Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Father and I are one

The Father and I are one (Jn 10:30).
And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one (Jn 17:11).
21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (Jn 17:21-23).

Unitarians like Dale Tuggy seize on the word “one” in monotheistic passages to disprove the Trinity. Yet as we see in John, the word “one” is fairly flexible in Scriptural usage.

Despite Jn 10:30, unitarians don’t think the Father and the Son are one and the same person. Whatever happened to Leibniz’s law?

Do I think Christians are one in the same sense as the Father and the Son? No.

But that’s the point. It’s a mistake to overinterpret a word like “one” as if that’s a deep metaphysical mine. We’re dealing with a multipurpose word that’s loosely applied to a wide variety of objects and relationships.

It’s the nature of the object and the larger context that delimits the application, and not that word all by itself. 

1 comment:

  1. "Flexible" indeed!

    This is what BDAG has to say about ἐν -

    The uses of this prep. are so many and various, and oft. so easily confused, that a strictly systematic treatment is impossible. It must suffice to list the main categories, which will help establish the usage in individual cases. The earliest auditors/readers, not being inconvenienced by grammatical and lexical debates, would readily absorb the context and experience little difficulty.