Jesus Wants "Yada" (pt 1)




A few years ago I was sitting in a church history class at SAU listening to the professor when he said something crazy cool. At the moment, I didn't realize how cool it was. In fact, it wasn't until a few weeks ago that it finally hit me. As the lecture progressed the professor shared a personal experience with us. During his years as a historian he had performed a detailed study of an Adventist pioneer by the name of EJ Waggoner. But this was no ordinary study. Our professor had literally poured through the life of Waggoner. He read everything and anything that had to do with him from personal letters to sermon manuscripts, articles, and books. He read what others had to say about him and about the experiences that his contemporaries had with him. In short, my professor skipped nothing that was even remotely related to Waggoner. He poured through his life with as much precision as humanly possible. Waggoner was his study.

And then came the crazy cool line. "I have spent so much time studying Waggoner that I feel as though I know him personally." 

Boom.

Only, at the moment I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until a few weeks ago as I pondered my relationship with God that it finally hit me. My professor may have known everything there was to know about Waggoner - his beliefs, his activities, his hobbies, his imperfections, his family, friends, and legacy but there was one thing that was undeniable: Although my professor felt as though he personally knew Waggoner the fact remained that he did not. He had never sat down with him. He had never heard his voice. He had never laughed with him while sharing a dinner or travelling on a buggy. He had never experienced life with the living and breathing Waggoner. At best, all my professor could say was that he knew more about Waggoner than anyone else. But he didn't actually know Waggoner. Waggoner lived and died long before my professor and with his body resting in the grave the best my professor could do was know about him and try, as best as possible, to identify himself with the legacy and memory of this man. But try as he may, he could never actually know him.

What this means is that a person cannot simply be known based on details, data, and facts. A person can only be known when life is shared. That is truly the only way.

But here comes the hard part. How many of us, like my professor, know so much about God that we "feel" as though we know him but we really don't? How many of us have honestly fooled ourselves into thinking we truly know him when in reality all we have are details, data, and facts. We have never done life with him.

So, do you truly know God? Or do you know so much about him that you have convinced yourself that you know him? Are you settling for the shallow waters of information while avoiding the ocean of God's presence?

Let me put this in a different way. I often hear Christians talk about how they want something deeper but what if Jesus is the one looking for something deeper? Could we be demanding the very thing we refuse to give?

What if our Christianity is fake? What if our Christianity is the product of information without experience? Is it possible that we have constructed a graven image of God using ideas instead of stones? A God who we can keep happy so long as we say the right things at the right times and pray the right prayers and sing the right songs and shout the right words and quote the right verses?

I don't know about you, but that sounds kind of lame to me. Something tells me Jesus is longing for something deeper not just us. In the next post I'll begin to explore what that looks like though the life of a man Jesus spoke with. Stay tuned.

24 comments:

  1. Hi Marcos, I'm feeling a little bored and sometimes even frustrated.
    Most of my trinitarian brothers getting very annoyed with me when I ask them, in which God they believe.

    Well I think that is an easy question.
    But none of my trinitarian brothers know their God and they don't even believe in the Lord Jesus.
    No, I'm not kidding. Not one of them believes what the Lord Jesus is saying.

    Perhaps you can help me?
    John 10:30 Jesus is speaking, "I and the Father are ONE".
    Now, if Jesus and the Father are ONE, then Jesus Christ IS the Father. Otherwise Jesus and the Father are TWO.

    But all of my trinitarian brothers don't believe what Jesus has said, they say that Jesus and the Father are TWO. In other words they say that Jesus is NOT their Father but someone else is.

    Well, I think that is a mathematical problem and also a spiritual problem.

    How can they know God if they don't believe in Jesus Christ and especially what He has said?

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  2. Hey Paul! Long time no talk! Good to hear from you :D

    I always approach the Trinity with care because we are dealing with the nature of God here. Although God has indeed revealed himself to us we must still be humble and admit there is a great degree of mystery that we cannot fathom in this life. Nevertheless, allow me to interact with your question as best as possible.

    First, I think anytime our brothers and sisters are getting annoyed with us its time we back down a bit. Paul says that each of us must be "fully convinced in his own mind". While we can stand for the truth and promote it we must also follow Peters admonishment to do so in "gentleness and respect". Second, we need to recognize that these themes are paradoxically simple and complex. That doesn't mean they cant be understood, but it keeps us humble when dealing with people who don't see things the same way we do.

    Now onto your question. The greatest mystery within the Trinity is that we are dealing with a being who does not dwell in the 3rd dimension like we do. Because we dwell in the third dimension we are subject to its laws of physics - laws which include the impossibility of 3 separate beings being simultaneously one. And yet, this is the mystery of God. He is both 3 and 1. Now in saying that he is both 3 and 1 we are not saying that there are 3 Gods. There is only 1 God. Tri-theism and Trinity are not the same thing. Tri-theism suggests that there are 3 separate Gods that work together. But the Trinity teaches that there is only one God. However, Trinitarianism is also contrary to Modalism. In Modalism there is the belief that there is only 1 God and that this 1 God reveals himself in 3 different modes. So in the OT he revealed himself as the father. In the gospels as Jesus. And in the church age he has revealed himself as the Holy Spirit. In this belief all 3 persons (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit) are the same person appearing in different modes. So here we have two extremes: Tri-theism which teaches that there are 3 separate Gods. And Modalism which teaches that there is only one God who appears in 3 different modes but that each mode is still the same person.

    The concept of the Trinity does not support either of these claims. Rather, the Trinity affirms that there is one God who is also 3. In other words, he is 3 and 1 at the same time. He is not simply 3 (Tri-theism) nor is he simply 1 (Modalism) but both 3 and 1 at every moment. But how do we make sense of this? As you said, Jesus claimed that he and the father are one. But does that make Jesus the same person as the father (Modalism)? If it did, then that would pose some significant problems. For example, who did Jesus pray to every time he prayed? When he said he came not to do his own will but the fathers was he saying, "I came not to do my own will but to do my own will"? I think we can both agree that's absurd. When he cried out to the father on the cross "Why have you forsaken me?" Who was he talking to? Himself? I think we can very clearly see that Modalism doesn't work. Clearly there are two separate beings being discussed here. However, are we then to believe that there are two separate Gods? Not at all. Jesus referred to himself as the "I Am" - a singularity and never do we see any suggestion by either Jesus or the NT Church that Christians are to worship 3 separate Gods. There is only one.

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  3. The way I understand it, Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are One. But they are simultaneously 3. Jesus is not the Father. The Father is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not Jesus etc. However, their individuality cannot be separated from their unity. Jesus is not the Father, but he is not a separate God to the Father. The Father is not the Holy Spirit, but they are not two separate Gods. The 3 of them are 1 and 3 at the same time at all times and the 3 of them are God so that we can speak of Jesus as being God, but we cannot speak of him as being "a God" and vice versa with the other members of the Trinity.

    Because this is such a difficult concept to grasp many try and make God more understandable by either opting for the Tri-theism or Modalism concepts. Those concepts appear to make more sense to the human intellect. But such a move is unnecessary. God is a spirit and he is mysterious. We can come to know him personally for he has revealed himself to us, but we cannot pretend to put him in a box and dissect him like a frog in a science class. I for one, am comfortable with the mystery and am looking forward to an eternity of knowing God more.

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  4. Thank you so much my brother for your excellent attempt to explain the trinity.
    Now I feel so much better :-)

    Wow brother, you would make an excellent politician, perhaps even a prime minister for Australia one day :-)

    You said, "Jesus is not the Father, but he is not a separate God to the Father. The Father is not the Holy Spirit, but they are not two separate Gods. The 3 of them are 1 and 3 at the same time at all times and the 3 of them are God so that we can speak of Jesus as being God, but we cannot speak of him as being "a God" and vice versa with the other members of the Trinity."

    Marcos, is God some kind of a Siamese triplet? Three separate persons attached at the hip talking to one and another?
    Not really a 'HIM' and not really a 'THEM' and neither an 'IT'? what is what?

    Now my friend, you still haven't given me a satisfactory answer to John 10:30, 'I and the Father are ONE'.
    According to John 10:30.
    Is Jesus the Father? Yes or no?
    If Jesus is NOT the Father, then Jesus and the Father are TWO. Yes or no?
    Even if they are Siamese twins, they still would be TWO.
    No my friend, there is no other way, either Jesus IS the Father and then 'He' (God) is ONE, or they are TWO.

    Well, I know that it is hard to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ IS our heavenly Father.
    Through the lips of Jeremiah 3:19 Jesus said, 'I thought that you would call Me Father'.
    Three equals one and three at the same time? I'm glad that you are not a mathematician :-)

    Hmm, and the one who is praying, is he praying to another one in the same body? And why does he need to pray? Is he a sinner?
    In the Bible, only sinners need to pray and that is to God alone.
    So then, to which one of those gods (or one god) did he pray?

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    1. Paul, as usual you ask a good question. This is why I have always enjoyed our discussions.

      Before we continue I must ask, are you a Modalist? That is, do you believe that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are the same exact person who appear in different modes in human history? It would be helpful to me to address your question if I had a better understanding of where you were coming from.

      Nevertheless, allow me to reply to your immediate comments. The main challenge I see in your explanation of the Trinity is you are attempting to describe the nature of a Triune God using the laws of natural physics and mathematics. When discussing God we must accept that he transcends the natural realm. Indeed he created the natural realm. The Bible tells us that God is Spirit not flesh. He is the ultimate source of reality and transcends all dimensions for indeed he created the dimensions. As a result, God exists separate to and beyond time and space so when speaking of his nature we must be very careful to not foolishly diminish him to a mere physical being bound by natural laws.

      In that sense, No God is not a Siamese triplet. If he was bound to the laws of physical nature then yes, he would have to be a Siamese triplet. But such a conclusion demonstrates to me that you are still trying to comprehend God within the realm of natural law. As a result the God you posit is not a Trinity but a Tri-theism. And as I said in my previous explanation Tri-theism (3 Gods) is not what the Bible teaches. Tri-theism is an attempt to explain a supernatural being using natural law. In the same way Modalism (1 God in 3 modes) is an attempt to explain a supernatural God using natural law, because in the 3rd dimension (physical dimension in which you and I dwell) it is not possible to be 3 and 1 at the same time unless you are a Siamese triplet. But God is not bound by these natural laws, so if we are going to attempt to understand his nature we must humbly accept the mystery that comes with it. God is not bound by our natural laws. He is a Spiritual being that transcends all of this and if we are not willing to embrace the mystery that comes with that any further discussion is really useless.

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    2. Now what about John 10:30? Is Jesus saying that he and the father are one? Absolutely. And I agree with him 100%. No disagreement there. But you cannot become fixated on one verse and expect that one verse to be the end all be all of a discussion. John 10:30 does not disagree with the Trinity concept that I presented above. In fact, the rest of the passage in John 10 supports my view with Jesus repeatedly referring to the Father in the 3rd person.

      For example: "The works I do in my Father’s name... My Father, who has given them to me... no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand... I have shown you many good works from the Father... what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?... I do the works of my Father..."

      These, and numerous other Biblical passages demonstrate that Jesus is One with the Father, but he is not the Father and there is a difference. Jesus himself explained this in John 10:38 when he said, "the Father is in me, and I in the Father."

      So you are correct in emphasizing that Jesus and the Father are One. But this does not mean that they are the same person. When we take the entire scriptural narrative into account we discover that God is three eternal co-existing persons who are God. A singular plurality that is not bound by the physical laws that govern our realm.

      If you would like to study this in more depth Paul, I recommend the following link:

      http://www.contendingforthefaith.org/responses/booklets/modalism.html

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  5. Thank you Marcos, you are very kind to me.
    No my brother, I'm not a Modalist, I have a simple belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Jesus Christ IS our Father who is in heaven, to deny that, is denying the Father and owning another person as the father, perhaps the Pope or Jehovah or Yahweh or maybe Allah.

    OK, I believe that there is one God in one person and that is Jesus Christ of Nazareth our only Lord and God (Jude 1:25). And beside Him was NO God formed, and there will be none after Him (Isa 43:10 HE ALONE IS GOD!
    Simple isn't it?

    In the beginning the Lord Jesus Christ did not have a name and neither did He have a body because God is Spirit of course the Holy Spirit (John 4:24) (He didn't needed a body) and the Scriptures testifies that the Lord Jesus is the Holy Spirit (2 Cor.3:17).
    Can you see, ONE person Jesus Christ.

    (Genesis) in the beginning the Spirit of 2 Corinthians 3:17 (which is the Lord Jesus Christ) hovered over the waters and created all things (Col.1:16 and John 1:3-10).
    Now, the same Spirit (which is Jesus Christ) prepared for Himself a BODY so that He Jesus Christ could be born into His own creation though a virgin and in the appearance of a man (the second Adam).

    No my brother, I don't try to comprehend God, but rather I know God. Nearly two thousand years after His resurrection from the dead the Lord Jesus appeared to me and made Himself known to me.
    I can assure you that HE is not two or three persons or entities, but ONE entity Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    Continued on next comment.

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  6. Concerning 'natures', I find it difficult to comment, because my understanding concerning the nature of things is a lot different to you. My understanding is not a vague impression of something.

    I think that we need a simple biblical understanding of 'the nature of things'.
    OK, a quick outline.
    According to the Bible; the biblical word for nature is 'KIND', in the beginning God (Jesus :-) ) created everything after their kind, the birds, the fish, the creeping things, the beast and everything is made after their kind (after their nature).
    Everything created has a 'KIND' (a nature) and that nature is the limitations, it's form, it's boundaries, what it can do and what it cannot do, what it likes and what it doesn't like etc. etc. and also man has one nature the nature of man.

    Now God does NOT have a nature, that is because God is not a created being, He has no boundaries or habits or limitations etc.
    However, God begot a nature when He became a man 'Jesus'. And in Jesus God took on the nature of Adam, the nature of man and for that reason He is called the second Adam.
    Adam had ONE nature just like Jesus had one nature, the nature of man.

    The sin of Eve is that she mingled or introduced a second nature into mankind the nature of the beast and that produced the fall of man.
    After the fall, mankind had TWO natures, the nature of man AND the nature of the beast.
    The nature of man Adam (Jesus) and the nature of the beast Serpent (Satan).

    Perhaps you can see that my understanding is completely different to yours.

    Marcos, (John 10:30), I did not ask you "Is Jesus saying that he and the father are one?"
    Brother, you are an expert in language and you are cleverly avoiding my simple question.
    OK, I will ask again;
    According to John 10:30.
    Is Jesus the Father? Yes or no?
    If Jesus is NOT the Father, then Jesus and the Father are TWO. Yes or no?

    No no my friend, you cannot bypass that question and go to other passages of the Scriptures.
    If you do not understand and agree on John 10:30 it will be IMPOSSIBLE to understand the rest of the Scriptures.

    OK, just relax and look at John 10:30.
    Jesus said, I and the Father are ONE.
    ONE does NOT mean TWO. If you say or think or teach that the Father is another, then Jesus and the Father are TWO.
    Look brother there is no escape, and no other way around what Jesus has said.

    If you agree, that in that verse the Lord Jesus Christ plainly said that He (Jesus) is the Father and NO OTHER, then I will explain the other passages you have mentioned.

    Remember, I believe in ONLY ONE God and that IS the Father (1 Cor. 8:6) "Yet for us is but one God, the Father".
    If there is only one God and that is the Father, it follows that Jesus IS the Father, and again, no other way around my friend :-)

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    1. Paul,

      Thanks once again for your reply and for explaining your view a bit more. I would like to make some rather pointed statements for the sake of simplicity so please do not take these as being said in a harsh spirit.

      In this discussion you have denied that you are a Modalist. However, your explanation of the Trinity is Modalist. Therefore, whether you try to avoid the label or not you are indeed a Modalist. To say that you are not a Modalist and just a simple believer in Christ is a passive aggressive response to my question. In doing so you passively suggest that only those who hold your view are simple believers. However, my friend, try as you may you cannot avoid the label. You are indeed a Modalist. Modalists believe that God is one person manifested in 3 different modes. That is what you described above. So let's not play the semantical label game. It's a futile attempt at diplomacy and it's not necessary. If you are a Modalist, that's OK. I wont judge you or be angry about it. But at least be upfront about it.

      You also said you do not try to comprehend God but rather you know him. I praise God that you have a personal knowledge of him. However, you go on to say that your evidence for Modalism is your personal relationship with God once again passively aggressively suggesting that my relationship with God is not as good because I have a different view to you. I can just as easily respond and say "I have a personal relationship with God as well and I can assure you he is 3 in 1." And then the entire discussion dissolves into a childish argument over whos experience is genuine.

      You also compliment (or perhaps insult? haha) me by suggesting I am an expert in language. However, I could do the same to you by suggesting that you are playing semantical games with the word ONE. In any discussion about truth arguments such as these need to be left aside - unless of course you are not interested in seeking truth but in simply promoting your own view. That is OK< but remember it was you who asked me to explain the Trinity. I did not challenge your view. You simply asked me to present my understanding and I did. Did you do so in order to understand me more? Or were you looking for an opportunity to simply espouse your view? If the former, then yes, we can have a productive discussion even if we do not agree. If the later, then no, no matter what I say the discussion will go nowhere because your mind is made up before the conversation even began. If that's the case, then I find such a discussion quite pointless.

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    2. To answer your question more directly I would say that you are correct with respect to the nature of God - that is he had no limitations etc. This is precisely why I can say that God is 3 separate persons and one person at the same time. That is not language games as you suggest, or politics, semantics, etc. That is the conclusion that is available to anyone who allows the narrative of scripture to interpret itself. You argue that one cannot escape John 10:30 but you make a huge mistake there. First of all, Jesus says "I and the Father are One". But being "One" does not necessarily mean being the same person. This text, if anything, raises questions about the nature of God. After all, God said that a man "shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one". So One in scripture does not always portray a strict singularity. Paul speaks of Gods will for the church when he says "that we all may be one". So once again, we see in scripture that one does not always demand a singularity. One can also involve a plurality of persons as is the case in marriage or in the community of believers. So when Jesus says "I and the Father are one" is he saying "we are the same person? (Singularity) or is he saying that he and the father are a singular plurality? The text doesn't answer that question so we need to explore what the rest of scripture says. And the rest of scripture clearly teaches that God is 1 and 3 at the same time. God is not a tri-theism (3 seperate Gods) and he is not a Modalism (1 God in 3 seperate modes). He is a trinity (3 in 1) and that is a huge mystery. Again, the link I provided above explores that in more detail. I recommend you explore more there or by inviting Anthony (commented below) to share from his experience as I don't truly have the time to delve any deeper.

      blessings brother!

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  7. Marcos and Paul, this is a great discussion. It sounds like Paul might be oneness Pentecost or Apostolic. I grew up Pentecostal Apostolic. My father is and Apostolic pastor and my grandfather was an Apostolic Pastor. I had my doubts with the Trinity before I became Adventist. However, the more and more I studied Scripture I became convinced that the Bible supports more evidence for the Triune Godhead then it does for a God that reveals himself to humanity in different modes. As I spoke to my oneness cousin about this, I became very disturbed with some of the answers that he gave me specifically having to do with the modalist theories of God and creation, and God after the destruction of sin in eternity. Maybe I can share sometime. God bless you guys.

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  8. Marcos, I know that our intention is not to offend each other, we are brothers after all :-)
    But it is good and acceptable in the Lord to have a good debate about the most important doctrine which is the doctrine of God.
    Yes, sometimes those debates can get a little heated, but that's OK, we are big boys and surely we can handle a correction from the Lord . Yes that cuts both ways.
    Most Christians are scared to talk about any controversies, perhaps for the very reason that they can get a little heated. But I think that they will never grow and come to maturity in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    But brother, I think we are different, are we?? :-)

    A short explanation of what I believe concerning the doctrine of God.
    I believe that there is only ONE PERSON who is God and that is the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
    Jesus Christ IS the Father, Jesus Christ IS the Son, Jesus Christ IS the Holy Spirit and beside Him is NO other.
    That is simple and clear.

    Modalists believe that God came in three different modes, in the mode of the Father, and in the mode of the Son, and in the mode of the Holy Spirit at different times.

    Trinitarians believe that God is THREE different persons in ONE God. The first person is the Father, the second person is the Son, and the third person is the Holy Spirit. The Father is NOT the Son and is NOT the Holy Spirit, the Son is NOT the Father and is NOT the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is NOT the Father and is NOT the Son.

    It is obvious that I am not a trinitarian and neither a modalist.

    You said, '"I have a personal relationship with God as well and I can assure you he is 3 in 1."
    OK brother, '3 in 1.' What?
    You need to tell me, 3 What, in 1 What?
    If you think 'persons', then you are a trinitarian.

    You said, 'but remember it was you who asked me to explain the Trinity.'
    No Marcos, I did not ask you to explain the trinity, since I and everybody knows what the trinity teaches. I am putting the trinity under scrutiny against the Scriptures and against a sound mind, or sound intelligence.

    You said, 'This is precisely why I can say that God is 3 separate persons and one person at the same time.'
    No my friend, that is absolutely impossible. THREE can never be ONE, and neither can THREE persons be ONE person at any time. It's impossible!
    John 10:30 Jesus said, I and the Father are ONE, and ONE cannot be TWO!
    If the Father is another person, then Jesus and the Father are TWO.
    John 10:30 Jesus plainly said that He IS the Father.

    So what is it going to be? humble Pie? :-)

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  9. Hi Anthony, and welcome to the debate.
    No I'm not a modalist as I have stated that in my comment to our brother Marcos and neither am I a Pentecostal or Apostolic and I don't belong to any denomination.
    But I belong the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who said that He will build His Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it, and He has called me to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ and of His Kingdom.

    Concerning the doctrine of God, I have had many debates with modalists and the Scriptures does not support modalism.

    I believe that all Scriptures are suitable for correction in doctrines.
    Since most Christian denominations are trinitarians, am I right to assume that you are a trinitarian?

    To save assumption, I fully understand the doctrine of the trinity and all its flavours. So my aim is to strike that doctrine at the roots and perhaps a good start is John 10:30.
    It is reasonable to say that if we cannot agree on very simple basic Scriptures it will be impossible to find agreement later. And I will never disagree with sound reasoning and the Scriptures and the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    So then, John 10:30, do you agree that the Lord Jesus Christ IS the Father?:-)

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    1. Paul, I am not certain why Anthony has not replied. I did send him a personal message to remind him of the discussion but I do know he is a very busy guy. Hopefully, he will find the time to share his story a bit in the future. But since Anthony has not replied and I have a few minutes on my hand, allow me to make a few qualifications on your final reply to me.

      As always, your kind spirit has brought about a healthy discussion. All of our debates have been a huge blessing to me, although to this day I'm not sure we have agreed on anything! Ha-ha. Well, that's not true. We do agree on many things - the Lordship of Jesus Christ being that which ties our hearts together despite our disagreements.

      You have said it correctly, I am a Trinitarian through and through as I believe that is what scripture teaches. The more I read scripture, the more this teaching is reinforced. When the entire God-narrative is taken into account I can arrive at no other conclusion. However, I respect that you have arrived at a different conclusion and trust that in eternity God will see fit to correct one of us. Either way, I am glad to know and worship him for who he is.

      You have stated that you are not a Modalist by suggesting that you disagree with the "modes" interpretation. Instead, you maintain that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, from my perspective it appears that while you deny being a classical Modalist, you have, at best, developed a sort of alternative Modalist view that is only differs from Classical Modalism in semantics, not in ontology. At the end of the day, the basic premise remains the same. God is a singular entity who has been revealed via different names. This is basically Modalism although I am happy to suggest your view is, at best, a variant Modalistic view - nevertheless, it is Modalism.

      Now I want to reply to a statement of mine you seem to have misunderstood. You quoted me saying, "I have a personal relationship with God as well and I can assure you he is 3 in 1." However, that is NOT what I was saying. The full quote reads, "I can just as easily respond and say "I have a personal relationship with God as well and I can assure you he is 3 in 1.'" If you go back and read that paragraph in its entirety you would see that the point I was making is that we need to avoid such arguments as these because the become childish "my experience with God is more genuine than yours" arguments. I do know God personally, but the Trinity is a belief I derive primarily from scripture, not some sort of transcendent personal experience.

      You have also admitted in your previous messages that your purpose is to put the Trinity under scrutiny and that you are very familiar with the teachings of the Trinity. This supports my assumption that you are not debating with a desire to discover truth but with a desire to prove your view correct. I think at this juncture the best we can both do is agree to disagree. You seem to be stuck on John 10:30. I do not see John 10:30 as being problematic at all to the concept of the Trinity. In fact, it is 100% compatible with the teaching of the Trinity. You see it as saying that Jesus is the Father. I see it as saying he is one with the father but that does not automatically imply that he is the father since scripture leaves ample room for a singular plurality and God, not being bound by the natural laws of physics that exist in our dimension, can logically be One God in 3 persons. However, you seem to be convinced otherwise and nothing I could say, (or anyone else) will change your mind. So once again, at this point a debate really isn't useful because we have reached a stalemate where the discussion just ends up going in circles. The last thing I want to do is waste precious time debating in circles. Luther and Zwingly are ample historical evidence of the foolishness of such an endeavor.

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    2. Perhaps Anthony will join in at some point and share his story and perspective and you two can engage a bit. For the time being, as I mentioned in the reply I left last week, I think it's best we leave things here. Blessings Paul!

      A pleasure as always.

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  10. OK my friend, you can call me a modalist, a kalathumpianist or whatever you like, if that makes you happy.
    But lets see what makes the Lord Jesus Christ happy.
    In John 10:30 the Lord Jesus Christ who is the creator of heaven and earth and everything in it said, "I and the Father are ONE"!
    Does that mean that the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father are TWO ?
    Does it mean that the Father is somebody else ?
    Does it mean that the Lord Jesus Christ IS the Father ?
    Well, I think that we all deserve an intelligent and reasonable answer to that.

    No, we don't want to know what it means in Greek, or in Hebrew or in Swahili, but in plain English :-)
    Logically, in John 10:30, does the Lord Jesus Christ say that He IS the Father ?

    Same question in other words.
    But 'to US there is but ONE God and that is the Father (1 Cor. 8:6)', therefore, if there is only ONE God by the title 'Father', is that Father (God) the Lord Jesus Christ ?

    No that is NOT a trick question but a very simple plain question, which needs a simple and plain answer.

    I think that we all need to agree with the Lord Jesus Christ and NOT with me, or with you, or with anyone else, but with the Lord Jesus alone.

    So what is it going to be, is the Lord Jesus Christ our Father who is in heaven, if He and and the Father are ONE ?
    It is problematic, if the Lord Jesus is one WITH another person called the Father, then they are TWO and not ONE.

    A 'singular plurality' is a oxymoron and does not exist.
    Can God be logically be in three persons ?
    Tell me, which God is logically in three persons ? Do you mean that an UN-knowable God is dwelling in THREE god-persons? Is each of those three god-persons fully God (deity) ?

    No no my fiend we haven't reached a stalemate, I'm going for checkmate :-) and it's not too far away.

    If you can't answer those questions, or if you haven't got time, perhaps our brother Anthony might like to answer those serious questions or anybody else ?

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    1. Paul, as you stated I simply don't have the time. And to reiterate my last message, we will have to agree to disagree. There are very simple and easy answers to each of your questions, and in return I could offer a plethora of questions for you that would have us debating for the next 6 months - I simply don't have the time. There are countless resources out there in the form of books, video presentations, articles and studies that answer your question and refute your position from the Bible alone. I don't have the time to reproduce all of that so if you are keenly interested, I invite you to explore more. But you don't need all that. All you need is the Bible. So lets agree to do this: lets both commit to a more committed study of scripture and pray for one another.

      Its not that I am trying to evade the question. I would happily discuss this with anyone who wants to understand it more. But I have learned to identify when a debate is headed somewhere and when it is headed in circles. This debate is headed in circles Paul. You are asking me to answer a question I have already answered and you have yet to engage with my responses. You simply keep pushing the same issue without considering anything I have said thus far. To me, that is clear evidence of a debate headed nowhere and I'm to busy for that.

      Praying for you mate. Pray for me.

      blessings

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    2. I am not normally one to dive into this conversations but I wanted to share a few things.

      First and foremost Marcus I am always impressed by how thoughtful you are in your writing yet straight forward. Thanks for that.

      Next Paul you seemed to be building a theology on one verse to the neglect of other verses. You stand on John 10:30 which states in the NKJV "I and My Father are one."

      However, you state "Logically, in John 10:30, does the Lord Jesus Christ say that He IS the Father"... To answer this question. No, he does not say he IS the Father but that they are one... this is not the same thing. By saying that "I and the Father" He is saying that 1+1=1 the word 'and' is used when referring to two things/people/place etc... If he is saying that he is the Father then way not say I am the Father, but as Marcus has already pointed out he refers to the Father in the third person. Does that mean that Jesus was crazy? If He is the Father then why do we have John 6 (just as one example)

      37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
      So if Jesus is the Father then He is saying "All that I give to myself will come to me?" That does not make much sense, logically.

      38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
      So here Jesus is saying that that He has not come to do His will but His will? That is really confusing.

      39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
      So Jesus sent Him and given everything to Himself?

      (John 6:37-39 NKJV) This is just a couple of verses that, if Jesus IS the Father and they are not two, make no sense what-so-ever. I could go through dozens of verses like this but I think this makes my point.

      You go on to state "It is problematic, if the Lord Jesus is one WITH another person called the Father, then they are TWO and not ONE." But that is exactly what the Bible says in John chapter one. If you hold to this state me then they are TWO because that is what the Bible says. Again in the NKJV "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God (John 1:1, emphasis mine)" In this verse, the Word (who most all would agree is Jesus, see verse 14), is at the same time with God and God. Two and yet One.

      I believe that Marcus more than answered your question but yet you repeat it again saying that he is not answering you. I do see this as running around in circles.

      Lastly what about Adam and Eve? The Bible says that Husband and Wife shall "become one flesh." How is it possible that two become one? I can tell you very clearly that my wife and I are one but not one person. I think God gave us this as an example to understand Him better. Again Marcus explained, and much but than I could, that part of this is the nature of God and He is very complex. If we could wrap our minds around Him completely then we would be God not Him.

      Again I am not one to normally enter into this discussions but felt that so much was being missed.

      Blessings

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  11. Yes my brother, I know that you don't have time, but I expect that someone else, perhaps Anthony or anyone else could give me a simple answer to John 10:30.

    No brother I don't run around in circles, I also try to avoid that at any cost, therefore I stick to one question as much as it is possible, and to answer that will not take six month, but only one or two comments if we are reasonable.

    John 10:30 Jesus said, "I and the Father are ONE"
    Now, my question is, does anyone think that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Father ? If yes, good, if no, why not?
    I say, that the Lord Jesus is saying clearly that He IS the Father.

    It stands to reason, if the Father is another person, then Jesus and the Father are TWO.
    And TWO does not and cannot mean mean ONE.
    If the Lord Jesus is in UNION with another person called the Father, then they are still TWO.
    But the Lord Jesus said that He and the Father are ONE.
    So the simple question remains, is the Lord Jesus Christ the Father?

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  12. Thank you Tom Kyser for taking up the challenge, I appreciate that.

    You said, 'Paul you seemed to be building a theology on one verse to the neglect of other verses. You stand on John 10:30 which states in the NKJV "I and My Father are one." '.

    Oh no my friend, I do not only have one verse, but many more verses, but I think that John 10:30 is a good place to start :-)
    Surely, if we can't understand that verse, it will be impossible to understand any other verse.

    You said, 'By saying that ' "I and the Father" He is saying that 1+1=1'

    Well Tom, I like to have a good talk to your maths-teacher.
    One plus One equals ONE. I hope you are not an accountant, are you ? :-)

    If Jesus is NOT the Father, then Jesus and the Father cannot be ONE, they obviously would be TWO.
    But Jesus said, that He and the Father are ONE, which can only mean that Jesus is that 'ONE', the Father.
    It cannot mean that the Father is another entity, otherwise Jesus and the Father would be TWO.

    There is just NO OTHER explanation.

    I think that Jesus could have said, that He and the Father are one and the same person (Jesus).
    He also could have said, 'he who has seen Me has seen the Father'.

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  13. This is where my comments end and the reason I don't normal engage in these debates.

    You repeat the same agruements that have already be responded to without engaging the agruements of others.

    You entire attitude is that we are lesser because we don't agree with your understanding.

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  14. Yes Tom, we have to stay on the same argument till we have come to a reasonable conclusion.
    After we have reached an agreement on the first step, we can go to the next step, but we cannot reject what the Lord Jesus has said in John 10:30 and pretend that He never meant what He said.

    I don't think that the Lord Jesus meant that TWO god-persons equal ONE God. If that would be so, then each of those persons would only be half a god, two half gods equals one full god. And if two person are fully god each, then together they are TWO gods.
    It makes sense, doesn't it ?
    Therefore Jesus and the Father are the ONE God. JESUS with the title 'FATHER'!
    Remember, Father is only a TITLE, and that title must belong to Jesus, and if that title 'Father' belongs to ANOTHER person, then Jesus and the Father would be TWO, but Jesus said that He and the Father are ONE.

    I think that is very reasonable.
    Remember the Lord Jesus said, "Come let us reason together" Isa. 1:18).
    Surely, deep down in your heart you would give me an amen ? :-)

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  15. Thanks Tom for your response, but your answer is not satisfactory, 1+1 does NOT equal 1, and I think that you need to agree with me.
    If Jesus is NOT the Father, then Jesus and the Father are TWO, but the Lord Jesus has said, that He and the Father are ONE.

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  16. Paul seems to be stuck at this whole "I and the father are one". According to his perspective Jesus and the father MUST be the SAME PERSON because they are ONE. However, the biggest problem with your interpretation Paul is John 17:11 which says:

    "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE." (emphasis mine)

    Here Jesus is saying that he wants us, his followers to be "ONE" in the same way that he and the father are "ONE". If Paul is correct Jesus is asking his father to fuse all of us into one person so that we can be ONE as he and his father are ONE.

    After all, if ONE means ONE in the way you suggest Paul and Jesus is asking God to make us ONE and the same this means that at some point when God answers Jesus' prayer he is going to take all of his believers and fuse us into one person since, according to you Paul, its impossible to be "ONE" like Jesus and his father are and be plural at the same time.

    The other interpretations make much more sense. ONE here is not used in the numeric or mathematical sense. It seems obvious that ONE is used here to connote purpose, passion, desire - unity not singularity. If this is not the case and we adopt your interpretation Paul, there will only be one person in heaven because we will all be ONE there as Jesus and his father are ONE. This makes no sense whatsoever.

    But on either note, I'm happy to leave the discussion here. To borrow the words of Paul the apostle, "Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind." Blessings to you all.

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