Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so"

There are theists who define faith as "pretending to know things you don't know" and "belief without evidence". They contend that this is how Christians understand faith. Sometimes they appeal to dictionaries. Sometimes they appeal to what lay Christians tell them.

1. Randomly polling lay Christians on the definition of faith proves nothing. That's the wrong sample-group. When defining Christian terms and categories, it's necessary to consult representatives with the relevant qualifications (e.g. theologians, Christian philosophers). 

2. Wikipedia is a hack source.

3. Dictionaries aren't defining Christian faith, but just a generic notion of faith. So that's irrelevant and misleading. The real question at issue isn't the meaning of "faith," simpliciter, but Christian faith in particular. 

4. Apropos (3), atheists commit an amateurish semantic fallacy by failing to distinguish between the meaning of words and the meaning of concepts. The question at issue is what the idea of faith means in Christian theology, not the dictionary definition of a word. Concepts are more complex than the meaning of individual words. 

5. I don't deny that you can quote some Christian philosophers, apologists, and theologians who make fideistic statements. The fact is that there's no single concept of faith in Christian tradition. There's no one model of the relationship between faith and reason in Christian tradition. For instance, Paul Helm delineates three different concepts of faith:

One prominent view of faith is that it is an evidential gap-bridger or makeweight. On this account, there is some evidence for the truth of what is believed…so faith makes up for any evidential deficiency. 

second view of faith is that the certainty of faith is proportional to the evidence for the belief which is a component part of faith. 

A third conception of faith…as it is sometimes expressed, faith is inherently and necessarily risky. Paul Helm, Faith & Understanding (Eerdmans, 1997), 12-14.

In addition,

There is, to begin with, the distinction between evidence-sensitive and evidence-insensitive views of faith. In much of the mainstream tradition we are concerned with, personal faith involves belief, and for faith to be reasonable it must be well-grounded. So faith is sensitive to evidence, and to the status of that evidence. If evidence is called into question, then faith will, other things being equal, be weakened, unless a rebuttal can be found. P. Helm, ed. Faith & Reason (Oxford, 1999), 8.

In a recent debate, Timothy McGrew defined faith as "venturing on something you care about where the outcome is outside you're direct control".

6. I'm going to begin by quoting some representative Christian philosophers and theologians. My immediate objective is to provide documentation that belies the village atheist definition of faith, or the relation between faith and reason. I will then circle back and comment on their views.

Faith is not "belief in the absence of evidence"; rather, it is a trust which rests on sufficient evidence (John Frame, Five Views on Apologetics).

We should make some distinction between (1) the objective data given us in the created world and (2) our use of these data to construct arguments for the truth of Christianity…I prefer to use the term 'evidence' to refer to (1) and 'argument' for (2). In this sense, evidence is required for all human knowledge; argument is not (John Frame, Five Views on Apologetics).

For me, it is more congenial to my own judgment to attempt to prove Christianity in the same informal way in which I can prove for certain that I have been born into this world, and that I shall die out of it (John Henry Newman, Grammar of Assent). 

Faith is, in all its exercises alike, a form of conviction, and is, therefore, necessarily grounded in evidence (Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield II).

The difference between faith and knowledge is not that knowledge rests on evidence and faith does not…The difference is only that they rest on different kinds of evidence–knowledge on "sight" and faith on "testimony" (Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield II). 

Let reason be kept to: and if any part of the Scripture account of the redemption of the world by Christ can be shown to be really contrary to it, let the Scripture, in the name of God, be given up (Joseph Butler, Analogy of Religion).

There are some doctrines revealed in the Scripture, and those of the most importance that are so revealed, which concern and contain things so above our reason that, without some previous supernatural disposition of mind, they carry in them no evidence of truth unto mere reason, nor of suitableness unto our constitution and end. There is required unto such an apprehension both the spiritual elevation of the mind by supernatural illumination, and a divine assent unto the authority of the revelation thereon, before reason can be so much as satisfied in the truth and excellency of such doctrines. Such are those concerning the holy Trinity, or the subsistence of one singular essence in three distinct persons, the incarnation of the Son of God, the resurrection of the dead, and sundry others, that are the most proper subjects of divine revelation. There is a heavenly glory in some of these things, which as reason can never thoroughly apprehend, because it is finite and limited...

The foundation of the whole, as of all the actings of our souls, is in the inbred principles of natural light, or first necessary dictates of our intellectual, rational nature. This, so far as it extends, is a rule unto our apprehension in all that follows. Wherefore, if any pretend, in the exercise of reason, to conclude unto any thing concerning the nature, being, or will of God, that is directly contradictory unto those principles and dictates, it is no divine revelation unto our reason, but a paralogism from the defect of reason in its exercise. This is that which the apostle chargeth on and vehemently urgeth against the heathen philosophers. Inbred notions they had in themselves of the being and eternal power of God; and these were so manifest in them thereby that they could not but own them. Hereon they set their rational, discursive faculty at work in the consideration of God and his being; but herein were they so vain and foolish as to draw conclusions directly contrary unto the first principles of natural light, and the unavoidable notions which they had of the eternal being of God, Rom 1:21-25. And many, upon their pretended rational consideration of the promiscuous event of things in the world, have foolishly concluded that all things had a fortuitous beginning, and have fortuitous events, or such as, from a concatenation of antecedent causes, are fatally necessary, and are not disposed by an infinitely wise, unerring, holy providence. And this also is directly contradictory unto the first principles and notions of natural light; whereby it openly proclaims itself not to be an effect of reason in its due exercise, but a mere delusion. 

So if any pretend unto revelations by faith which are contradictory unto the first principles of natural light or reason, in its proper exercise about its proper objects, it is a delusion. On this ground the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation is justly rejected; for it proposeth that as a revelation by faith which is expressly contradictory unto our sense and reason, in their proper exercise about their proper objects. And a supposition of the possibility of any such thing would make the ways whereby God reveals and makes known himself to cross and interfere one with another; which would leave us no certainty in any thing, divine or human (John Owen, The Reason of Faith). 

I find every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly: and where it fails them, they cry out, It is matter of faith, and above reason. And I do not see how they can argue with anyone, or ever convince a gainsayer who makes use of the same plea, without setting down strict boundaries between faith and reason; which ought to be the first point established in all questions where faith has anything to do.

Reason, therefore, here, as contradistinguished to faith, I take to be the discovery of the certainty or probability of such propositions or truths which the mind arrives at by deduction made from such ideas, which it has got by the use of its natural faculties; viz. by sensation or reflection.

Faith, on the other side, is the assent to any proposition, not thus made out by the deductions of reason, but upon the credit of the proposer, as coming from God, in some extraordinary way of communication. This way of discovering truths to men, we call revelation.

For whatsoever truth we come to the clear discovery of, from the knowledge and contemplation of our own ideas, will always be certainer to us than those which are conveyed to us by traditional revelation. 

The like holds in matter of fact knowable by our senses; v.g. the history of the deluge is conveyed to us by writings which had their original from revelation: and yet nobody, I think, will say he has as certain and clear a knowledge of the flood as Noah, that saw it; or that he himself would have had, had he then been alive and seen it. For he has no greater an assurance than that of his senses, that it is writ in the book supposed writ by Moses inspired: but he has not so great an assurance that Moses wrote that book as if he had seen Moses write it. So that the assurance of its being a revelation is less still than the assurance of his senses.

We can never assent to a proposition that affirms the same body to be in two distant places at once, however it should pretend to the authority of a divine revelation: since the evidence, first, that we deceive not ourselves, in ascribing it to God...And therefore no proposition can be received for divine revelation, or obtain the assent due to all such, if it be contradictory to our clear intuitive knowledge. Because this would be to subvert the principles and foundations of all knowledge, evidence, and assent whatsoever: and there would be left no difference between truth and falsehood, no measures of credible and incredible in the world, if doubtful propositions shall take place before self-evident; and what we certainly know give way to what we may possibly be mistaken in. In propositions therefore contrary to the clear perception of the agreement or disagreement of any of our ideas, it will be in vain to urge them as matters of faith. They cannot move our assent under that or any other title whatsoever. For faith can never convince us of anything that contradicts our knowledge. 

But to all those who pretend not to immediate revelation, but are required to pay obedience, and to receive the truths revealed to others, which, by the tradition of writings, or word of mouth, are conveyed down to them, reason has a great deal more to do, and is that only which can induce us to receive them...Without such a revelation, the believing, or not believing, that proposition, or book, to be of divine authority, can never be matter of faith, but matter of reason; and such as I must come to an assent to only by the use of my reason, which can never require or enable me to believe that which is contrary to itself: it being impossible for reason ever to procure any assent to that which to itself appears unreasonable (John Locke, "Of Faith and Reason, and their Distinct Provinces," An Essay Concerning Human Understanding).

7. One thing all these positions share in common is that none of them defines faith as "pretending to know things you don't know" or "belief without evidence".

8. I like Frame's definitions and distinctions. To say faith rests on evidence can be misleading if that's taken to mean you must be able to present the evidence for your faith. Now, it's important that some Christians be able to make a case. However, someone can have good evidence for their beliefs even when they can't produce the evidence. When they don't have the evidence at our mental fingertips. Or when they lack the philosophical sophistication to marshall the evidence into a logical syllogism. 

9. For Newman, the way to prove Christianity isn't categorically different from proving anything else. By that logic, he doesn't dichotomize faith and reason or faith and knowledge. 

10. I generally like Warfield's two statements. However, I disagree with his terminology. He seems to suggest that belief based on firsthand experience amounts to knowledge whereas belief based on testimony evidence amounts to faith. But are the only things we know things we personally experience? Does belief based on secondhand information never rise to the level of knowledge? That strikes me as a pretty artificial definition of knowledge. 

Perhaps he'd say belief based on testimonial evidence is fallible. If so, belief based on firsthand experience is often fallible. Memory is fallible. Sensory perception is fallible. Direct observation is subject to fallible interpretation. It would be preferable to say these are different sources of knowledge, rather than to say one is knowledge while the other is something less than knowledge. 

11. Butler's statement has some merit when applied to various revelatory claimants, viz. Muhammad, Swedenborg, Joseph Smith, Sun Myung Moon. 

However, a potential problem with Butler's statement is the assumption that unaided reason is self-sufficient. But can reason be justified apart from revelation? For instance, does the reliability of reason depend on the quality of the source? 

Likewise, reason requires criteria. But where to the standards come from? 

We need to take a more holistic approach to the relationship between reason and revelation. They supplement each other. 

12. Owen's position is complex:

i) In reference to pagan fortuity, perhaps the idea is that some positions can be preemptively discounted because they lead to global skepticism. If everything is ultimately the byproduct of blind happenstance, then reason seems to be entirely untrustworthy. If that's his point, I agree.

ii) It's unclear how he draws a distinction between what's above reason and what's contrary to reason. If, to use his own examples, he considers the Trinity, Incarnation, and resurrection of the body to be merely mysterious, then a distinction is tenable. If, however, he considers these articles of faith to be paradoxical, then what's the discernible difference between apparent and actual contradiction in practice?

iii) One differential factor might be the quality of the evidence. If we have good evidence for the constituent elements comprising a paradox, then that proposition is merely above reason rather than contrary reason. The distinction lies, not in the nature of the proposition, but the evidence, or lack thereof. 

iv) He seems to be using his distinction as a shortcut to dismiss transubstantiation. But in what respect is transubstantiation contrary to reason rather than above reason? If true, transubstantiation requires a mass hallucination. Every communicant perceives things that aren't there while failing to perceive things that are there. A visual, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory hallucination. That, however, is not impossible–although it demands a good argument to warrant such a drastic claim.

In addition, transubstantiation makes the claim that "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, is truly, really and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist" (Trent).

That seems to be physically impossible. How can a human body be the size of a wafer? How can a body fit into a chalice? How is it possible to swallow whole? It's like saying something is bigger on the inside than the outside. That's physically impossible. 

That's different from a miracle. Although a miracle may be naturally impossible, even a miracle can't be physically impossible. A physical medium has built-in constraints. A miracle with sometimes bypass the medium, but if it utilizes the medium, then that imposes a limit on what is miraculously possible. 

Moreover, you can't miniaturize a human body below certain scales of magnitude. It won't be a human body anymore. What makes it a human body is, in part, an interactive relationship with its physical environment. It belongs to the same spatiotemporal system. 

Furthermore, deity is not a physical property. As such, deity is illocal. I'd say the same thing about the soul. 

13. Locke's position is similar to Owen's:

i) I believe Locke is shadowboxing with Roman Catholicism–as well as the "charismatics" of his day and age. 

ii) His contrast between personal observation and historical testimony is overdrawn. Sometimes secondhand information is more reliable than firsthand information. Suppose I'm an eyewitness to an accident. It's unlikely that I'd be mistaken about the occurrence of the accident. However, I can misremember details. I can misremember the date. I can misremember the weather. I can misinterpret the cause.

Multiple secondhand accounts might be more accurate. Might correct errors in my recollection and judgment. 

iii) Furthermore, some events are on a scale that surpass any one man's observation. He can only be in one place at a time. He can only see things from one angle. 

Take a complex event like the Civil War. That has multiple fronts. And that's spread out over time. If I'm a Civil War vet, I know a lot about a little. Suppose I was conscripted after the war began. Supposed I deserted before the war ended. My experience is just a chronological sample of the whole. Likewise, my experience is just a geographical sample of the whole. 

iv) Furthermore, Locke fails to take inspiration into account. 

v) In addition, tradition is not all of a piece. Some traditions are better attested than others. On the face of it, some traditions are legends. 

vi) Finally, our belief-structure is not all of a kind. Some beliefs are more fundamental than others. Some beliefs function as the standard of comparison in relation to other beliefs or candidates for belief. Counterevidence may force us to relinquish a belief, but that may not necessitate any adjustment in our fundamental belief-structure, because many beliefs were always provisional and dispensable. 

16 comments:

  1. In a Bahnsen lecture he interacted with three views. Faith is believing what you know ain't so. Faith takes over where reason ends. Faith saves reason. He attributed 2 to Thomas and three to Augustine. He defended 3.

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  2. Hi Steve, I think that faith is exactly what it says in Hebrew 11:1-3 etc. and the theologians, learned and wise guys have not come to know that just as the Lord Jesus has said, "I praise thee O Father that thou hast hidden those things from the wise and the intelligent and gave it to babes."
    Paul

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    1. As an anti-Trinitarian heretic, your aversion to theologians and "learned and wise guys" is understandable.

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  3. I like this post so much, I've added a link to it in two of my blogposts:

    Various Definitions of the Word "Faith"
    http://gospelcrumbs.blogspot.com/2010/10/definitions-of-word-faith.html

    Quotations on Faith
    http://charismatamatters.blogspot.com/2015/09/quotations-on-faith.html

    I also recommend Vincent Cheung's article: Not Enough “Faith” to be an Atheist?
    http://www.vincentcheung.com/2005/03/23/not-enough-faith-to-be-an-atheist/

    Despite his errors, sometimes Cheung makes really good points.

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  4. Yes Steve, I am a anti-trinitarian, but I don't think that I am a heretic.
    To believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord God the Almighty is no heresy at at all, but to believe that there is another one who is also a God, that perhaps would be heretical.

    And yes, I do have a problem with theologians who teach that. I think that they should know better.

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    1. Are you a kind of Modalist?

      [BTW I have my own blog on the Trinity]

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  5. No ANNOYED PINOY, I am not a Modalist.
    A Modalist believes that God came in three different modes, as the Father and as the Son and as the Holy Spirit.
    But I believe that there is only ONE God and that is the Lord Jesus Christ and beside Him is NO other God.
    Jesus Christ is the Father just as He has said, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit came in the flesh, just as the Scriptures said. Or in plain words, "The Lord is the Spirit 2 Corinthians 3:17."
    And of course we both know that the Lord Jesus Christ is also CALLED the Son of God, just as the Scriptures said.

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    1. I responded to your comments on my blogpost there. I'll reproduce them here:

      Look A.P. we both know that THREE can never be ONE, no matter how hard they try to amalgamate the truth with a lie.

      I wonder whether you are even familiar in what senses in which Trinitarians claim God is one and three? God is one in the sense of being (or essence). While God is three in the sense of person. The categories of being and person are different. "Being" has to do with the "stuff" of something, while "person" has to do with a different issue. For example, some Trinitarians understand "person" to refer to a "center of consciousness". Taken that way, God is one "What" and three "Whos". There's no contradiction there. The contradiction would be if someone claimed God is one in being and three in being (without equivocating on the word "being"). Just as it would be a contradiction to say that God is one in person and three in person (without equivocating on the word "person"). A rock, for example, has being, but it isn't a person because it lacks self-consciousness.

      Regarding John 10:30, John Gill wrote:

      Not in person, for the Father must be a distinct person from the Son, and the Son a distinct person from the Father; and which is further manifest, from the use of the verb plural, "I and [my] Father", (esmen) , "we are one"; that is, in nature and essence, and perfections, particularly in power; [bold by me- AP]

      Prior to the incarnation the person of the Son was distinct from the Father [cf. John 17:5] and was [using a facial metaphor] "face to face" [so to speak] with the Father.

      Vincent's Word Studies says regarding the phrase "Was with God":

      Anglo-Saxon vers., mid Gode. Wyc., at God. With (πρός) does not convey the full meaning, that there is no single English word which will give it better. The preposition πρός, which, with the accusative case, denotes motion towards, or direction, is also often used in the New Testament in the sense of with; and that not merely as being near or beside, but as a living union and communion; implying the active notion of intercourse. Thus: “Are not his sisters here with us” (πρὸς ἡμᾶς), i.e., in social relations with us (Mar_6:3; Mat_13:56). “How long shall I be with you” (πρὸς ὑμᾶς, Mar_9:16). “I sat daily with you” (Mat_26:55). “To be present with the Lord” (πρὸς τὸν Κύριον, 2Co_5:8). “Abide and winter with you” (1Co_16:6). “The eternal life which was with the Father” (πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, 1Jo_1:2). Thus John's statement is that the divine Word not only abode with the Father from all eternity, but was in the living, active relation of communion with Him.
      [italics original, bold added by me - AP]

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    2. Robertson's Word Pictures says:

      With God (pros ton theon). Though existing eternally with God the Logos was in perfect fellowship with God. Pros with the accusative presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face with each other. In 1Jo_2:1 we have a like use of pros: “We have a Paraclete with the Father” (paraklēton echomen pros ton patera). See prosōpon pros prosōpon (face to face, 1Co_13:12), a triple use of pros. There is a papyrus example of pros in this sense to gnōston tēs pros allēlous sunētheias, “the knowledge of our intimacy with one another” (M.&M., Vocabulary) which answers the claim of Rendel Harris, Origin of Prologue, p. 8) that the use of pros here and in Mar_6:3 is a mere Aramaism. It is not a classic idiom, but this is Koiné, not old Attic. In Joh_17:5 John has para soi the more common idiom.
      [original bold and italics not reproduced - AP]

      See also part 6 of Robert Bowman's The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity:

      The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Are Three Persons
      http://bib.irr.org/biblical-basis-of-doctrine-of-trinity-part-vi-father-son-and-holy-spirit-are-three-persons

      See also my blogpost: Old Testament Passages Implying Plurality in God
      http://trinitynotes.blogspot.com/2014/08/old-testament-passages-implying.html

      If Steve doesn't mind, we can continue the conversation here instead of at my blogpost.

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  6. Thank you A.P. for your response, I appreciate that.
    Yes I am familiar with every trinitarian claim and with every flavor of this great deception called the trinity :-)
    The Lord Jesus Christ has granted me to expose this evil and wicked doctrine called the trinity. That's why most of my posts and comments are against this doctrine who misleads the inquiring heart of those who sincerely want to know God.

    I think that the Doctrine of God is the most important doctrine which is far above all other doctrines. If any man errs on that doctrine, he most likely will errs on all other doctrines of the Bible.

    Before any man can understand the doctrine of God he or she must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Word the Bible. By that I mean BELIEVE, not only acknowledge Jesus. He or she must start with the Lord Jesus Christ and end up with the Lord Jesus Christ, or their doctrine is false.

    The problem and deception comes when people believe the theologians rather than the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Theologians are good speakers who know how to cook up the wildest concoctions of nonsensical theories to confuse the simple minded who inquire of the Lord.
    Perhaps go to their churches and listen to their converts how they pray to a God they do not know through a little god whom they call Jesus, and then they say at the end of their prayers, "in Jesus Name". Well, of course they call that the trinity, praying to one god through another god, and then with brazen faces they say that the THREE are ONE.
    And when those theologians are exposed of their folly they turn to the Greek language or Hebrew and Aramaic to hide their ignorance.

    Perhaps you can see that I do not have a good opinion of those theologians and I recommend that everyone would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Theologians are NOT the truth and neither do they know the truth, for if they would know the truth they would preach the truth and the truth is Jesus Christ who claims to be the truth (John 14:6).
    Therefore whoever believes and is preaching Jesus Christ, believes and preaches the truth, and whoever believes the theologians and preach their doctrines, promotes deceptions.

    And by no means do trinitarians understand the doctrine of God, otherwise they would confess JESUS Christ as Lord, but as it is, they say that Jesus is NOT Lord (meaning God) alone. They say that Jesus Christ is lord with another entity called the Father.

    Look A.P. If the Lord Jesus Christ is NOT your Father who is in heaven, then tell me, WHO then is your Father who is in heaven ?
    Remember, for unto us is but ONE God and that is the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6), and next to the Father is NO other God. Therefore the Father IS the Lord Jesus Christ just as He has said (John 14:9 and John 10:30).

    Not only that, the Scriptures commands you and everyone to worship the FATHER in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23), and look! whom did they worship in Spirit and in truth (Matthew 28:9) ?

    Obviously, they worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They took hold of His feet and worshipped Him.
    They surely knew and understood the first and the second commandment of the Lord (Exodus 20:5).
    I'm glad they listen to the Lord Jesus Christ and NOT to the theologians ;-)




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  7. Perhaps go to their churches and listen to their converts how they pray to a God they do not know through a little god whom they call Jesus,...

    Trinitarians don't believe Jesus is another little god. He's neither another god, nor a little god, or another little god. If you're trying to describe Trinitarianism, you've misrepresented it.

    Well, of course they call that the trinity, praying to one god through another god, and then with brazen faces they say that the THREE are ONE.

    Trinitarianism doesn't teach or believe in three gods. Or three beings/entities. That would be tritheism. Again, you're misunderstanding Trinitarianism.

    And by no means do trinitarians understand the doctrine of God, otherwise they would confess JESUS Christ as Lord, ...

    Trinitarians confess Jesus is YHVH (which is the covenant name of God in the Old Testament). There are various Trinitarian models. For simplicity's sake, I'll defend the usual modern Evangelical understanding. It teaches that THREE centers of consciousness share the ONE being of God. That what can be said of the Being of God can be said of each person. Though, there are some things regarding each person which only refer to that person. So, for example, only the Son is the Son. Only the Father is the Father. Only the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. Some people don't like this analogy, but I'll use it anyway because it might help you understand better what Trinitarianism is like. It's analogous to a human being having Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly and popularly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). I don't know exactly want "DID/MPD" entails, but the condition is such that there would seem to be multiple centers of consciousness in one physical human body. In a similar way, [if I can use a spacial metaphor] "within" the one being of God there "resides" (so to speak) three consciousnesses.

    They say that Jesus Christ is lord with another entity called the Father.

    No, Trinitarianism denies another entity. There aren't two or more beings or entities. Or in the case of humans, there aren't two physical human bodies. But one human body with three persons who share that one human body. So, similarly, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit share the one Being of God.

    Look A.P. If the Lord Jesus Christ is NOT your Father who is in heaven, then tell me, WHO then is your Father who is in heaven ?

    The Father is the Father. Your theology denies the opening verses of John which says that the "Word was WITH God" and that all things were made "THROUGH" the Word (cf. 1 Cor. 8:6).

    " yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." - 1 Cor. 8:6 ESV

    You misquoted 1 Cor. 8:6 by removing the second half of the verse. You wrote: "Remember, for unto us is but ONE God and that is the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6), and next to the Father is NO other God" You neglected to quote the rest of the verse, "...and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." Notice, the Father created everything THROUGH the Son. Thus demonstrating a distinction between the Father and the Son sans creation [i.e. apart/without from creation].

    CONT.

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    1. The real distinction between the Father and the Son (and of the Holy Spirit) is SOOOOO clearly taught in the Bible that I dare say that it's clearer than the doctrine of the full deity of Christ. That's why the VAST MAJORITY of Unitarians who claim to believe the New Testament affirm the full deity of the Father but deny the full deity of the Son (and the Holy Spirit).

      Your theology cannot account for verses like John 17:3 which Unitarians like to quote against Trinitarians:

      "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."- John 17:3

      Your theology cannot account for how Jesus can be the mediator between God and man even in heaven. Nor can your theology account for Act 10:38.

      "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."- Acts 10:38 ESV

      Notice the distinctions between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. For more of these types of passages, see my blogpost:

      All Three Persons of the Trinity Mentioned In Scripture (Directly or Indirectly)
      http://trinitynotes.blogspot.com/2014/09/all-three-persons-of-trinity-mentioned.html

      Therefore the Father IS the Lord Jesus Christ just as He has said (John 14:9 and John 10:30).

      Neither verse says what you think it says. In neither verse does Jesus say He is the Father. Regarding John 14:9, Jesus just said in verse 6, "No one comes to the Father except THROUGH me." That's just three verses earlier, and Jesus makes a distinction between Himself and the Father. Moreover, the verses after John 14:9 also make a clear distinction between the Father and the Son.

      Regarding John 10:30, I already quoted John Gill who pointed out that a plural verb is used. That's why it could be translated, "I and my Father (we) are one".

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  8. Yes A.P. as I have said, I fully know and understand every flavor of that great deception called the trinity. It was Satan (the devil) who has caused the whole world to be deceived (Rev. 12:9), and the Lord Jesus Christ has granted me to expose that evil and wicked doctrine the trinity who has caused the nations and most of the churches to be lead astray.

    In one of my posts I have dared to called the doctrine of the trinity ‘Satan’s masterpiece of deception’. And Yes, I marvel that the Lord Jesus Christ has given Satan that kind of power to deceive the nations and even the elect if possible.

    Please look around you and see, most of the churches are dead, perhaps as dead as a doornail. They might have a form of godliness, but with their lips they occasionally mention the Name of Jesus, but with their hearts they are faaaar from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Yes, they even study the Scriptures and think that in them (the Scriptures) they have eternal life, but in reality they are unwilling to come to the Lord Jesus Christ so that they may have life and life abundant.

    And look and see, the mental asylums and hospitals are full of trinitarians, they all say that they believe in Jesus. Pastors and Elders giving themselves up to sexual perversions of the worst kind. Yes they ALL without exception claim that their God is THREE persons in ONE God and for that reason the Lord Jesus Christ has given them over to believe that lie (2 Thes. 2:11-12, and Rom. 1:28), that is because they do NOT have the love of the truth which is Jesus Christ our Lord and ONLY God (Jude 1:25).

    In front of their eyes, the Lord Jesus strikes their children dead (Rev. 2:22-23) and kills them with every sickness known to man. But not even then will those trinitarians listen, they put their fingers into their ears and pretend that God has never spoken to them.

    A.J. you said, “Trinitarians confess Jesus is YHVH (which is the covenant name of God in the Old Testament).”
    That is NOT true A.J.
    Because the trinity doctrine is such a dangerous deceptive doctrine which perverts every thought and doctrine of the Bible, therefore I suggest that you should start afresh, but from now on in Jesus Christ our Lord who is GOD over ALL forever praised (Rom. 9:5).

    Genesis 1:1, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
    Now, if that ‘God’, here in the beginning for you is NOT the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, then it will be impossible for you to understand the rest of the Bible.
    Remember (Colossians 1:15-20 and John 1:3-10), that everything was created by the Lord Jesus Christ and for the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing came into being apart from the Lord Jesus.
    Well then, it is obvious that the Lord Jesus Christ is the creator God in Genesis 1:1, and NO! absolutely NO!, the creator God is NOT Jehovah or Yahweh as the trinitarians like us to believe.
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  9. Trinitarians are skilled in deception and say that 'YHWH' is the name of God, and that is certainly NOT true!
    If those trinitarians would know the Scriptures and only think for a moment, they would know that YHWH is NOT a name. Don’t believe them A.P.

    YHWH are four letters meaning absolutely NOTHING. You cannot even pronounce those four letters.

    You see, in the Old Testament the Name of God has NOT been given and NOBODY knew the Name of God.
    Genesis 32:29 JACOB asked the Lord for His Name, (was NOT given).
    Exodus 3:13-14 MOSES wanted to know the Name of God. God said, ‘I AM Who I AM’.
    Judges 13:17-18 MANOAH asked the Lord for His Name, ‘see it is wonderful’.
    Nobody knew God’s Name in the Old Testament. (In the O.T. God’s Name was concealed, and in the N.T. God’s Name is revealed)
    God was only known under the title LORD or GOD, and all the Prophets prophesied that God or the Lord would be born as a child into His own creation, and when He incarnated (Matthew 1:25), when the angel of the Lord said to Joseph that he shall give Him the Name JESUS, that was the first time in all creation when God’s Name was revealed. (Immanuel, meaning GOD with us) with the Name JESUS.
    All the angels and all creation rejoiced that finally we know God’s ONE and ONLY Name JESUS who is the Christ. And every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS Christ is the Lord God the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
    Even your knees ought to bow to Jesus Christ and your tongue ought to confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty came in the flesh.

    And if the Lord Jesus Christ is the FIRST, then He is the Father, just as He has said.

    A son is NOT before the father and neither is a son the first, only when the Son is the Father, then the Son is considered to be the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last (Rev. 1:17-18).
    .
    You said, ‘No, Trinitarianism denies another entity. There aren't two or more beings or entities’
    Again, If the Father is NOT the Son, then THEY are TWO entities, and trinitarians are clearly saying the the Father is NOT the Son.

    You said, ‘So, similarly, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit share the one Being of God.’

    Absolutely no my friend. Already you assume that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three entities who share in the concept of God. If that Being which you call God is NOT the Lord Jesus Christ, then the title ‘GOD’ becomes a concept.
    Father is a tile belonging to the person of Jesus Christ, likewise, ‘Son is also a title belonging to Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit is the description of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:17), telling us that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life and NO other (1 John 5:20).
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    1. "Trinitarians are skilled in deception and say that 'YHWH' is the name of God, and that is certainly NOT true! YHWH are four letters meaning absolutely NOTHING. You cannot even pronounce those four letters."

      That's such an ignorant argument. The original Hebrew text is a consonantal text, so none of the words in the OT has vowels. By your logic, that means the OT doesn't have any names for anyone or anything. No proper names or place names, since all we have are consonants. By your logic, "Abraham" is not a name, "Joseph" is not a name, "Noah" is not a name, "David" is not a name, "Jeremiah" is not a name, "Zion" is not a name, "Egypt" is not a name, "Jerusalem" is not a name, &c., since it's just a consonantal text!

      What your argument overlooks is the distinction between the spoken word and the written word, or how the spoken were was represented in writing. Speakers knew how Hebrew words were pronounced, so when they read a text, they mentally supplied the vowels.

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  10. You said, ‘The Father is the Father. Your theology denies the opening verses of John which says that the "Word was WITH God" and that all things were made "THROUGH" the Word (cf. 1 Cor. 8:6).’

    No A.P. my theology does NOT deny 1 Corinthians 8:6, to the contrary, I and the Scriptures proclaim that the Father is the Lord Jesus Christ who created ALL things and nothing came into being apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Remember, ‘Father’ is the TITLE of the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘Father’ is NOT another person or another entity as the trinitarians teach.
    For unto us is but ONE God and that is the Father and the Father IS the Lord Jesus Christ.

    And NO my friend, God did NOT created the world and everything in it “THROUGH” somebody else, otherwise THEY would be TWO, but God is ONE and NOT two, and God is called ‘HE’ singular and NOT ‘THEY’ plural.
    Simply, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who created everything saying, “I am the LORD, I make ALL things ALONE” (Isaiah 44:24). Here you can see that the Lord did not created anything THROUGH someone else.

    You said,“The real distinction between the Father and the Son (and of the Holy Spirit) is SOOOOO clearly taught in the Bible that I dare say that it's clearer than the doctrine of the full deity of Christ. That's why the VAST MAJORITY of Unitarians who claim to believe the New Testament affirm the full deity of the Father but deny the full deity of the Son (and the Holy Spirit).”

    Well A.P. I am a monotheist believing in ONE God Jesus Christ of Nazareth alone, and there are other monotheists who also believe in ONE god, like the Jehovah Witnesses etc. and then there are the polytheists who believe in many gods or god-persons and entities like the trinitarians and other pagan groups.
    Also, it only seems to you and to all trinitarians that there are distinctions between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and for that reason you will always end up with three god-entities or three god-persons.

    Again, to understand that, you need to go back to the foundation and the foundation is Jesus Christ.
    If there is a distinction between Jesus and the Father, then THEY are TWO.
    If the Lord Jesus is NOT the Father, then obviously the Lord Jesus Christ is NOT the Lord God the creator of heaven and earth and the Scriptures are NOT true.

    Therefore there is only one conclusion that the Lord Jesus Christ IS the Father just as He has said in (John 10:30 and in John 14:9).
    Through the mouth of Jeremiah the Lord Jesus Christ said, “I thought that you would call Me Father” (Jeremiah 3:19).

    John 14:9 and John 10:30 you said, “Neither verse says what you think it says. In neither verse does Jesus say He is the Father."

    A.P. to you it doesn’t say that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Father, but to ALL of us who believe in Him, believe that Jesus Christ IS our Father who is in heaven.

    Who do you think that we worship in Spirit and in truth ? The Father of course, just like they did in (Matthew 28:9) and surely they were not trinitarians, they believed in one God the Lord Jesus Christ and that is why they and we worship the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    And look how all the trinitarian churches worship a god called Jehovah THROUGH another god whom they call Jesus.

    And all the mighty man of God are silent and say nothing. That is a disgrace to all Christianity.

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