Sunday, July 26, 2015

Unitarian evangelism

According to unitarian Dale Tuggy:

Trinitarian theologies are a major barrier to Muslims accepting Christianity.

If Christians just got rid of Jesus, that would make it so much easier for Muslims to become Christians. 

In other news, nonviolence is a major barrier to militarists accepting pacifism. 

Vegetarianism is a major barrier to meat-eaters accepting veganism. 


  1. Recently Sam Shamoun HIGHLY recommended the articles of a fellow Christian apologist on the topic of Islam. Many of them deal with the issue of the Trinity and other related topics. His name is Anthony Rogers. I especially appreciate his evidences for the Trinity in the Old Testament.

    Anthony Rogers ARTICLES HERE

    Sam also has articles on the Trinity etc. HERE and HERE. Sam also guest blogs HERE

    My blog on the Trinity HERE

    Anyone else having difficulty posting comments on Blogger blogs using firefox? I've had to use a different browser to post this comment.

  2. "If Christians just got rid of Jesus"

    Steve, part of accepting Jesus' Lordship is accepting his theology, on which the one God, our God, is also, his God. This is the one we call "Father." (John 20:17) The idea that Jesus preached a trinitarian theology is demonstrably mistaken. He's another of many telling passages: note that Jesus simply endorses Jewish monothesim. There's a clash here between catholic traditions and the NT. In my view, we have to pick the NT. In any case, many Muslims, thankfully, still decide to follow Jesus despite this barrier. Jesus has a way of getting around barriers!

    A problem with many of the articles linked above is their assumption that catholic traditions about Jesus pretty much boil down to "Jesus is God", i.e. that Jesus is God himself, that they are numerically one. A hopeless claim, as Jesus and God differ in many ways, according to the NT, and even to trinitarian theologies. This is a confused simplification of catholic traditions, abetted by confused, new-fangled eisegesis of the NT. But to be fair to them, this isn't really what the catholic tradition was claiming. The "homoousios" claim just didn't mean that, for most of them. What it did mean is a vexed question, though, one that we're still arguing about.

    Anyway, thanks for the link. I'm interested in any feedback ya'll have on my two episodes reviewing Mr. Qureshi's Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.

  3. Steve, "Annoyed", Sam, Anthony. If anyone wants to tell me where this argument goes wrong, I'd be glad to hear it. Just lobbing truckloads of texts... that's just refusing to engage. I *agree* with those, and have spent more than a decade and a half trying to align my views with them, rightly understood. So, you need to show where this argument, which displays the conflict between the NT and catholic tradition, goes wrong. Feel free to comment there, and I'll answer. God bless, Dale

    1. Dale, I've done 103 posts on anti-Trinitarianism, of which 73 are directed specifically at you. Admitted, this post is satirical, but most of them are substantive and detailed, addressing exegetical and philosophical theology alike. Maybe you're just getting forgetful and feeble-minded in your dotage.

      I've covered all your dogeared flashcard arguments before.

      Jn 20:17? Check.

      The Shema? Check.

      Numerically one? Check

      I don't just "lob truckloads of text." I've provided detailed exegesis. I've "engaged" you ad nauseam.

      I'm not defending the "catholic tradition," per se. My position aligns with Frame, Helm, and Warfield.

      "God bless"? Which God would that be, Dale? The real God of Biblical Trinitarianism, or Dale's imaginary idol?

    2. To Dale or anyone interested, here's a link to my commentary on Dale's above urled blog article.

      Do Trinitarian theories conflict with the New Testament?

    3. Thanks, Annoyed. Will reply @ the blog - I hope, this week.
      God bless,

    4. Dale, that's kind of you to do so. But I'm not a major Trinitarian defender. You should focus on the bigger targets. That is, unless you see some merit to my arguments. Though, I don't think I've said anything really novel/new.

      I do think that the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit is a neglected topic. If the full evidence for the personality of the Holy Spirit and His possession of divine attributes were demonstrated to a Unitarian, I think that would be like getting a foot into the door to get them to think about the possible truth of the doctrine of the Trinity. That was the case for me when I was an anti-Trinitarian over 20 years ago.

      If a person could be induced to entertain that possibility on account of the evidence for the Holy Spirit, it would be analogous to the greater stability of a child's $20 tricycle over an adults $200 bicycle. It would break down barriers to belief in the doctrine of the Trinity.

      I think I've collected such evidence in my blogpost The Full Deity of the Holy Spirit

    5. This has never been a major issue for me. In fact unitarians have often been divided about whether the Holy Spirit is a personal being. The ancient catholic view was that he was, and was divine, although inferior to both Father and Son. (Origen, Tertullian) Clarke's view is similar. What persuades me is reading NT spirit-talk in a way that is guide by OT language, which is how I think the readers would've heard it. I think it's kind of a bad question whether or not "the holy spirit" is personal. Sometimes, it refers to a person (God, Jesus) and sometimes not (i.e. a power or exercise of power). I found this guy particularly insightful on looking carefully at NT usage of this language. and

    6. Thanks. I'll definitely listen to those podcasts. I'm currently listening to your interview of Michael Heiser.

    7. Dale knows this, but for those who don't, Michael Heiser has materials in defense of Old Testament Binitarianism and Trinitarianism. In fact, Heiser continues to argue rabbinical scholar Alan Segal's claim (nearly 30 years ago) that up until the 2nd century C.E., it was permissible in Judaism to believe in the concept of there being "two powers" in heaven without being heretical or pagan or polytheistic.

      I've collected some links at my blog:

      The Jewish Trinity: How the Old Testament Reveals the Christian Godhead by Dr. Michael Heiser

  4. Steve, what I remember from arguing with you before is that you just didn't have a developed view, that you would just repeat traditional language, with no clear meaning that one can argue with. That's the old catholic pattern. But with no clear meaning, there's no way to determine whether the theory is a good, much less the best way to read the texts. Yeah, I'm not eager to jump back into that mud-pit. Your conviction that you're on the majority side makes you unwilling to see any difficulties with the common ruts. So I leave you to enjoy them.

    1. i) Your memory is on the fritz. I didn't just repeat traditional language.

      ii) I never staked my position on whether or not I'm on the majority side.

      Your comment is an uninformed polemical caricature.

  5. The truth is a barrier to anyone who hates the truth becoming a Christian.