10 Answers for 10 Illogical “Questions”? [www.biblicaltrinitarian.com]

webcon[The following is an excerpt from my newly published article at BiblicalTrinitarian.com. You can read the whole article by clicking here.]

Answering the Unitarians

        Biblicalunitarian.com’s homepage features a link to a page titled “Is Jesus God? – Logical Questions That Need Answers.” The page lists ten questions concerning the logical coherence of the doctrine of the the deity of Christ in light of certain passages of Scripture. The questions are really premises in an incomplete informal argument, one in which the conclusion “Therefore, Jesus is not God” is left up to the reader to deduce. A more than superficial analysis of these question-arguments reveals that they are not “logical” (i.e. deductively valid), but are guilty of committing various logical fallacies. In what follows, I will summarize these question-arguments. Then I will proceed to refute them in order.

Summary & Refutation

1. SummaryGod Cannot Die: This argument takes its two premises from Scripture. The first premise is: “God cannot die.”[2] The second premise is: “Jesus died.”[3] The expected conclusion is: “Therefore, Jesus is not God.”

Refutation: In the first argument, the author assumes that God could not unite himself to a human body and spirit, the separation of which (i.e. the body and the spirit) constitutes human death.[13] Yet there is no biblical reason for believing this assumption. God in se cannot die; God incarnate, however, can die, and did. The argument can be reformulated, then, as follows:

a. God [in se] cannot undergo the separation of his spirit from his body [for he is bodiless].

b. Jesus [i.e. God incarnate, God-enfleshed] underwent the separation of his spirit from his body.

c. Therefore, Jesus is not God.

Upon reformulation, it becomes evident that the expected conclusion of the argument does not follow from its stated premises. This argument does not demonstrate that Jesus is not God.

2. SummaryThe Most High God Cannot Submit to the Most High God: This argument’s premises are: 1. One cannot be the Most High God and be in submission to the Most High God at the same time; and, 2. Jesus is in submission to the Most High God.[4] The expected conclusions is: “Therefore, Jesus is not God.”

RefutationThe second argument falls apart when its first premise is examined. God’s attributes and existence are identical. This means that the title “Most High” is firstly an ontological description, and only a governmental description secondarily, i.e. as God relates as Sovereign King to his creation. In other words, the Most High God can indeed submit to the Most High God if the doctrine of the incarnation is true. Christ can be the Most High God (ontologically), in other words, and submit to the Most High God (ontologically and governmentally, i.e. as a man). As with the first argument, this argument fails because it assumes from the onset that the doctrine of the incarnation is not true. Reformulating the argument demonstrates its failures.

a. The [ontologically] Most High God cannot be in submission to the [governmentally] Most High God.

b. Jesus [ontologically Most High] is in submission to the Most High God [governmentally].

c. Therefore, Jesus is not God.

Clearly, the expected conclusion does not follow from the stated premises of the argument. The argument, moreover, commits the fallacy of equivocation by utilizing the phrase “Most High God” in two different senses (i.e. ontologically and governmentally).

-h.

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16 thoughts on “10 Answers for 10 Illogical “Questions”? [www.biblicaltrinitarian.com]

  1. Steven Hoyt says:

    ummmm… if you want to wax epistemology, then do it whole heatedly.

    the LNC entails that it is incoherent to say fido, rover, and spot are the same dog but different dogs at the same time. QED, trinitarianism is incoherent. even to the amusing extent that when a trinitarian says the trinity is true or that they believe in the trinity, they actually and literally have no idea what they do believe.

    at best, a trinitarian is one who feels comfortable taking about god in sabelian terms and when corrected that this is heresy, talks about god in terms of tritheism, until he’s reminded this too is heresy, and then his final comfort rests in the absurdity that he believes something he can’t articulate, yet is soothed in the ultimate explanation, “it is a mystery”.

    as such, saying one believes in the trinity is merely a person saying they believe in mystery. too, if trinitarianism entails to mystery, then 1) it fails to say anything about how god, jesus, and holy spirit relate to one another, 2) cannot be used to explain anything else, and 3) is quite inconsequential to christian thinking and living.

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    • Hiram says:

      Steven, I know what I believe. This article isn’t meant to be an in-depth articulation of the doctrine of the Trinity. It’s just a response to a very poorly argued article online.

      There is a ton of very good literature out there, however, that addresses the relations of the persons to one another. There is also plenty of good literature out there that deals with why the doctrine of the trinity is coherent.

      For instance, you might want to check out the following works:

      De Trinitate – St. Augustine
      The Trinity – Gordon H. Clark
      The Logic of the Trinity: Augustine to Ockham – Paul Thorn

      -h.

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            • Hiram says:

              Dogs and God are ontologically distinct. He is literally in a class/category of his own. Dogs are also not persons. God is tripersonal.

              The strawman consists in stating that the three names are and are not the same dog.
              Christians don’t assert that the three divine persons are God but not God. We assert that the three persons are the same God.

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              • Steven Hoyt says:

                it’s an analogy.

                do you understand that asserting there is ONE god and three DISTINCT persons is EXACTLY saying fido, rover, and spot are the same dog and three dogs?

                a “person” cannot mean “instance of”, as that is modalism; ie H2O is solid, liquid, gas.

                “one” cannot mean “identical to” since distinction exists in saying “three”. in saying “three”, one cannot mean ontologically “more than one” since that is tritheism, polytheism.

                homoousia is the idea the share the “esse” of divinity, but this is no different than saying athena, zeus, and apollo are three in one.

                clear this up for me, please.

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  2. Hiram says:

    Steven,

    Yes, it is a false analogy you’ve presented.

    You say:

    “do you understand that asserting there is ONE god and three DISTINCT persons is EXACTLY saying fido, rover, and spot are the same dog and three dogs?”

    That is not the case. Given the false assumption that dogs are persons (for the sake of argument), they are unipersonal. The idea that a singular being cannot be tripersonal, however, is what you contest. You are question-begging by merely asserting that if a being is he is unipersonal.

    You go on to claim:

    “a “person” cannot mean “instance of”, as that is modalism; ie H2O is solid, liquid, gas.”

    This is wrong.

    “Modalism states that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three modes or forms. Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times. At the incarnation, the mode was the Son; and after Jesus’ ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit. These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous. In other words, this view states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time–only one after another.”
    (source: https://carm.org/modalism)

    Following this you claim:

    ““one” cannot mean “identical to” since distinction exists in saying “three”. in saying “three”, one cannot mean ontologically “more than one” since that is tritheism, polytheism.”

    This is confused. One = Being. Three = Persons. There is only a problem if you assume that personal being is always, even in the case of God, unipersonal.

    Lastly you state:

    “homoousia is the idea the share the “esse” of divinity, but this is no different than saying athena, zeus, and apollo are three in one.”

    Again, this is only the case if personal being is always, even in the case of God, unipersonal. You are begging the question.

    The key difference between F-S-HS and Athena-Zeus-Apollo, in your analogy, is that Athena, Zeuss, and Apollo are unipersonal.

    -h.

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  3. Steven Hoyt says:

    what tha?!!!

    you can use letters of you like!

    a=b=c entails IDENTITY. whatever a is, c is too, as is b. the law of identity and of non contradiction entails:

    A¬B¬C⇒∀A¬(B∨C)&∀B¬(A∨C)&∀C¬(A∨B)

    therefore, the trinity is an incoherent idea.

    you’re obsessing over dogs and gods! sir, this is about logic. dogs or gods, of a proposition about either is not coherent, it is non sense.

    and to be clear, F, S, HS ARE “unipersonal”, hence, “THREE” … “PERSONS” who are DISTINCT from the other.

    and, “one being” and “three persons” is “modalism”, “sabelianism”, heresy.

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    • Hiram says:

      Steven, I was demonstrating that you are wrong. I’m not obsessing; I’m correcting you.

      You’ve misunderstood Sabellianism. And you won’t be corrected.

      Not sure what else I can say here.

      You might be better assisted by reading the texts I suggested.

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      • Steven Hoyt says:

        i don’t get the impression you understand trinitarianism at all.

        simple question: is god one, or three … because once again, it is incoherent to say both apply at the same time. either F, S, HS, or fido, rover, and spot for that matter, are the same thing, or THEY are not the same thing.

        Like

  4. calebdaniel97 says:

    Great article! I find it humorous how biblicalunitarian.com gave incoherent and incomplete arguments for their position, only to have it shown that their conclusion does not fully match their premises in any of those instances!

    Like

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