Drake is having conniption fits:
It has become abundantly clear that Steve Hays thinks he can appeal to completely unverifiable and undefinable concepts in a debate over Theology Proper. When I accuse him of worshiping three gods, he simply appeals to anthropomorphic tri-theism and thus over-rules any inquiry into his view by falling back on the unverifiability and undefinability of his words.
i) That’s a very telling accusation. I didn’t appeal to anthropomorphic tritheism in response to Drake Shelton. Rather, I made that appeal in response to Dale Tuggy. Nice to see Drake’s inadvertent admission that he and Tuggy see eye-to-eye.
ii) Unitarians have always accused Trinitarians of tritheism. It’s not incumbent on Christians to justify the tritheistic appearance of Trinitarianism. For Biblical theism has a tritheistic appearance. God reveals himself in ways that look tritheistic.
It’s not particular formulations of the Trinity that generates that appearance. Rather, it’s the primary data of Scripture that generates that appearance.
In Scripture, God is apparently tritheistic. That, in turn, is counterbalanced by the fact Scripture also discloses a monotheistic conception of God.
Christians shouldn’t be made to feel defensive about the apparent tritheism of the Trinity, for that is based on God’s self-revelation. That’s normative–as far as it goes.
Now we know from the monotheistic passages that the Trinity is just apparently tritheistic, not really and truly tritheistic. But it’s not as if the monotheistic passages take precedence over the “tritheistic” passages. It’s all inspired. It’s all revelatory.
Moreover, even the monotheistic passages were more contextually qualified than unitarians make them out to be.
He claims that eternal generation cannot be true because it is a metaphor.
One wonders if Drake is actually that simple-minded. Was that my claim? No.
I never said–or even suggested–that eternal generation cannot be true because it’s a metaphor. Rather, I said that because the sonship of Christ is a metaphor, you must make allowance for the disanalogies as well as the analogies.
A metaphor both compares and contrasts one thing with another. You’re not entitled to arbitrarily pick-and-choose what you think carries over from the metaphor to the analogue.
I ask him what he means by metaphor and he simply cops out by saying that the Bible does not define metaphor.
That’s an amusing complaint from a Scripturalist. Well, the Bible doesn’t define metaphor, so why is a Scripturalist requiring an extrascriptural definition of metaphor?
Of course, it’s easy to define a metaphor. But that’s really not the point. Drake acts as though you have to provide a full-blown theory of analogical predication before you can recognize a metaphor or draw any distinctions reasonable between the analogous and disanalogous features of the metaphor.
But the Bible itself clearly makes no such assumption. It doesn’t demand that from its readers. They were expected to exercise common sense.
Take the sheepish metaphor, where the Bible uses sheep to symbolize Jews and Christians. You don’t have to have a theory of analogy to intuitively grasp the limitations of that comparison. You can tacitly appreciate both the similarities and dissimilarities between men and sheep when the Bible draws that comparison.
Drake is acting like Christians couldn’t know what it means for Jesus to walk on water unless they could define water as a chemical compound consisting of one oxygen molecule to two hydrogen molecules connected by covalent bonds. But you don’t have to be Linus Pauling to understand the account of Jesus walking on water.
Likewise, take the sonship of Christ. You don’t have to begin with a general theory analogical predication. Rather, you can just study what the Bible says about the sonship of Christ. What’s the significance of that metaphor in various scriptures? How does that function in the argument or the narrative of a particular Bible writer? That’s how you determine the parameters of the metaphor.