Saturday, May 26, 2018

Concrete beings

Once again, apostate Dale Tuggy saddles up Rocinante, in a jousting match with windmills:

As I (and many) use the term, “abstract” beings are by definition causally inert – they can’t be causes. Hays holds that each of these intentionally act, purposefully cause, so they must be “concrete” and not abstract. And for him, certainly, they are individual beings, not mere properties, events, states of affairs, numbers, sets, concepts, etc. 

i) Dale is confusing abstractness with Platonic realism, which is but one version of abstractness. By contrast, I'm using abstractness in the sense of what is timeless, spaceless, and multiply-instantiable. And it's easy for me to document that usage. 

In my view, God is timeless and spaceless. Moreover, some divine attributes (communicable attributes) are multiply-instantiable. 

ii) "Abstract" and "concrete" are mutually defining, as antonyms. Here's how one noted metaphysician defines concrete particulars:

They are all things that cannot be exemplified, but they all have or exemplify many attributes. Furthermore, they are things with temporally bounded careers: they come into existence at a time, they exist for a certain stretch of time, and then they pass out of existence at a time. Accordingly, they are all contingent beings, things that exist, but whose nonexistence is possible. They are also things whose temporal careers involve alteration or change: at different times in their careers they have different and incompatible attributes. They are also things that have, at each moment in their careers, a determinate position in space, and unless they are physical simples, they have physical parts that otherwise occupy a determinate region of space M. Loux, Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, third ed., 2006), 85. 

For this reason, I deny that God or divine persons are "concrete beings". Trinitarian persons aren't property-instances. Trinitarian persons lack a spatial and temporal mode of subsistence. Trinitarian persons aren't contingent entities whose nonexistence is possible. Rather, they exist necessarily. 

As a unitarian open theist and temporalist, Dale has a radically different concept of God than I have, but he's not entitled to foist his definition onto me. I reserve the right to define my own position. And I'm using standard definitions. 

(Never mind that Jesus was obviously in both time and space – that’s another post…)

That's so grossly simplistic. The body of Jesus subsists in time and space, the soul of Jesus subsists in time but not in space–while the divine nature or Son subsists outside of time and space. That may not be Dale's position, but that's my position. 

Right. So the “Persons” are in some sense parts or components of the Trinity, but are not parts of it like my body has parts. As you said, “The one God consists of three persons.”

That's such an uncouth notion of parts. It's like saying the Mandelbrot set has parts, or the number Pi has parts, or modus ponens has parts. 

Ironically, Dale's position is the mirror-image of Thomistic simplicity, according to which, for God not to have parts, he can't have any internal differentiation. Each attribute must be identical with every other attribute. But when we're referring to timeless, spaceless minds, the notion of parts has become so attenuated, so far removed from the original physical frame of reference, that it's worse than useless. 

Right – these “members of the Godhead” are thinking, conscious beings. In Cartesian terms, minds or souls, non-physical entities or beings or (as he says) “individuals” which have mind and will, able to intentionally act. Yep – beings! Three powerful realities, the sort I call “selves.”

Dale is too nearsighted to realize that I could easily recast my position in terms of "being". It's no contradiction to say God is one being and three beings, since "being" has both quantitative and qualitative senses. Dale can't anticipate how his own usage may be turned against his position. 

Now let’s get more specific. What else are each one of these three beings, in his view? Divine. What is the noun for a “divine being” or “being which is divine.” It is: “god.” Hence, his view is that “the Godhead” are three gods. His reply? It doesn’t matter, of course, whether tritheist Hays calls them “gods.” His Trinity theory straightforwardly implies that they are.

Once again, Dale is hopelessly simpleminded. Even if we went with the noun "god", there are, as I've pointed out on more than one occasion, different kinds of nouns: abstract, concrete, proper, common. 

In what sense, in his words, is he calling each of them “divine”?

By “divine” I mean having all the divine attributes.

Right – essential, defining features which any god must have, such as omnipotence and omniscience and eternity and uncreatedness. We get it. Whatever has all the features essential to being a god, is by definition a god.

Invalid inference. The persons of the Godhead don't each have a separate package of divine attributes, as if they instantiate a common nature. 

If A is a god, and B is a god, and they’re not the same god, yes, it does follow that A and B are different gods.

Which only follows from Dale's tendentious usage. He's shouting at himself in the bathroom mirror. 

Now it occurs to tritheist Steve to solve his problem by saying that only the Trinity is a god…

I said the Trinity is God, not the Trinity is a god. And that's something I've said for years now. 

so that none of the persons is a god, none of them is fully divine. Our tritheist needs to go back to the drawing-board, it would seem. 

Notice how Dale's mind works. He's incapable of addressing a contrary position on its own terms. Instead, he replaces the actual position with his counterfeit, then proceeds to disprove the counterfeit.  

He’s just denied the third claim in his own summary of his Trinity theory. It does work, to escape the tritheism of this theory, to switch to the view that only the Trinity is a god, though none of the “Persons” is a god. (Like me, then, he’d be denying that there are three fully divine).

Notice how Dale is utterly unable to distinguish what I actually said from his proxy.  

For those keeping an eye on the Bible – he’s now in the teeth of the NT, which plainly teaches that the Father is the one true God (i.e. the only god), and so implies that he must have all the features necessary for full divinity. Unfortunately, Hays (if he really commits to this escape), has demoted the Father to somewhat less than full divinity, in order to elevate the Trinity to unique and full divinity.

Isn't that droll? He asserts his unitarian interpretation of the NT, then imputes to me the consequences of denying the implications of his unitarian interpretation if that were true. Dale is such a bungler. A elementary qualification for a competent philosopher is having the critical detachment to differentiate his own position from opposing positions. But Dale chronically reframes the opposing position in terms of his own paradigm, then objects to the implications of the repacked position. But he's commenting on a bastardized position that isn't consistently his own position or the opposing position. It isn't possible to have a constructive exchange with an interlocutor as dense as Dale. 

Hays hopes that the three gods’ mental access to each others’ minds will somehow help, somehow breaking down the “dichotomy” that separates one mind from another. But still, his scenario of all-around telepathic access is described by him as involving three minds, each had by a different thinking being. So it seems to get nowhere.

Actually, I didn't say the Trinitarian persons have telepathic access to each other's minds. Rather, I used a comparison to establish a point of principle.

In ordinary human terms, three human minds are three self-contained minds, independent of each other. So that would be three different "beings". 

If, however, we consider the thought-experiment of total telepathy, then three minds blend into each other. At that juncture, the hardline distinction between three different "beings" begins to dissolve. On that thought-experiment, where does one mind end and another mind begin? Dale constantly resorts to simplistic false dichotomies. 

In my second post, I offered him an inconsistent triad, inviting him to explain which he denies and why. He declines to give a answer (despite his move above in the direction of denying 3). Instead, he concocts some sci-fi scenarios, and asks how they relate to my structurally parallel triad of claims, about dogs rather than gods.

He doesn’t say what his point is. Is it that he, absurdly, thinks that the three claims could all be true? Or is he trying to argue that we should doubt our judgment that they can’t all be true?

It’d be fun to discuss time travel and “parallel universes” some time, but I think here they’re a distraction from that fact that our tritheist needs to respond to this inconsistent triad

i) Philosophers routinely use science fiction scenarios to model philosophical issues.

ii) Dale's "inconsistent triad" is predicated on a rigid notion of numerical identity, but I'm presenting counterexamples–which he ignores rather than refutes. 

His desire to shift the conversation to sci-fi scenaries shows that he may not realize the weight of my point that the mere structure of these claims renders them such that they can’t all be true. 

To the contrary, Dale is laboring to shift the conversation from content to empty structure. But that fails, as my counterexamples illustrate. 


  1. Subtracting the habitual aggression and terminological whining, it is remarkable how little relevant content there is here, towards showing that you're not a tritheist. Will comment on that thimble full later.

  2. Is that second comma a mistake? Dale?

  3. No meat here, Stevie. Nothing to say, other than that you do nothing at all here to exonerate your little Trinity theory from the charge of tritheism.

    1. I appreciate your unconditional surrender.

  4. LOL. I'm happy to let any reader judge which side has the stronger case.

  5. As a reader, I vote Steve has the stronger case.

  6. Here’s another reader who throws in for Steve.

    As for whining, I remember not too long ago someone whining about someone else being “obsessed” with someone’s work. That someone sure has a habit of popping in immediately whenever Christology, the Incarnation, or the Trinity is mentioned on this blog.

  7. Yes, I believe Steve Hays has the better argument too.

  8. In breathtaking irony, the perpetual whiner whines about perceived whining. You couldn't make it up.

    To further the absurdity, the Whining Apostate once again plods on over to comment that there is nothing to comment on but he'll comment later. Has the Whining Apostate become a caricature of himself?

    And all this from the 'obsessed' apostate who threw everything but the inner lining out of his pram and melted down to a quivering, 'shrieking' wreck over a review by Hays of his book.

    Self-awareness much?

  9. A question for Dale and I'm not trying to be snide or going for the "gotcha", I am honestly curious here - In Thermodynamics, there is a "triple point" - for example, the triple point of water is at .01 degress Celsius & 4.58mm Pressure. At this point, water exists as a solid, liquid, & gas at the same time. Would you, then, say that only one of the substances is water and to say that all 3 are is to claim that there are 3 seperate instances of water?

  10. Steve has a stronger case. Dale doesn’t even represent him properly.

  11. Hi jttayler - I don't know enough about physics or chemistry to know if your example is a good one, but it has never been my view that generally, it is impossible for a thing to exist in three different ways at the same time. If a trinitarian wants to say that the Trinity amounts to God simultaneously existing in three ways, on the face of it, that seems coherent. We'll of course want to hear more, to make sure these ways don't necessarily exclude one another, and to see if what they're saying actually fits the NT. But this sort of idea is not relevant to Steve's views. His Trinity theory is at the far other end of the spectrum - his "Persons" are individuals, thinking beings - in fact, gods - not mere modes of a god, i.e. ways that God exists. Hence, his trithesim.

  12. Here's an assignment for the "Steve wins" fanboys. Don't just say that, but try to accurately summarize my tritheism objection to his Trinity theory in a short paragraph. And then in a second short paragraph, explain how Steve masterfully answers that objection.

    1. Dale TuggyHere

      "Here's an assignment for the "Steve wins" fanboys. Don't just say that, but try to accurately summarize my tritheism objection to his Trinity theory in a short paragraph. And then in a second short paragraph, explain how Steve masterfully answers that objection."

      Here's a better idea. You're not my professor. Nor am I your student. So why don't you drop the professorial tone and condescending attitude and treat me like a normal person rather than someone you evidently feel the need to ask to do an "assignment", "accurately summarize" your objections in "a short paragraph", and so on. (By the way, this is hardly the first time you've taken such a posture with people online.)

    2. For example, you could have simply asked people to explain why they think Steve had the stronger argument. Rather than replying with a patronizing attitude toward people who picked Steve's case over yours. After all, the initial presumption should be everyone in this combox is a reasonable adult, not the ignorant or foolish or "fanboys" or I guess those in need of a lecture.

      Besides, you were the one who originally stated: "I'm happy to let any reader judge which side has the stronger case." You expected people to decide for themselves. Now that some have decided, you react pompously. That's a shame.

    3. Epistle - maybe you should drink less coffee?

      You're free to just pipe up with your vote. But I can see that strong passions are in play here, and I suspect that many are just not following the arguments.

      If you think a PhD who is an expert in the field with many peer-review publications in the area should not dare act like he might be able to teach you something - well, imagine copping that attitude in an argument about, say, biology, or ancient history.

    4. No one should turn to Richard Carrier to learn anything on ancient historiography. Neither should one turn to Bart Ehrman to learn anything on textual criticism. They’re blind guides. It’s my pleasure to tell them I have nothing to learn from them.

    5. Dale Tuggy

      “If you think a PhD who is an expert in the field with many peer-review publications in the area should not dare act like he might be able to teach you something - well, imagine copping that attitude in an argument about, say, biology, or ancient history.”

      1. I don’t have a problem with Dale trying to teach people something. But that’s not what he tried to do. Dale didn’t try to teach anyone anything. No learning was had, no relevant information was exchanged. All there was was one-sided schoolmarmy scolding or “lecturing” about “assignments” and so forth from Dale toward others.

      2. For all Dale knows, some could be scholars who are “Steve wins fanboys”. Consider how Dale’s lecturing about “assignments” and “summarizing” the arguments in a “short paragraph” would come across to them.

      3. Studying the Trinity (God himself) is an interdisciplinary study. It’s not only philosophers who can have something “expert” to say. And it’s not as if Dale is an “expert” in disciplines outside philosophy including disciplines relevant to the Trinity (e.g. biblical interpretation and hermeneutics, historical theology, systematics).

      4. At best, Dale is no more an “expert” on the Trinity than Bart Ehrman is an expert on the NT despite a PhD and multiple publications on the NT. At most, their scholastic attainments may earn them a fair hearing, but they’re one “expert” among many other experts. For instance, consider people like James Anderson (whom Dale well knows given their back and forth exchanges) and Michael Kruger who in my estimation have pointed out sizeable holes in Dale’s and Ehrman’s arguments, respectively.

      5. In addition, Ehrman concludes the NT is fundamentally unreliable despite his expertise, not unlike Dale concluding the Trinity is fundamentally false despite his expertise. What would we think of the expert historian (PhD, papers in academic journals) who ends up denying a major event like the Holocaust? Or the physician or scientist (MD or PhD, published in scientific or medical journals) who somehow manages to conclude alternative therapies cure cancer? One would hope they’re still credible in other areas of their respective fields, but at the same time it’s plain something in their thinking or judgment has gone askew for some reason.

      6. By the same token, but on its flip side, what should we make of the scholar who is supposed to be an expert in a field like biology or ancient history but who is so unoriginal or narrow-minded they can only think within the confines of their Kuhnian paradigm (e.g. the biblical flood is ancient myth common to other stories of the ANE, Jesus never existed, Y chromosomal Adam and mitochondrial Eve couldn’t have coexisted and in fact had to have come from a population of 10,000 individuals minimum, neo-Darwinian natural selection and random genetic mutations across a species pool primarily account for macroevolutionary changes in body plans)? Doubtless Dale would want to include his anti-trinitarianism and/or unitarianism here, but that’s hardly a paradigm shift based on the objective biblical evidence,Dale’s many “expert” protestations to the contrary. At least, since Dale earlier said he’s happy for readers to judge for themselves, I’ll say I remain unconvinced by what I’ve read and watched from Dale.

    6. Dale Tuggy

      "Epistle - maybe you should drink less coffee? You're free to just pipe up with your vote. But I can see that strong passions are in play here, and I suspect that many are just not following the arguments."

      Here's what Dale is really saying:

      It can't be that so many people thought Steve had the stronger arguments vs. my arguments because they were actually following the arguments. No! These people must've thought Steve had the stronger arguments vs. my arguments because they were "just not following the arguments".

      Hence I, Prof. Dale Tuggy, require these "'Steve wins' fanboys" to do an "assignment" to prove to me that they have actually been "following the arguments". They will, first, "accurately summarize my tritheism objection to his Trinity theory in a short paragraph". Next, they will "explain how Steve masterfully answers that objection" "in a second short paragraph". If and only if they can fulfill these requirements, then maybe (just maybe) they will have proven to me that they are indeed "following the arguments" whereupon I may be moved to believe Steve had the stronger arguments vs. my arguments.

    7. You just wrote quite a little treatise there! Didn't deal with any actual arguments, though. A lost opportunity, my friend! The way of a truth seeker is to focus on the arguments, not on the persons offering them.

    8. Dale Tuggy

      “You just wrote quite a little treatise there! Didn't deal with any actual arguments, though. A lost opportunity, my friend! The way of a truth seeker is to focus on the arguments, not on the persons offering them.”

      An amusing statement coming from someone as focused on personalities as you are, not to mention one given over to verbosity over substance! :-)

      Anyway, no need for me to reinvent the wheel when so many others have already dealt quite handily with your arguments (e.g. James Anderson, Steve Hays).

    9. In any case, the more fundamental argument for the Trinity is biblical and exegetical, not philosophical (to draw distinctions between the two, though the two can be interrelated). If the biblical text teaches the Trinity, then the biblical text teaches the Trinity.

      In this respect, it's like reading (say) a book which includes futuristic tech. If the book describes a spaceship that's capable of (say) continuous multi-g acceleration, despite the fact that we don't know how that'd be possible, then that's what the book describes. At least as a starting point, we take the book on its own terms, not on our terms, whatever that might be, whether we agree or disagree. We take the book as it is.

      That's why I say the Trinity is more fundamentally about what's in the biblical text than it is about whether it lines up with Dale's particular philosophical musings. So, when it comes to accurately interpreting the biblical text, Dale is no expert. He's a layperson, just like most people. He's not authoritative like biblical exegetes and related scholars are (e.g. Robert Letham, DA Carson on the Son of God) when it comes to what the Bible teaches or doesn't teach about the Triune God.

  13. Steve said:

    “Notice how Dale's mind works. He's incapable of addressing a contrary position on its own terms. Instead, he replaces the actual position with his counterfeit, then proceeds to disprove the counterfeit.”

    Reminds me of reading Dawkins, actually.

    Dale said:

    “Here's an assignment for the "Steve wins" fanboys.”

    I’ve got an assignment for you: read a Bible.

    “And then in a second short paragraph, explain how Steve masterfully answers that objection.”

    Good God man! Everyone can’t do the reading for you! Sooner or later you gotta show up to the game!

  14. Dale said: “F :-)”

    It’s like getting an f from one of Marcion’s fanboys in “Old Testament 101.”

  15. Dale - thank you for your answer. I wasn't using the triple point to serve as a type or example of the Trinity. To do that would be Sabellianism which was defined as heretical in the 3rd century. To be clear, I agree with Steve regarding the Trinity and I also freely admit that I struggle with the concept of the Trinity. At times, it gives me a headache :) I can grasp it somewhat but I would be lying if I said I fully understood it. I know that Scripture says that God is one and yet the Angel of the Lord and the Shekinah are referred to in ways that equal that of Yahweh. Perhaps I'm taking the easy way out here but I don't mind waiting till after I die to get the full explanation :)

  16. "Perhaps I'm taking the easy way out here" Easy, yes, but risky. Think about this sort of attitude, c. 1450 re: transubstantiation. "Doesn't fully make sense to me, but who I am to contradict the Church?"

    I suggest that you investigate, for starters, how far back the idea of tripersonal god goes. It's in my book What is the Trinity? but similar material is here and here These historical facts are one of several things that can motivate one to dig into the scriptures on this topic.

    If you want to see a direct, scriptural argument against reading the NT as trinitarian: On something like this, it is wise to hear out the minority report.

    1. Dale Tuggy

      "If you want to see a direct, scriptural argument against reading the NT as trinitarian: On something like this, it is wise to hear out the minority report."

      I listened to Dale's talk:

      1. This talk is hardly "a direct, scriptural argument". For one thing, Dale explicitly states in his talk that going through "favorite passages" on the Trinity like "John 1, Colossians 1, and Philippians 2" would miss the bigger picture which he believes is that God is the Father alone i.e. unitarianism. That's hardly the attitude of someone who sees the importance of biblical exegetical work which (among other things) is what "a direct, scriptural argument" would necessitate.

      2. What's more, Dale explicitly frames his talk (which argues against trinitarianism and/or for unitarianism) in terms of theory confirmation (e.g. Carnap). How to pick among competing hypotheses. As Dale notes, that's a framework which predominates in the philosphy of science.

      One could ask why we should approach the biblical texts concerning the Trinity in this manner. However, more to the point, if we begin our approach to the biblical text in terms of how to pick among competeing hypotheses (e.g. unitarianism vs. trinitarianism), then, whatever else it might be we're doing, it's certainly not "a direct, scriptural argument". The starting point for "a direct, scriptural argument" isn't to impute one's own categories onto the Bible before allowing the Bible to speak for itself. That's not how to construct "a direct, scriptural argument".

      3. Specifically, Dale argues if the likelihood of any observation (O) on the assumption of hypothesis 1 (H1) is greater than the likelihood of the same observation (O) on the assumption of hypothesis 2 (H2), then O confirms H1 over H2. Or roughly, if O is "not surprising" on H1, and O is "surprising" on H2, then H1 confirms O over H2.

      Dale offers three competing hypotheses or theories which he terms U for unitarian (God is the father alone), T for trinitarian (God is the Trinity), and C for confused (various mixes of the two).

      Dale's own conclusion is we should accept U and reject T while C is, well, confused.

      In between, Dale mainly makes arguments for the following premise: "A central NT teaching is the identity of the one true God with the Father only". Dale points out various Os which he believes support U (H1) and/or various Os which he believes do not support T (H2).

      I'd say Dale's lynchpin argument centers around his notion of numerical identity. That's no surprise if anyone is even slightly familiar with Dale's unitarianism.

      At this point, I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with Dale's arguments based on the philosophical concept of numerical identity, Leibniz's law, the principle of identity of indiscernibles, or whatever else you want to call it. Rather, the sole point I'm making here is that all this is not "a direct, scriptural argument" against trinitarianism. Rather, there's plenty of philosophy involved. More than that, the philosophical argumentation is still quite central to Dale's talk.

    2. 4. Dale does reference the NT in a general or at best coarsely grained manner here and there throughout his talk. Like the NT talking about Jesus being God, the Son of God, the Lord, etc. Like sprinkling in several verse citations (e.g. what Martha says about Jesus, what Peter says about Jesus). However, again, there's zero attempt made at exegeting these verses or passages. Basically, the verses or passages are just cited in light of Dale's initial framework, not cited and exegeted on their own terms.

      5. At times Dale contends with what trinitarians have said about the Trinity (such as in church councils and creeds) rather than taking the more direct approach by wrestling with the biblical texts that these creeds are based on. I guess that's because he wanted to find some common ground between the Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox scholars present in the audience. But still it's a roundabout way to address the issues.

      6. It's notable Dale doesn't cite modern biblical scholars (e.g. a NT commentator like Don Carson). That's a significant omission because, even if Dale disagrees with the biblical scholar's studied interpretation of a particular verse or passage about the Trinity (and remember Dale is just a layperson like most people when it comes to interpreting the Bible, not a scholar or expert), at least it'd give Dale a foil by which to work against in explaining the verse or passage better than the biblical scholar has done, if Dale thinks he has the better interpretation.

      7. At any rate, despite all he's said in his talk, Dale admits near the end that what he's said in his talk is not "logically inconsistent" with trinitarianism.

      TL;DR: In this talk, Dale makes zero attempts at exegeting even a single verse or passage relevant to the debate over the Trinity - and exegeting the biblical text should be the first step or at the very least one significant step in "a direct, scriptural argument".

    3. Thanks for the feedback, Epistle. May do a blog post on this.

    4. Again, "Epistle," thanks. The feedback was helpful.

    5. Dale Tuggy


      1. I was going to say thanks as well for the post, but now it sure does seem you meant the "thanks" in a rather back-handed manner, considering the sorts of (untrue) things you say about me and attempt to impute to me in your latest post! Be that as it may.

      2. For my part, I won't mince words: I think your post entirely misses the point. The point is I was responding to your original claim. That's it. Remember you were the one who originally claimed your talk was "a direct, scriptural argument". It clearly wasn't as I've already explained. That's all I addressed.

      3. Nearly everything else you said in your rejoinder post is at best irrelevant and at worst slanderous. Like how you think I expect "a straightforward argument from passages X, Y, and Z, to the conclusion that the one God is the Father alone" (no, you can present your case however you want). Like how supposedly "I refuse to listen to what you say unless it's direct exegesis" (no, but as I said, exegesis would be a necessary step in developing an argument for unitarianism, which is an obvious point almost anyone could make). Like implying how I might be "allergic" to philosophy (in fact I have a high regard for good philosophy). And so on.

      4. As far as my "expectations" go, my only "expectation" was simply for you to meet your own claim that your talk provide "a direct, scriptural argument". That specific talk of yours (i.e. podcast 189) did not. (If anything, that specific talk was more of a philosophical talk, not "a direct, scriptural argument" as you claimed.) So despite all your huffing and puffing about me, amusing attempts to read my mind, and so forth, your rejoinder post doesn't contravene this very basic and simple point: podcast 189 was not "a direct, scriptural argument" as you originally claimed it was. And anyone with an internet connection can listen to your podcast and judge for themselves.

      5. Now, your latest post appears to call on me to address the substance of your talk in podcast 189. Sure, I could take your talk and address your points one by one if I thought I needed to. However:

      a. I thought your talk mostly waters-down and recycles things you've already said elsewhere. I mean you've used the same or similar argumentation elsewhere and with more sophistication than in your talk in podcast 189. Since I think it's best where possible to address an argument in its most sophisticated form, not an inferior form, then I don't see the need to address your argument in podcast 189. Besides, isn't your talk in podcast 189 geared toward non-philosophers (e.g. the Catholic theologians in your audience)?

      b. More importantly, as you should well know by now, there are others far more knowledgeable than me who have already dealt with your arguments in their more sophisticated and fuller forms (yes, this includes Steve Hays, your passive-aggressive animus toward him nothwithstanding). That's another and more fundamental reason I didn't see the need to address your talk.

      TL;DR. Again, all I've said is that in this very specific talk, podcast 189, you did not meet your own stated claim for "a direct, scriptural argument". That's it. That's all I was addressing. Your response to this very basic and simple point is overkill. It would've been far more reasonable-minded of you to just admit it's true that it wasn't "a direct, scriptural argument" and move on.

  17. I vote for Steve. Seriously, why does Dale bother. The NT says Jesus is God.

    Does Dale seriously think that Catholics, orthodox and protestants who can't agree on anything like the nature of communion, predestination, apostolic succession, sola scriptura, but do agree on the deity of Christ.

    Well thats nuts.

    1. It does look like a conspiracy theory, at first glance, doesn't it? Of course that abstract phrase "the deity of Christ" can be parsed out in several clashing ways. My side has to overcome this presumption that surely, the majority couldn't be wrong about something like this. But, this sort of case has been successfully made before, in the 16th c.

  18. Dale - Perhaps I should have been more detailed. I adhere to Trinitarism but not just because some authority says so. I am just a layperson but I have been studying Scripture and Theology for the last 20+ years. There is no getting around the fact that Jesus is spoken of throughout the New Testament in the same terms and expression as Yahweh. Just as the Old Testament uses the same or similar terms to refer to the Angel of the Lord and the Shekaneh. On a side note & in closing, were you aware that, prior to the 1st century and the rise of Christianity, Jewish belief held that Yahweh as He existed in Heaven and Yahweh as He interacted in this world were two beings and still were adamantly committed to Yahweh being one?