Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tuggy's latest failure

This is my brief sequel to my earlier post:

I'll review some of Tuggy's other arguments against the deity of Christ in Mark's Gospel:

(11) Tempted. (12) But, you can’t tempt God. 

i) Does Mark say God can't be tempted? Or is Dale importing that from Jas 1:13? If so, he first needs to exegete Jas 1:13. And he needs to show that Mark means by "temptation" what James means by "temptation." As a rule, it's unsound semantics to use one Bible writer's usage to gloss another Bible writer's usage. 

ii) Keep in mind, too, that this isn't about tempting God in general, but about Christ's distinctive mission. 

“Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.” (41) Answer: the Son of God, and Messiah. (ch. 1-3)

In Christology in the Synoptic Gospels: God or God's Servant (T&T Clark 2012), 47-48, Sigurd Grindheim has argued that this scene is a divine theophany, like OT counterparts, which attests the deity of Christ.  

and obviously, a real man – that’s presupposed throughout. He seems to need a retreat after the murder of John the Baptist. (30-31) And to recharge through prayer. (46)

Since Trinitarian Christology affirms the full humanity of Christ, this is not a counterexample to the deity of Christ. 

“The Father” here is obviously, YHWH, the one true God.

Is Tuggy borrowing this phrase ("the one true God") from Jn 17:3? If so, why use that to filter Mark? Moreover, he needs to exegete Jn 17:3 in context. 

The high places in his coming Kingdom are not Jesus’s to grant. (40) We are to infer that this is God’s prerogative, not Jesus’s. 

That division of labor is consistent the economic Trinity. Indeed, it's called economic subordination. Although Tuggy doesn't believe in that, he needs to make allowance for that explanation when he presents evidence that's allegedly inconsistent with Trinitarian Christology. 

God does not serve us. But Jesus, this “son of man,” does. (45) And he’ll give his life – that is, die, as a ransom for us – something an essentially immortal being could not do. (45)

Yes, God qua God can't die. But God Incarnate can die. 

The day and the hour “nobody knows” – not even God’s angels, or the unique Son of God, but only God. (32) If you’re still wondering whether Jesus is God himself, the answer is no – for God knows at least one thing that Jesus does not.

Once again, the fact that Jesus is humanly ignorant of many things is entirely consistent with the Incarnation. Although Tuggy rejects the Incarnation, he needs to assume the viewpoint of the opposing position for the sake of argument if he's going to argue against it. His attempted counterevidence is perfectly harmonious with the two natures of Christ. 

Let us note that God cannot die. But, Jesus died. So, he’s not God. And he wasn’t faking it. (40-47)

Which fails to take the Incarnation into account. Tuggy acts as if this is at odds with Trinitarian Christology. But Trinitarian Christology doesn't take the position that Christ is divine rather than human. He's both. 

Tuggy's presentation operates at the level of a Jehovah's Witness tract. 


  1. As I said in a previous post, Tuggy is utterly inept when it comes to exegeting the Holy Bible, especially when it comes to passages related to the Trinity. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

  2. BTW, perhaps Tuggy can explain all of these verses where it says Yahweh God was tempted:

    "Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water, that we may drink.’ So Moses said to them, ‘Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?’" Exodus 17:1-2 NKJV

    "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;" Numbers 14:22 KJV

    "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years." Hebrews 3:8-9 KJV

    This next one says that Yahweh was even tempted in the wilderness/desert much like Jesus!

    "but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert." Psalm 106:14

    Even the Holy Spirit experiences temptation!

    "Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out." Acts 5:9 NKJV

    And lest Tuggy appeals to a different translation which uses the word test, I need to remind him that the word test in all of these examples is the same word which is rendered tempt in other places. In fact, the Greek word used in the above NT examples is the same as that which is found in James 1:13 and Jesus' temptation.

    It even gets worse for Tuggy since Job 2:3 says that Satan even incited Yahweh God to move against Job:

    "On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD , and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.’ Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you INCITED me against him to ruin him without any reason.’" Job 2:1-3

    The word incited is the same word used in 1 Chronicles 21:1 where Satan is said to have incited David to number Israel, which was a sin against God!

    Thus, per Tuggy's reasoning and eisegesis, neither the Father nor his Spirit can be God since they too are tempted! In fact, Yahweh himself cannot be God since he was not only tempted by the Israelites according to the OT, he was also moved or incited by Satan to come against Job.

    This is why I say Tuggy is utterly inept when it comes to doing exegesis and understanding the meaning of words and concepts in the Holy Bible

    1. Annoyed Pinoy, thank you for the kind words brother. We know everything good comes from our glorious and majestic Triune God!

  3. Spectacularly point-missing. The post was about reading Mark by itself, and assuming only things that first century Jews would assume about God, e.g. he knows all, he can't die. To *argue against* Chalcedonian christology would, of course, require a lot more than a quick overview of Mark. We don't bring in later catholic two-natures theory in expounding Mark's meaning, because, that whole theoretical project just anywhere to be found there. You gents just don't want to take time to understand Mark in his own terms - you want to do systematic theology and polemical apologetics. But, first things first.

    By the way, even as late as Irenaeus, it seems that many catholics happily accepted that Jesus didn't know the day or hour (full stop).

    Tempting God to sin is not the same as putting God to the test (i.e. try his patience). Surely you don't want to say that 1st c. Jews thought God could be tempted to sin. (How could all all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-around perfect being be motivated to sin?) But this is what the reader assumes Satan to be doing to Jesus in Mark 1.

    I leave you to carry on your Christ-like theme of "Tuggy's a fool!" Always good fun, that.

    1. The post was about reading Mark by itself, and assuming only things that first century Jews would assume about God...

      Assuming only things that 1st century Jews would assume is not "reading Mark by itself." Trinitarians agree that there are various legitimate ways to read Mark and those include seeing it in its historical and traditional context (including Jewish). However, as Steve pointed out in the first blog, Mark was probably written with a primarily Gentile audience in mind, rather than Jewish.

      You gents just don't want to take time to understand Mark in his own terms - you want to do systematic theology and polemical apologetics. But, first things first.

      There's a place for that, but as Christians who believe God has revealed Himself in Scripture with a canon of multiple books, we should also read Mark in light of the rest of the canon. Mark doesn't exhaust all Christological truths. It wasn't meant to.

      By the way, even as late as Irenaeus, it seems that many catholics happily accepted that Jesus didn't know the day or hour (full stop).

      Personally, I'm willing to grant the possibility that in Christ's human nature He didn't know "the day or the hour." Some Trinitarians appeal to a two minds view of Christology to explain this possibility. For example, Oliver Crisp or Thomas Morris (as mentioned by W.L. Craig in THIS Defenders class).

      Tempting God to sin is not the same as putting God to the test (i.e. try his patience).

      Distinctions like that are what I thought Sam was saying you were not taking into consideration. Both in Hebrew and Greek the same word is used to refer to 1. being enticed by (or to) sin, 2. being tested or put on trial, 3. daring God or the arrogant presumption of God's expected attitude, response or action (e.g. jumping off the top of the temple and presuming that God will protect one from such a foolish decision). Depending on context the words are either translated "tempt", "temptation", "test", "try", "prove" (et cetera).

      According to my limited understanding, Trinitarians often distinguish between internal temptations and external temptations. Since Trinitarians also (usually) believe in the doctrine of the impeccability of Christ, we affirm that Christ was able to be externally tempted and enticed by the devil, but He was never internally enticed. That is, that Jesus never got to a place where He wanted to or was willing to sin (which itself is sin according to James 1:15). The impeccability of Christ teaches that Jesus was not only able not to sin; but also that Jesus was not able to sin since He is a divine person.

    2. Thank you for proving that you really have no clue when it comes to doing exegesis. Since annoyed pinoy has already done a superb job of responding to your claims I will try to be brief and make a few points. In the first place, can you be so kind and explain how a first century reader would have understood Satan inciting Yahweh in heaven to move against Job, especially when this same word is used in 1 Chronicles 21:1 in reference to Satan inciting David to do something which was evil in the sight of God? To use your own words, how could an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-around perfect being be motivated or incited to sin by one of his fallen creatures? At least one could argue that in the case of Christ's temptation, he was on earth as a flesh and blood human being and therefore it only makes perfect sense that he could be tempted.

      Second, as pinoy already showed, being tempted externally doesn't mean that Christ was being tempted internally, anymore than God being tempted by sinners implies that these temptations had a direct affect on God. This brings me to my third point. James 1:13 is speaking of internal temptation, i.e., there is nothing within God that would move him to be tempted to succumb to evil, which is unlike fallen humans who, because of their sinful desires, can be tempted with evil. In a similar manner, even though Christ is a man, he is also God, and as such there was/is nothing within him that would cause him to succumb to these external temptations that he faced, a point which he himself made in John 5:19:

      "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son CAN DO NOTHING OF HIS OWN ACCORD, but ONLY what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.'"

      Here Jesus makes it absolutely clear that he CANNOT do a single thing apart from the Father, but can ONLY do what he sees the Father doing. Therefore, if Jesus could be tempted to do evil or sin due to some internal inclination which he had, then so could the Father, since the Son only does what the Father can do. However, if the Father cannot be tempted to do evil since there is nothing within him that would cause him to succumb to such temptations, then the same holds true for the Son who can only do whatever he sees the Father doing. This statement in itself proves that Jesus is God in the flesh since only God can do the things which the Father does, just as the verses which follow right afterwards demonstrate, i.e. raise the dead, give life, have life within oneself etc.

      With that said, here is some friendly advice to Tuggy. Leave the exegesis to others and stick with your philosophy. At least that way you can dupe people into thinking that you really have a clue about what you are talking about.

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  5. First, I think it's funny that Steve keeps asking things like, "Does Mark say God can't be temped?" and "Is Tuggy borrowing this phrase ("the one true God") from Jn 17:3? If so, why use that to filter Mark?" only to have Dale complain, "Spectacularly point-missing. The post was about reading Mark by itself."
    Second, if his point is that a fully developed Christology and trinitarian theology are not present in Mark alone, well that seems a rather trivial point to make. One would be hard pressed to find any fully developed doctrine completely represented in any single book of the Bible.
    Third, why does Dale allow for what other Jews of the time thought but disallow other biblical authors who were Mark's contemporaries?