This is a follow-up to my previous post:
Here I respond to Dale's comments.
Of course, one may be a prophet, a messenger, and in a sense "be" the message.
Uh…no. St. Matthew is not the message. St. Luke is not the message. St. John is not the message. St. Paul is not the message. The prophet Isaiah is not the message. The prophet Daniel is not the message.
Jesus is the message because the message is about Jesus. The message is about the person and work of Christ.
No, you trust the man *by* trusting what he says.
Dale is such a hack philosopher. Even a chronic liar can make credible statements. Take Hillary Clinton. She says she wants to be president. But even though Hillary is a chronic liar, that's a credible statement. Credible because it's fully in character with the kind of power-hungry person she is.
Does the fact that I believe her when she says that mean I believe in her? No. It's possible for untrustworthy speakers to make trustworthy claims.
This is so mind-bogglingly wrongheaded, that I'm just going to facepalm and leave it at that.
Because that's the best you can do.
Undisputed facts, Steve. They don't imply, though, or even suggest, that Jesus is one ousia with God.
The fact that NT writers take paradigm statements about Yahweh and then apply them to Jesus implies that Jesus is one ousia with God.
Steve, there's a consistent pattern.
True. You consistently dissemble.
when you accuse me of ignoring some distinction, you're just missing my point. I'm not, and have never been confused about this distinction.
You just act as if you're unaware of that distinction, because you try to win the argument through semantic tricks.
The assumption of NT authors is that "God" that is to say, the Father, is the only god.
No, they don't assume the Father is the only God–to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit. The divinity of the Father is not in contrast to the divinity of the Son and Spirit. Rather, the Father is the only God in contrast to pagan counterfeits. Likewise, the Trinity is the only true God in contrast to pagan counterfeits.
I'll spare you the copious references which show this.
Because once you get specific about your supporting material, that would draw you into an exegetical debate which you are bound to lose.
Very rarely, so as to not confuse the two. We all know that titles and even proper names can be ambiguous, can refer to more than one being, in various contexts.
Which are not ambiguous in context.
So, all agree, less than a dozen times (but I think in reality less) Jesus is referred to as "God."
The divine terminology isn't confined to calling Jesus "God." It includes calling Jesus "Lord," in contexts where that's Yahwistic. Likewise, in many NT settings, "Son of God" is a divine title.
I think the one indisputable case is Hebrews 1 - in which this "God" (Jesus) is said to *have* a god (obviously, God).
If you imagine that Heb 1 is the only disputable case where Jesus is called "God," then you contracted Mono from kissing the blarney stone of unitarianism. Fever has clouded your judgment.
There is, of course, clear OT precedence for beings other that God being called "gods" or even addressed as "god".
An example of Dale obfuscating. It's a question of how "God" "Son of God," "Lord," &c. are applied to Jesus in the context of the one true God.
No problem, no confusion, as the writers are constantly distinguishing between God and his Son.
Notice Dale's rhetorical tactic. He always resorts to prejudicial terminology by contrasting "God" with Jesus. But NT usage is more varied. Sometimes the Father is called God, but sometimes Lord. Sometimes Jesus is called God, more often Lord. Frequently we have Father/Son terminology. Or Father God/Son of God terminology. So NT usage is far more varied and qualified than Dale's prejudicial terminology.
Indeed. And all the NT writers think the first of those is the one God himself.
To say they all think the Father is the one God himself, in contrast to the Son or Spirit, simply begs the question.
The second is a man, his unique Son.
Which disregards the fact that Christ's sonship is often uses as a divine title.
They don't hold, as perhaps you'd like, that both are "Persons" (or somethings) within the one god, and equally sharing the divine nature.
To the contrary, that is what they hold.
"Divine designations" - note the theoretical assumption here thrust upon the texts. Says who? In the Bible, *all* those terms are at various times used for beings which *in your view* don't have the divine nature. e.g. various men, angels Inconvenient for your theory, I would say.
This is Dale's typical bait-n-switch, where he disregards context. There is, in addition, a basic difference between singular and plural forms.
Classic example of catholic tradition changing plain NT teaching. There, God sends his Son, a man. This gets changed to: God shows up, as a man.
Notice Dale's staple rhetorical ruse. He prejudges and oversimplifies the answer by framing the issue in terms of "God" sending X, where "God" stands in contrast to X. But in the NT, Jesus is Yahweh come in the flesh. In the OT, God sends prophets and angels. These are like advance men or heralds who prepare the way for the king's arrival. The OT frequently predicts the coming of Yahweh. That's fulfilled in Jesus.
Many problems with this theory, one being that the man dies, whereas God is essentially immortal.
That's such a brain dead objection. It doesn't even take the Incarnation into account for the sake of argument. Dale is making no effort to attack an accurate model of orthodox Christology.
Also, Steve, do you just deny that Jesus is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15?
So Dale doesn't understand the progressive nature of typology.
Thus saith Steve. But why should anyone agree? It's hardly self-evident, it's not taught anywhere in scripture, and it would seem that Jesus is a counterexample to this general principle.
I appreciate Dale's admission that he's Biblically illiterate. When prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Hosea, Amos, Zechariah, &c. die, they retire from the scene, leaving their collected oracles behind. They are no longer players, much less are they the personal object of future devotion.
Thus saith Steve. Feeling Pope-y today?
Dale, where do St. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, Paul, Jude, or the author of Hebrews demand or command Christians to make them an object of faith and devotion?
Why should anyone accept that *all* talk of faith in the NT is in God alone, and never in the mediator between God and man, the man Jesus?
Notice, once again, Dale's invariable rhetorical ploy: He erects an antithesis between "God alone" and Jesus, then poses a loaded question.
BTW, Jesus is the mediator between God and man by uniting both in his own person.
"Believe in God, believe *also* in me." Okay, Jesus. I guess I'll have to set aside the speculations of this hotheaded triabloguer.
Once again, is Dale hopelessly dense, or does he grasp the issue, but pretends it doesn't exist? In Jn 14:1, "God" is used as a proper name for the Father. A synonym for the Father. But sometimes John uses "God" as a common noun for Jesus.
When corrected, Dale assures me that he knows the difference between proper nouns and common nouns, but then he instantly reverts to confounding the two because he's an intellectually dishonest polemicist.
Thus saith Steve: folks, the NT is, rightly interpreted, contradictory, or at least apparently so.
I'm just stating a fact. That's how the NT presents the data. It depicts both Father and Son as divine, yet distinguishes them. It doesn't try to harmonize that depiction.
All reasonable Christians: Pope Steve, if the reading is contradictory... maybe you've made a mistake. Like, thinking that being call "Lord" means that Jesus is God himself, when the NT also teaches that he's someone else!
Observe how willfully simpleminded Dale is. Is Jesus "God himself" or "someone else." But that's a false dichotomy.
"You'll forgive us if we don't salute your confusion as a holy mystery."
Who is the "us"? Is Dale possessed?
Ah, yes. That must be the problem. Thanks, Pope Steve.
Yes, it is a problem when you superimpose on Scripture your artificial, a priori standard of precision.
Seriously, Steve, the Bible, like any human document, assumes the concept of identity. Paul and Saul - they are the same, those names co-refer in, say, Acts. Luke of course knows this. The concept of numerical sameness is a part of the basic conceptual repertoire of all humans. We employ it in interpreting any human communication.
Let's see: suppose you were to ask people if a school of fish is one or many.
When the scripture says that God is one, it is saying that Yahweh is unique, that he's the only god. (But not the only possible referent of the words "god" and "God"!) That is, Yahweh is a God, and for anything whatever, that thing is a god if and only if it just is (is numerically identical to) Yahweh. This is the *meaning* of saying that Yahweh is the only god, the one true God/god, etc. http://trinities.org/blog/the-only-true-president-of-the-usa-another-laugable-fox-news-blunder/
It is setting the one true God in opposition to false divine claimants.
I agree with this completely, because of the "if." The problem, Steve, is that the facts include the NT *identification* of the Father as the one god, not the lesser claim that the Father "is divine."
Which disregards the complementary NT identification of the Son as the one God.
"Divine" is not a lesser claim, especially when I used the adjective "fully" to modify the noun.
Steve, this is quite the spectacle. My sin, you think, is supposing too precise of notion of unity, when I think about the Trinity, as in, I'm too attached to some speculation. But no, I'm just reading and employing undisputed tools of logic. You, on the other hand, are off in speculative la-la land. I can't even parse your statements above, enough to criticize them. It seems you're suggesting that sometimes things - abstracta? - should be counted as one, even though they are not one. A bold claim, to be sure. And yet another claim which is authorized neither by reason nor by scripture, but by the Word of Steve. Sorry, man, that's not enough. But it's your speculation. Feel free to make your proof, and we'll weigh it.
i) Dale, I'm responding to you on your own grounds.
ii) Yes, I understand that you can't grasp the illustration, because you haven't studied the issue. That's not my problem.
iii) For the sake of argument, I'll play by your rules. Let's define the identity of indiscernible:
If, for every property F, object x has F if and only if object y has F, then x is identical to y.
So that unpacks identity in terms of systematic one-to-one correspondence. X and Y are identical if X and Y share all and only the same properties in common. Isn't that equivalent to matching them in terms of one-to-one correspondence?
Well, Dale, enantiomorphic symmetries fit that definition. They mirror each other. Yet even though they are "identical" on that rigorous definition, they remain distinguishable due to chirality.
"Fudging." So, I think you think it is somehow cheating to say that one thing can differ from itself at two different times, but not at one and the same time (in the same way). But this last is patently impossible; that is self-evident, and I'm pretty sure that in your cool-headed moments, you'll agree. Why do I think that a thing can differ from itself at two different times? Because I know that I exist now, and that I was slightly different a few seconds ago. What's actual is not impossible. I'm calling your bluff on the "fudging" accusation, Steve. How are these two claims, in your view, somehow unreasonable - inconsistent, unwarranted, or whatever you please? (It's your accusation, so you can clarify.)
What's the problem. e.g. I only drank coffee and ate Doritos growing up, I'd be shorter than I am. Why think this would be me? Because, we don't think that height is essential to a human.
Dale, there's a glaring point of tension between your appeal to the identity of indiscernibles (or its converse, indiscernibility of identicals), and the elbow room you make for diachronic or counterfactual identity.
i) You can't refer to Dale at t1 and Dale at t2 unless these are in some respect distinguishable. Dale at t1 and Dale at t2 can't share every property in common and still be distinguishable in time. So your distinction is inconsistent with your stated principle of identity.
ii) In addition, it's more than just a chronological distinction, between earlier and later. Consider the difference between Dale as a social Trinitarian and Dale as a unitarian. That's internal to Dale, not external to Dale.
iii) Same thing in reference to counterfactual identity. You can't refer to Dale in w1 and Dale in w2 absent each Dale having or lacking one or more properties shared by his counterpart in another possible world.
So, Pope Steve's reading of the NT is seemingly contradictory. Could this be only apparently contradictory, appearing so to the smartest humans, while in fact it is self-consistent, which only God and angels can see?
Dale, it's only too be expected that God is greater than the human mind. Admittedly, that's not the case for your downsized unitarian open theism, where "God" is a spandex superhero from a Marvel comic book.
I suppose so. But that's not sufficient reason to agree with Pope Steve's seeming confusions. That sort of defense could be marshaled for any bizarre claim. He is a man like us. So when we run into a contradiction (that is, what strongly and constantly seems so) we back up, and look for an apparently consistent reading of scripture.
Dale doesn't offer a consistent reading of scripture. Dale suppresses massive swathes of evidence that run counter to his pet heresy.
Pope Steve is full of swagger because he thinks he's on the majority side. He is in the majority that has existed since after 381, which thinks that the catholic formulas asserted there have some true interpretation. (The majority, by the way, was likely created by imperial force.)
i) Actually, my side has existed since NT times.
ii) I don't rubber-stamp early church councils. For instance, I dissent from Nicene subordination. I favor the position of Warfield, Frame, and Helm–where each member of the Trinity is autotheistic in person and nature.
A common problem, when later catholic traditions are allowed to override scripture.
Dale talks about scripture, but he prudently avoids exegetical theology, because that's a loser for his position. He appeals to scripture in the abstract, not the concrete.
This is my 75th post in response to Dale. I've presented the exegetical documentation for my Christology in detail in many previous posts, which is why I'm not repeating that here.