does not mean it was not taught. I have said this myself, repeatedly. I have never made an argument from silence. What I have pointed out is that if a doctrine is not explicitly recorded as being taught, then you not only cannot claim it was explicitly taught (as trinitarians do), but you are faced with having to explain how you justify claiming it was taught. Your only defence is to claim that it was inferred by the listeners, but you have to demonstrate this. Worse still, even if you could prove it was inferred by the listeners, this would not mean it was taught by the apostles.

* Another Jesus: Paul's definition of 'another Jesus' is any Jesus other than that taught by the apostles. So I look to Acts for a record of the Jesus taught by the apostles. I find a very consistent message - Jesus is a man. Your claim that Jesus' sonship is equivalent to the teaching that Jesus is God is a great argument if you're a Oneness Pentecostal, but not only logically flawed but Scripturally insupportable.

* Proving a negative: Yes it is asking me to prove a negative to show a passage where the apostles said Jesus was not God. You are arguing from silence. I might as well ask you to show me where the apostles said Jesus wasn't an enormous turnip. This doesn't get you anywhere. The assertion I have made is that the apostles baptized people as Christians having taught them that Jesus is a man. I have backed this up completely from Acts 2.

* Pliny: I'm afraid Pliny is inadmissable as evidence. Firstly there is no proof that Pliny was representing accurately the beliefs of the Christians he arrested. Secondly even if he was it doesn't affect the issue at hand, which is what the apostles taught. We see no evidence in the New Testament that the worship service of the early Christians constituted gathering at dawn and sing a hymn to Jesus as a God. In Paul's day people were already denying the resurrection, even calling themselves Christians as they did so. Heresies arose early, news at 11. The problem for you is that none of the earliest Christian creedal statements identify Jesus as God, and in fact both the Didache and 'Apostles' Creed' distinguish God from Christ (the 'Apostles' Creed' also identifies the Father as the creator, not Jesus).

* Inferences: Yes I do draw my own inferences, but not on this issue. When I say 3,0000 were baptized after being taught Jesus is a man, that's not an inference. That's explicit in the text, as has been acknowledged here. Your belief that 'the early church tradition concerning the divinity of Chirst' must 'go back to the apostolic days' is not only contradicted by the apostolic writings, but is not supported by standard academic church histories I have read.

* Acts stands alone: I have made the point that the speeches in Acts stand alone. They were not intended to be understood by the listeners through the medium of texts which had not been written. You cannot claim later texts as proximate or even remote contextual passages for Acts 2. You seem to forget that these books had not been written at the time of Acts 2. All the crowd had to go on was what they heard then and there.

Peter preaches Jesus is a man, no more and no less, not 'Turn to John 1:1 and you'll understand what I'm saying', or 'This won't make sense to you until you've read John 20:28', and John doesn't leap in saying 'Peter's only told you half the story, Jesus isn't just a man sent by God, he is God!'.

The book of Acts was written to a catechumens (Theophilus), which is exactly why it contains a record of the basic Christian teaching which was given prior to baptism. Your claim that it was written to a 'BELIEVER who already understood the Gospel message' is contradicted not only by the identification of Theophilus as a catechumens, but also by the contents of the book itself. Why write a book with a watered down and inaccurate version of the gospel, claiming that this is what the apostles taught before baptizing people, if this wasn't actually true, and then send it to an established believer, of all people? This argument is entirely counter-intuitive.

You claim 'The purpose of Acts is NOT to give the basic theological suppositions of the apostolic tradition', and yet that is exactly what it is full of, from one end to the other. We find the preaching speeches in the Acts repeat the same basic materal over and over again. That's because they're explicitly preaching speeches. They represent what was taught to non-believers prior to baptism.

* What the apostles allegedly taught on the private: You say 'if belief in the divinity of Christ is taught elsewhere in the NT, then the fact that people were saved during the apostolic age proves that they did teach it, recorded or not'. Aside from the fact that this means you have to either beg the question or prove that 'the divinity of Christ is taught elsewhere in the NT', even if you did prove that 'the divinity of Christ is taught elsewhere in the NT' it would not mean that it was taught in Acts 2. That would be a non-sequitur.

* Not necessary: You say 'What YOU have to do is prove the claims that belief in the divinity of Christ is necessary are invalid', and I've already done that. It's clear from Acts 2, and that's not an argument from silence that's an argument from what's in the text. It is recorded in Acts 2 that people were baptized with the knowledge that Jesus is a man. It's difficult to argue from this that in fact a belief that Jesus is God is necessary prior to baptism. Remember, I am not appealing to the absence of anything, I am appealing to the presence of something - the presence (which has been admitted), of apostolic teaching prior to baptism that Jesus is a man.

* Not taught: You again misunderstand me when you say that since Acts 2 'doesn't record anything about the Jesus being the Son of God' means 'Jesus is not the Son of God'. This is a false analogy. I have not said that Jesus cannot be God just because Acts 2 doesn't record anything about Jesus being God. I have said that since the apostles baptized 3,000 people with the knowledge that Jesus is a man, then that is the knowledge of Jesus which is necessary for baptism and a fundamental part of the apostolic gospel, and there is no evidence that the knowledge Jesus is God is necessary for baptism and is a fundamental part of the apostolic gospel.

* p and not-p: Unless you believe that 'God' and 'man' are equivalent, then you cannot claim that X can be 'God' and 'man'. The issue is whether or not you believe that God can be p and man can be not-p. Do you believe that man is 'not God', and do you believe that God is 'not-man'? By the way, according to orthodox trinitarian theology it's a dangerous oversimplification to say that 'God is a human'. The creedal teaching is that only one person of the Godhead (the second person), added to himself human nature. If you don't see why God cannot become a member of homo sapien sapiens, then you must believe that homo sapien sapiens and God do not have any mutually exclusive qualities - which would make them equivalents. I on the other hand believe they have mutually exclusive qualities. This has nothing to do with whether or not God is a species. It has to do with whether or not you believe that 'God' and 'man' are 'p' and 'not-p'.

For example, are Byblos and Jac 'p' and 'not-p'?

To finish, let me address your final list:
1) Your argument that God cannot, by nature, be a man, is fallacious because it is simply a misdefinition.
I define 'God' and 'not-God' as 'p' and 'not-p'. If you don't, then you view them as equivalents.
2) Your argument that the lack of the divinity of Christ in the apostolic preaching is sufficient reason for you not to teach it is fallacious on several grounds:
a) it is an argument from silence;
It is not an argument from silence. It is an argument from presence. I am arguing that since 3,000 were baptized with the knowledge Jesus is a man, then there is no necessity to teach people that Jesus is God prior to baptism. If you want to convince me otherwise, you need to prove that this knowledge is necessary prior to baptism, but you certainly cannot do that, still less from Acts 2.
b) it does not take into account the divinity of Christ proclaimed elsewhere in the NT;
As I have said before, this is a matter of interpretation. But we don't even have to argue over the interpretation of these other passages (and of course, none of them are written to pre-baptism non-Christians). We can look at what the apostles explicitly taught before they baptized people. We have a clear record of the apostles explicitly teaching that Jesus is a man, prior to baptism. Other passages must therefore be harmonized with this explicit teaching. Passages appearing to say that Jesus is God are easily understood as referring to Jesus as God's agent and representative, a teaching which again is made absolutely explicit in Acts 2 (and elsewhere in the Acts).
c) it does not consider the purpose of the book of Acts;
It certainly does. The book of Acts was written to a catechumens, and contains the explicit pre-baptismal teaching of the apostles, in speech after speech after speech.
d) it does not take into account the fact that the Jesus is declared to be God's Son (you must deal with the traditional interpretations that go with that);
It certainly takes into account the fact that Jesus is declared to be God's son. The son of God is, by definition, not 'God'. The son of Jac is, by definition, not 'Jac'. The Christ was understood by the Jews to be the son of God, not 'God'.
e) it is further contradicted by the clear teaching of Jesus' divinity in the very early second century.
Far too late. You cannot claim that 1st century inspired apostolic texts must be interpreted by 2nd century uninspired commentaries.
Thus, the historical fact is that the early church widely believed in the divinity of Christ.
That's an assumption. The fact is that the earliest creedal statements say nothing about the 'divinity of Christ', identify only the Father as God, identify God as one person, and attribute the creation to the Father alone.
The most likely historical source for this idea is the apostolic tradition.
Non-sequitur.
If it was a heretical idea, you would expect it to corrected in that tradition, as were many other false ideas.
That's what Catholics say about the Assumption of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, and Indulgences. This is a non-sequitur.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#88

Post by Byblos » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:42 am

This 'God-man' thing is ridiculous. We've defined what we believe and that's that. On with it.
Fortigurn wrote:
Exodus 20:5 for one, there's a ton more but you already know that.
What is it about this passage which says I can't call (EPIKALEW), on Jesus?
Not just calling on him, but also proclaiming him your Lord. Say what you will about us trinitarians, bottom line is we believe in one Lord, one Saviour, and one God, and they are one and the same. Monotheism in its simplest forms.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#89

Post by YLTYLT » Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:09 am

Fortigurn wrote:Yes, let's consider the following:

* The Jews say 'We are stoning you for claiming to be God'

* Jesus says 'God Himself referred to the judges in Israel as 'gods', and you stone me for claiming to be the son of God?'

So Jesus not only points out that THEOS can be applied to men without them being God, he points out that he hadn't even called himself God, he had said he was the son of God.


And yet even though (as you contend) Jesus tried to explain that they misunderstood him, they still crucified him because they thought he claimed to be God. You would think if this were not what he claimed, then he would have tried again to correct them on this, so that they would be making a decision based on accurate information. I would think that Jesus would only mean to communicate truth, especially to the lost.

It seems more likely to me that the Jews were correct in their understanding of his claim. They just did not believe it.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#90

Post by Byblos » Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:15 am

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:The problem is that every time you say this you're begging the question.
And the question was repeatedly answered, no need to regurgitate it yet again.
I'm not sure if you understand what 'begging the question means'. It doesn't mean there's a question which hasn't been answered, it means you're assuming your conclusion.
It's amazing that sarcasm escapes you but arrogance doesn't. I think the implication is all too clear that the begging of the question is what was answered but then again, I guess I didn't state it explicitly enough for you. In retrospect, the word 'question' should have been italicized. Does that clarify it?
Fortigurn wrote:
Ok, so now we've graduated from the Acts books to only Acts 2; this bible of yours is ever shrinking.
This is a gross misrepresentation. I am not confining the Bible to either Acts or Acts 2. Instead of simply shooting insults, please address my argument.
I don't understand why you took that as an insult. It certainly wasn't meant as such. I was simply stating the obvious, that you're considering only a portion of the Bible. A bit direct and maybe a little sarcastic, but certain;y not insulting in any way.
Fortigurn wrote:
Adam was called the son of God in the same way the listeners thought of themselves as the children of God.
Evidence please. That wouldn't make sense in any case, since Adam was the unique creation of God. He was the son of God in a sense in which we are not.
It makes perfect sense. Adam introduced sin into the world, something Jesus never did. Adam wasn't considered a savior, Jesus is, when God said He, himself will be our savior and none other. What did He mean by 'none other'? Is God affirming the existence of other lesser gods (false or otherwise)? No, he meant exactly what he said. Every prophet or agent that was ever sent failed (as it was planned from the beginning) precisely to show us that only God can save us. Otherwise you would turn God into a trial-and-error algorithm. Let's try this savior; oops, that didn't go too well, let's try another. Why didn't all the other 'agents' that came before Christ accomplish humanity's salvation? Because that was God's plan from the beginning.
Fortigurn wrote:
As to what they actually thought and didn't think, you're in the same position. You cannot tell me what they thought either.
I know what they thought, because they make it clear. When Jesus performed miracles, they didn't say 'Ah, that must be God right there', the Bible says they 'honored God who had given such authority to men' (Matthew 9:8). When they were taught by Peter that Jesus is 'a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him' (Acts 2:22), that was exactly the understanding of Jesus which had previously been reached by their observations of Christ. It's also clear that they believed Peter, because they confessed and were baptized.

So there's no evidence that any of them believed Jesus was God, and there is clear evidence they believed Jesus is a man (as the apostles taught).
But considering they did have their entire Jewish theology at their disposal, a theology that clearly teaches that God is their only savior; and here is this 'man' claiming to be their savior. I could only imagine what they thought (because I'd do the same).
Unfortunately there's no evidence for this. That's hardly surprising, since they were unlikely to commit the fallacy of the undistributed middle as you have done. They knew that there were men in the Old Testament called 'saviour', and they were called 'saviour' because they were the agents through whom God saved. This is the standard pattern in the Old Testament, and you will have a hard time trying to prove they rejected it.
I am not rejecting it. I am saying it is the very reason why they saw Jesus in an entirely new way. They didn't see him as just another 'agent'. They saw him as THE savior.
Fortigurn wrote:
All of the above speaks to his divinity and the fact that he claimed to be their savior and they believed him, knowing full well that God promised them to be their savior and none other, as God will NOT give his glory to another.
Firstly, when you say 'All the above speaks to his divinity' you're begging the question. Secondly, this has nothing to do with God giving His glory to another. It has to do with the principle of agency and representation, God working through His chosen agent. This is not only a well established concept in the Old Testament, it's exactly what the crowds understood when they saw Christ (they 'honored God who had given such authority to men' , Matthew 9:8), and it's exactly what the apostles taught them (Jesus is 'a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him', Acts 2:22).
It has everything to do with God giving glory to another as He said he would not do so. Again, either God is affirming the existence of other gods or he means he will not give his glory (literally) to no other, human, angel, god, or otherwise.
Fortigurn wrote:
But since you repeatedly appeal to what the listeners believed when they heard the apostles preach...
No, I have actually appealed to what the apostles taught, and what they taught is abundantly clear. It's for precisely this reason that 2nd century commentators writing about 100 years later don't really matter to me. Why would I use them in preference to the apostles? Why give priority to uninspired writings written 100 years later? Why not just read what the apostles themselves wrote?
Because it is important to see what the fruits of those teachings were and are to this day.
Fortigurn wrote:I'll deal with the bible.ca list separately.
I know you already did. It amounts to 'no this one was an Arian, no that one was a Logos Christologist', and no that one was not a trinitarian'. The simple fact is they all spoke to the divinity of Christ in one fashion or another, a clear indication that his divinity dates back to the apostolic age.
Fortigurn wrote:
Like I said before, they also had their Jewish knowledge which tells them God is their only savior and Jesus was claiming to be their savior and they believed him. Either they believed Jesus and no longer believed God are they believed Jesus was making the same exact promise.
And as I've said, firstly you have to demonstrate that they didn't believe that God could appoint a man as His salfic agent, and secondly you're still going to have to address why the apostles didn't preach that Jesus is God. You're also going to have to deal with the fact that it's clear that the apostles taught that Jesus is the agent of God, and you're also going to have to deal with the fact that it's clear the crowds believed Jesus was the agent of God when they saw him perform miracles.
Firstly because God said he will be our savior, and secondly the apostles certainly proclaimed Christ's divinity, if not in one place (which is debatable in and of itself) then definitely in other places.
Fortigurn wrote:
Nothing was permitted to be taught, it was the heresies that ensued and how fast they spread.
But many of these 'heresies' were taught by prominent men such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Theophilus, and others. Where were they rebuked? They weren't. What evidence is there that this doctrine was kept under wraps until two solid centuries of heresy had reigned?

This idea that doctrine isn't formalized until it's opposed by heresy is circular. Unless doctrine is formalized, then there's no such thing as heresy.
Wrong. Webster dictionary defines heresy as "2 a : dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice b : an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards". Emphasis mine. Nothing there about it being a heresy against a 'formalized' doctrine. Besides, those heresies that 'reigned' were declared as such (heresies) not because they opposed the divinity of Chris (virtually all of them did) but because they opposed the trinity. That's why it needed to be formalized.
Fortigurn wrote:
Thank you, I have.
Great, then you're aware that the doctrine of the trinity was a post-apostolic development after Logos Christology, after Biniatarianism, and after Arianism had all been the prominent (and even dominant), theologies in early Christianity.
I didn't say I agreed with it.
Fortigurn wrote:
I've gone through this before but here it goes again:

1. According to John 1:1 The Word was with God and the Word IS God. By definition, that makes the Word eternal.
2. In John 1:14 we see that the Word (which is eternal) became flesh (by definition mortal, as he died for 3 days).
You've gone wrong already with your understanding of what the word is (look up LOGOS in a standard lexicion, it's not complicated).
John 1:1 clearly states the Word IS GOD. But of course you will have some odd reason why that's a mis-translation (I wonder what Wallace has to say about that). Not only that, throughout the OT God's Word accomplishes things, real physical things. So it's not just another word as defined by any standard lexicon, it is the living, eternal Word of God that accomplishes what God sets it out to do.
Fortigurn wrote:
According to your logic, if X became Y it ceases to be X.
That is not simply my logic, that is the meaning of the Greek phrase. I have presented the Geek grammar, and you've just thrown it out saying it's wrong.
I did no such thing. Quite the opposite, I am employing the same logic you claim to support your case to contradict it (see below).
Fortigurn wrote:
The Word became flesh and ceased to be the Word. Eternal became mortal and ceased to be eternal. If that is not a contradiction I don't know what is. How could an eternal being (existing for ever) cease to exist? I mean really, the very law you are appealing to virtually kills your case in its entirety.
The answer to this is simple - an eternal being did not cease to exist. The word of God is not an eternal being, it's the 'breath of His mouth' (Psalm 33:6). Your error lay in a wrong definition of the word of God.
Even if you don't believe the Word is an eternal being (which He clearly is as per John 1:1), the Word of God is STILL ETERNAL. And by the same logic with which you attempt to discredit the divinity of Christ, according to your theology eternal became mortal. It's ok if you don't see the logic; this is meant for others as well.
Fortigurn wrote:
To you, if the Word became flesh, it is then inconceivable that it remained as it was. It had to become something else, i.e. just flesh.
Can you please address firstly the Greek grammar here, and secondly the law of contradiction? You have Christ being p and not-p simultaneously.
I did address the Greek grammar and no, that's what happens when eternal becomes mortal. Christ is fully p (God) and fully q (man), no violation of the law of contradiction. Not-p is the opposite of p, that's what the law of contradiction (supported by the Greek grammar) states. Mortal is the opposite of eternal. Eternal (p) and mortal (not-p) is a violation of the law of contradiction. That is your case in a nutshell.
Fortigurn wrote:
And according to you, if we apply the law of non-contradiction you've effectively killed God (something you always accuse us of doing) by turning His eternal Word into a mere mortal.
No we haven't effectively killed God. The word of God is not God Himself. The word of Byblos is not Byblos himself. Why do you always read of wrongly?
Er, because John 1:1 states the Word of God IS God? Do you think John violated the law of contradiction? But even then as I've shown above, the Word is still eternal (even if you don't believe it is an eternal being) as it was with God from the beginning (unless of course you want to claim that once the Word became flesh and ceased to be the Word, God no longer had a Word. Do you really want to go there?). It still shows the contradiction of your case that eternal became mortal. There simply is no escaping this logic.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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