Wow, I mean WOW; IMO, Steve needs to read the Bible a bit more. Note the following:
Ye do the works of your father. They said unto him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me. (John 8:41, 42 - ASV)
For those Jews contesting with Jesus in the above passage, who were they referring to as "one Father, even God"? Clearly, they were referring to Yahweh/Jehovah.
The concept of Yahweh/Jehovah as Father (i.e. the Fatherhood of God) to His chosen people was clearly taught in the OT (e.g. Is. 63:16; 64:8; Hos. 1:10)—equating God the Father with Yahweh is certainly not "anachronistic".
I see that David Waltz suffers from the same linguistic naïveté as Dale Tuggy:
i) The question at issue is not whether God the Father is Yahweh. The question, rather, is whether that identification is exclusive to God the Father.
ii) If Waltz is going to treat that as a divine title, then he can’t very well limit that to God the Father, since that title is also applied to the Messiah in Isa 9:6. Isaian usage cuts both ways. By his own logic, not only is God the Father Yahweh, but so is Jesus.
iii) The fact that “father” is occasionally used in reference to Yahweh hardly makes “father” a technical term or rigid designator for God the Father.
After all, in his very prooftext, Isaiah plays on the flexible denotation of “father” to compare and contrast Yahweh as the “father” of the Israelites with Abraham and Israel as their fathers.
Likewise, Isa 64:8 employs a mixed metaphor: father/potter. That illustrates the loose, fluid character of these figurative designations.
For that matter, Isaiah uses both paternal and maternal analogies for Yahweh (45:10). So by Waltzian logic, there’s a Mother Goddess as well as a Father God.
In the Johannine passage Waltz quoted, “father” is applied both to God and the devil. Hopefully Waltz doesn’t think that makes Yahweh the devil.
iv) Fatherhood is one of many different theological metaphors for God. Waltz also mentions Hosea. But, of course, the main theological metaphor in Hosea is not God as father but God as cuckold husband.
Does that mean “husband” is a divine title? One which singles out Yahweh (or God the Father)?
v) While God “the Father” isn’t yet a technical term in NT usage, it’s approaching that status. That’s because there’s a greater need in the NT to develop stock designations which identify and distinguish the three persons of the Trinity. You can’t simply retroject that usage back into OT usage.
vi) Apropos (v), to take an obvious comparison, “spirit” is frequently used as a proper name for the Holy Spirit in the NT. But it would wreak havoc with the OT to equate “spirit” with the Spirit of God wherever ruach occurs.
Reformed epologists like Mr. Hays are in the unenvious position of having to defend a ‘half-way house’ theology—and this is especially so, concerning the doctrine of the Trinity. John Henry Newman dealt a mortal blow to the consensus theory among Trinitarians that the doctrine was not only a clear, explicit teaching of the Bible, but was also clear, explicit teaching of the pre-Nicene Church Fathers—both are inaccurate. Honest scholars now admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is a development, with many also acknowledging that it is but one of the possible developments from the material presented in the Bible, and early Church history.
So, Hays is stuck between the Catholic/EO position which insists that the Bible, and the doctrine of God, needs an infallible teaching magisterium, and that of the ‘true’ sola scripturians who draw their conclusions about the Christian doctrine of God from the ‘Bible alone’.
That’s just a hollow boast which doesn’t begin to engage my detailed arguments to the contrary.
Keep in mind, too, that I wasn’t attempting to present a systematic case for the Trinity. Rather, I was responding to Tuggy’s specific contentions, in the course of which I also give a sampling of counterexamples.
It seems that Steve has developed an obsession…
i) That’s funny coming from a guy who’s an internet stalker of John Bugay.
ii) It’s also a typically one-sided characterization by Waltz. I’ve been responding to Tuggy, he’s been responding to me. Sometimes he does that in his own posts, but he also does that by leaving comments on my posts. Waltz needs to learn how to count. If I’m “obsessed” with Tuggy, then Tuggy’s “obsessed” with me.
iii) Until recently, unitarianism was a theological backwater, populated by hacks and cults. The fact that it finally recruited a prominent philosopher of religion merits sustained pushback.
Of course, Islam is the biggest unitarian cult of them all, but that doesn’t even pretend to be Christian, and the threat it poses is primarily coercive rather than intellectual.
I think one can see that Steve's charge is false—one can be a non-Trinitarian, without being an anti-Trinitarian—but no apology and/or acknowledgment is offered by Steve.
Uh, no. Religion isn’t a menu you can peruse with detached neutrality. God obligates total devotion. Either you’re for Christ or against Christ. Unitarians are animated by the spirit of the Antichrist.