Answering the Unitarian Universalists

Does Mark 10:18 prove that Jesus is not God?

"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.'" (Mark 10:17-18).
"Now behold, one came and said to Him, 'Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' So He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.'" (Matthew 19:16-17).

Some people assume that, in these parallel passages, Jesus is disclaiming deity: "Christ also, when he is called good, transfers the matter of goodness to the Father." (Michael Servetus, On the Errors of the Trinity, p. 22, The Two Treatises of Servetus on the Trinity, translated by Earl Morse Wilbur). But does He indeed 'transfer' anything, and where is the reference to "the Father"? They understand Him to have said, 'I'm not good,' and will sometimes directly so 'quote:' "'When a man called him "good," he said that he is not good, only God is good.'" (quoted in Nabeel Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, p. 90). Unitarian Theodore Parker is sure that's what he heard: "Even Jesus bids you not call him good; no man has all the manhood of mankind." (Theodore Parker, Works of Theodore Parker, Kindle location 5741). But did Jesus actually say that?

Do not overlook in reading this passage that Jesus is asking a question. It is sometimes assumed there is no good answer to the Lord's question, that the expected response is not a defense but an apology: 'I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called you "good," my mistake.' But is there really any reason to think that is the correct answer to the question? It is not even the Muslim answer, because Muslims believe the prophets are 'good;' and Jesus was "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). "The young ruler was probably sincere and not using mere fulsome compliment, but Jesus challenges him to define his attitude towards him as was proper.  Did he mean "good" ([agatos]) in the absolute sense as applied to God?" (Robertson Word Pictures). Did he indeed? Jesus frequently asked His followers Who they thought He was:

"When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.'" (Matthew 16:13-17).

He did not ask these questions because He did not know who He was and needed their insight.  Rather, this is a question every human being must face: Who is Jesus?

"The ruler using the inconsiderate, conventional language of the thoughtless, had taken an unwarrantable freedom with the word 'good.' Jesus shows that if his language had been used sincerely it would have committed him to a declaration of great faith, for he had addressed Jesus by a title which belongs only to God, and he had asked Jesus the question concerning that of which God alone was fitted to speak. As the ruler had not used this language sincerely Jesus challenged his words." (J. W. McGarvey, The FourFold Gospel, Kindle location 8424).

Observe how the Islamic 'Gospel of Barnabas' reconfigures this encounter: "Jesus answered: 'Man, thou callest me good, but thou errest, for God alone is good.'" (Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 154). What is here present: the assertion that the title 'Good Master' is misapplied,— is absent in the canonical account. Yet some readers readily supply this missing piece from their own store-house.

The Lord's questions could be gnomic and puzzling: "While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?' They said to Him, 'The Son of David.' He said to them, 'How then does David in the Spirit call Him "Lord," saying: "The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"? If David then calls Him "Lord," how is He his Son?' And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore." (Matthew 22:42-45). We do know that Jesus asked questions, not to learn an unknown answer but to put the questioned party on record: "And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do." (John 6:6). Instead of assuming the correct answer to the question, "Why do you call Me good?" should be, 'Oops, I made a mistake', the reader should leave open the possibility that the correct answer, the answer the Lord sought, may be, 'I call You good because I know who You are: You are the living God'.

Jesus was not unwilling to take the epithet 'good' to Himself, as some too hastily assume: "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." (John 10:11). This descriptor is readily attached to Him by His followers also, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38). The 'householder' of Matthew 20:15 says of Himself that He is good: "Or is your eye evil because I am good [αγαθος]?"— if the Lord's parable continues the discussion from Matthew 19:27, then this is likely Christ, whom the disciples left all to follow. Do the Muslims, who say that He was a prophet, seriously intend to withhold from Him the adjective 'good'? Yet if not, how will they answer His question, "Why do you call Me good?", in any way which satisfies His claims?

Jesus is God

Who is Jesus?


  • "Q. You said a little before that the Lord Jesus is a man by nature, hath he not also a divine Nature?

    A. At no hand; for that is repugnant not only to sound Reason, but also to the holy Scriptures."
  • (Racovian Catechism).

What, after all, is the answer to Jesus' question 'Why do you call me good?' Is He, indeed, God? What saith the scriptures?:


Jesus Christ is God!

The Son is God!


Your Throne, O God The Work of Your Hands Let Angels Worship
True God Express Image Visible and Invisible
For Himself Son of God Kiss the Son
A Son is born Honor the Son Only-begotten God
Pantocrator Believe on the Son Only Savior

Jesus is Jehovah!



A Voice Crying Temple Visitor Stone of Stumbling
The Rock of Israel The First and the Last Lord of all
The LORD our Righteousness Holy, holy, holy Captivity Captive
House of David Answered prayers With all His saints
Israel's Savior Giver of Life Every Knee Shall Bow
Pastoral Supply I send you prophets Who forgives sin
I am He He is Lord Call upon the Name
Doxology God with Us Lawgiver
Great Shepherd You Only Lawful worship
Builder I AM THAT I AM Moses' Veil
Wine Press Lord Willing Secret Things
Boasting Excluded King of Israel Fount of Living Waters
Searches the Heart Till Death Do us Part Angel of the LORD
Take Refuge Has Reigned On His Forehead

Jesus Christ is God!


The Eyes of the Blind Thought it not Robbery Eternally Blessed God
Fulness of the Godhead Great God and Savior Faith in Him
Redeemed King of Kings Spirit of Christ
Destroyed by Serpents Lord of Glory Renewed in the Image
New Jerusalem's Lamp Now is Christ risen Upholding all Things
Light to the Gentiles My Companion Miracles
Prosecutors' Indictment Sun of Righteousness Thirty Pieces
Testator's Death Author of Life The Blood of God
My Lord and My God One Mystery of godliness
God was in Christ The Word was God Shared Glory
Omniscience Omnipotence Omnipresence
Change Not Yesterday, Today and Forever Whose Hand?
Not of Man Receive my Spirit Believe in God



Not by Man

Consider Galatians 1:1:


  • "Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)..." (Galatians 1:1).



"Jesus Christ is here distinguished sharply from men and placed clearly on the side of God. What is more, even the Judaizers evidently accepted fundamentally the same view." (J. Gresham Machen, The Literature and History of New Testament Times, p. 84). "But apparently it never occurred to Paul that any one might say, 'By Jesus Christ and therefore by man.'" (J. Gresham Machen, The Origin of Paul's Religion, p. 106.) And yet Jesus is truly man, only not a mere man.

Walking into one of today's remnant Unitarian Universalist churches, the visitor is as likely to encounter a self-professed Wiccan, Buddhist or atheist as any who will admit to the 'Christian' name: "Today, Unitarians who even claim Christian allegiance represent somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the total movement." (The Deity of Christ (Theology in Community), Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson, p. 238). Historically, the theology of the Racovian confession was the animating force behind the movement. This denies the true, rather than merely verbal or nominal, deity of Jesus Christ.

Is Jesus Christ God or man?

The Bible answers, Yes!:








God or Man?

Jesus Christ: God or man?

Wise men still seek Him!

He Humbled Himself

Why does Jesus say, "...for My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)?

He Humbled Himself

He humbled Himself

Back to the Bible

Given that many modern Unitarian Universalists do not venture to describe themselves as Christians much less as Bible-believers, it might surprise readers to discover that modern Unitarianism began as a back-to-the-Bible movement:


  • "OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
    Question. I would fain learn of you what the Christian Religion is.

    Answer. The Christian Religion is the way of attaining eternal life, discovered by God.

    Q. But where is it discovered?

    A. In the holy Scriptures, especially that of the new Covenant."
  • (Racovian Catechism).

"Unitarians claimed to be more biblical than the Trinitarians, not less." (Richard W. Fox, Jesus in America, Kindle location 2910). At any rate, so they said: "...the Christian religion is defined at the outset as a way of attaining...eternal life, divinely revealed in the Scriptures (especially the New Testament), which certain proofs show to be true, which are easy to understand, and which contain all things necessary for salvation. Throughout the book, therefore, the proof of its teaching is drawn from the Bible, and only in a few instances are orthodox doctrines opposed on the ground that they are unreasonable." (Our Unitarian Heritage, 'Faustus Socinus and the Full Development of Socinianism in Poland, 1579-1638,' Earl Morse Wilbur, p. 160). But saying doesn't make it so.

Faustus Socinus' disciples ultimately quit the Bible high ground, not by choice; they were forced from it by the nature of the case. The Bible does not say about Jesus what they say:

John Locke could still discount his Trinitarian opponent's pledge to stand upon the Bible by alleging that all disputants would willingly do the same:

“What the unmasker, for the removing of difficulties, adds farther, in these words, 'But there is no difficulty as to the reality and certainty of the truths of the gospel; because we know, they are revealed to us by God in the holy scripture;' is yet farther from signifying any thing to the purpose, than the former. . .Is this all the explicit faith a Christian need have? If so, then a Christian need explicitly believe no more, but this one proposition, viz. That all the propositions between the two covers of his Bible, are certainly true. . .For, if that will serve the turn, I conclude he may make his set of fundamentals as large and express to his system as he pleases: Calvinists, Arminians, Anabaptists, Socinians, will all thus own the belief of them, viz. that all that God has revealed in the scripture, is really and certainly true.” (John Locke, A Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity, Chapter X).

But the Bible is not after all so vague and uncertain in its meaning: it does explicitly teach the deity of Christ. Those unwilling to accept this Bible teaching will be left in the end complaining about the 'fundamentalists' who actually believe the Bible, which is the trajectory Unitarianism has historically traversed. John Locke, no Deist, was willing to aver that Jesus is the Messiah, but was not willing also to hail the Messiah as God, with the words of the psalmist,

"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Psalm 45:6-7).

It should be easy enough for those who believe the Bible to say with the Bible what the Bible says, without hesitation or equivocation!



Born at Bethlehem Pierced
O God His Bones
Cast Lots Born of a Virgin
Mother's Children Lifted Up
Stretched Out My Hands On a Donkey
Weeks The Grave
Thirty Pieces of Silver Light to the Gentiles
Out of Egypt House of David
House of My Friends With the Transgressors
Eyes of the Blind With the Rich
I thirst Darkness over the Land
Gall and Vinegar Shame and Spitting
Familiar Friend Son of Man
Den of Thieves Afar Off
E'er the Sun


The Eternal Son

". . . since he had necessarily a human nature, he could not be God, nor, indeed, have existed antecedently to his birth." (Racovian Catechism).

Eternal Son

The Son: Eternal God or Beginning in Time?

The Vineyard Without beginning of days
From Everlasting The Same Yesterday, Today and Forever
Behold, I come With the Father
Eternal Life Son of God
By Him all things were created In the Beginning
Thy throne Mind in Christ
Before me My Redeemer
First and Last Before Abraham was
Enduring Love Downward Mobility
Beginning Where He was before
Came down from Heaven In the Wilderness
Temple Vision The Firstborn
The Word Stands Forever From the Womb
At the Beginning of His way The Ending of the Sonship?

The Son in the Old Testament

"Obviously the Son did not actually exist before Bethlehem, else we should have no difficulty locating Him as being actually present in the Old Testament and the period it covered." (Chapter 4, Gordon Magee, Is Jesus in the Godhead or Is the Godhead in Jesus?). Where was 'the Son' in the Old Testament?  He's in there!  "Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?  Who has gathered the wind in His fists?  Who has bound the waters in a garment?  Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you know?" (Proverbs 30:4).

"'Look!' he answered, 'I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.'" (Daniel 3:25).

Here are some of the exploits of the Son of God, as reported in the Old Testament:


The Word was God Identity
Philo Judaeus Creation
Anomalies Life-Giver
Interaction Theophanic Angel
God's Reason God's Wisdom

The Logos

Manoah and His Wife Gideon
Moses at the Burning Bush Definition
Sacrifice of Isaac Hagar
Jacob the Wrestler Captain of the Lord's Host
Jesus the Sent One

Theophanic Angel


Wisdom

The effort to find Socinianism in first century Judaism runs aground on the literary remains of that era. However the theology of first century non-Christian Judaism is to be categorized, Unitarianism isn't it:

Early testimony to the deity of Jesus Christ can be found not only in Christian sources, but also from hostile witnesses:

Pagan Testimony
Hostile Testimony
Christian Testimony

The First and the Last

Christians sing, "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen."  The God of the Bible does not change: "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." (Malachi 3:6).  The God we meet on the first page of the Bible is the same as the God we meet on the last page: He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

The First PageThe Last Page

Jesus Christ is the Creator!







Let Us Make Man

In Genesis 1:26, God makes a proposal:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26).

In the next verse it's a done deal, and we learn that man is made in the image of God and no other: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27). Who are the "we" who created man in "our image"?


Let Us Make Man


What is the Doctrine of the Trinity?

The word 'Trinity' does not occur in the Bible. Neither does the word 'Unitarian.' Is what this doctrine seeks to communicate Biblical?

Bible Proof:






The Nescience of the Son

Anti-trinitarians demand an explanation for Mark 13:32:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

Omniscience is one of the essential attributes of Deity.  If Jesus Christ is God incarnate, as Christians confess, then He must be omniscient.  He is elsewhere so stated to be: "Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God." (John 16:30).  How, then, could there be a circumstance of which He is ignorant?


  • "That Jesus Christ was not God is evident from his own words, where, speaking of the day of judgment, he says, 'Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.' This is giving up all pretention to divinity, acknowledging in the most explicit manner, that he did not know all things, but compares his understanding to that of man and angels; 'of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son.' Thus he ranks himself with finite beings, and with them acknowledges, that he did not know the day and hour of judgment, and at the same time ascribes a superiority of knowledge ot the father, for that he kneew the day and hour of judgment."
  • (Ethan Allen, Reason the Only Oracle of Man, Chapter IX., Section III.).




Some thoughts on this very difficult issue:

"As the Word or Mind of God become flesh Jesus Christ was the incarnate wisdom of God, but incarnate in such a way as really to share with us our human ignorance, so that we might share in his divine wisdom.  That was not just an appearance of ignorance on his part, any more than his incarnating of the Word or Mind of God was only in appearance...Unless the Son of God had assumed the whole nature of man, including his ignorance, man could not have been saved.  The wonderful exchange that lies at the heart of the interaction of incarnation and atonement operates right here, as at every other point in the relation between God and sinful human being, for the human mind is an absolutely essential element in creaturely being. Hence God in Christ Jesus took it up into himself along with the whole man, in order to penetrate into it and deal with the sin, alienation, misunderstanding, and darkness that had become entrenched within it.  Jesus Christ came among us sharing to the full the poverty of our ignorance, without ceasing to embody in himself all the riches of the wisdom of God, in order that we might be redeemed from our ignorance through sharing in his wisdom...Thus throughout his earthly life Christ laid hold of our alienated and darkened human mind in order to heal and enlighten it in himself. In and through him our ignorant minds are brought into such a relation to God that they may be filled with divine light and truth. The redemption of man's ignorance has an essential place in the atoning exchange, for everything that we actually are in our lost and benighted condition has been taken up by Christ into himself in order that he might bring it under the saving, renewing, sanctifying, and enlightening power of his own reality as the incarnate wisdom and light of God." (The Trinitarian Faith, T. F. Torrance, pp. 187-188).

Satan tempted Jesus to use His divine powers to overcome the inconveniences and weaknesses of the humanity He had assumed, thus ensuring a pleasant and painless incarnation.  To hunger is an affliction of flesh, but God can turn even stones to bread, raining down manna on His children in the wilderness: "And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'" (Matthew 4:2-3).  So did He do it?  No; He did not become incarnate to evade our ills and burdens, zooming by suffering humanity in an air-conditioned limousine, but to take them upon Himself: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4).


Darkness Too Pure
Psalm 22 Suffering Servant
Say It and Mean It Quest for the Historical Jesus
Ends of the Earth

My God, My God


The Bible: God's Word?

Jesus was of the opinion that the Holy Spirit spoke through prophets like David: "Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, 'How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: "The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand,Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'" (Mark 12:35-36).  He quotes Exodus as "spoken to you by God": "But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?" (Matthew 22:31-32).

Eager-beavers step forward, ready to 'correct' the odd notions found in scripture, like that Jesus Christ is God. Some of the Talmudists had a similar 'attitude': "When the sages refused to accept Rabbi Eliezer's view, he called upon the forces of nature to prove his theory correct, crying: 'Let the carob tree be uprooted from its place, let the water change the direction of its flow.' To this Rabbi Joshua replied: 'You cannot cite evidence from the carob.' Then Rabbi Eliezer appealed to Heaven to prove that his ruling should be accepted, and a divine voice was heard saying: 'What do you want of my son, Eliezer, whose rulings are universally accepted.' Still Rabbi Joshua was firm in his opinion, saying: 'Torah is no longer in Heaven. God has given it to men, and it is they who will decide this matter.' Most of the scholars then ruled against Rabbi Eliezer." (The Essential Talmud, Adin Steinsaltz, p. 218).

That's an attitude, but it's wrong: "LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89). Why not allow God to offer His input into the discussion?  If He wanted to author a book, who could stop Him?

Authenticity of the Gospel Record: Ancient testimony

Early testimony is available respecting the reliability of the gospel record:



  • "We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith...For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia."
  • (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 1.1)


Mark's gospel has the authority of Peter to back it up: "'Mark, having become Peter's interpreter, wrote down accurately everything he remembered, though not in order, of the things either said or done by Christ.'" (Fragments of Papias, The Apostolic Fathers, Second Edition, J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, p. 316).

Luke turns up in Acts, when the voice of the narrator shifts to 'we'.  He makes no claim to have witnessed anything prior to that, but knows those who did: "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (Luke 1:1-4).

Modern scholars scoff at the idea that any of the gospels originated amongst people who had any first-hand knowledge of Jesus, or even knew anyone who had. Their rule of thumb is that anyone who wrote about Jesus must not have known Jesus.  But well-placed observers who lived in that time report it quite differently: "So Matthew composed the oracles in the Hebrew language and each person interpreted them as best he could." (Fragments of Papias, from Eusebius, quoted in The Apostolic Fathers, J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, p. 316.)

Justin Martyr likewise, in the mid-second century, described the gospels as the "memoirs" of the apostles and their followers:

"For in the memoirs which I say were drawn up by His apostles and those who followed them, [it is recorded] that His sweat fell down like drops of blood while He was praying and saying, 'If it be possible, let this cup pass'..."
(Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter CIII.)

Tertullian joins the chorus:

"We lay it down as our first position, that the evangelical Testament has apostles for its authors, to whom was assigned by the Lord Himself this office of publishing the gospel. Since, however, there are apostolic men also, they are yet not alone, but appear with apostles and after apostles; because the preaching of disciples might be open to the suspicion of an affectation of glory, if there did not accompany it the authority of the masters, which means that of Christ, for it was that which made the apostles their masters. Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instill faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards."
(Tertullian, 'Five Books Against Marcion,' Book IV, Chapter 2)

To outweigh Irenaeus', Papias', Justin's and Tertullian's early testimony, where is the countervailing contemporary testimony? There is none, yet people who would in most matters endorse the principle of going by the evidence, in this area prefer to discard all available ancient evidence and substitute conjecture.

Gospel Authors

The Unitarians have traversed the whole distance from the scriptural high ground where they started to the skeptical extremes of Robert Price and Bart Ehrman, because there are scriptures which inconvenience them. It would have been better to keep the high ground, and abandon the errors which had been shown to be such.


Definition Perfect Example
Inerrancy Mislabeled
Authority Figures Emergent Church
Bible Contradictions Who Wrote the Gospels?
Are the Gospels Metaphorical? One Way
One Author, One Voice

Fundamentalism


"I have seen God face to face"

The church sings, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!" Is this language Biblical?

Prosopon

Is Person a Biblical Word?

The First Time Boethius
What does it Mean? Face to Face
The Father and the Son The Holy Spirit
Express Image To Each His Own
Men and Angels Persona
Thrice Holy Who are the 'God-people'?
Separate or Distinct? Bible Terminology
Individuals God-beings

Three-in-One

One proof of God's triunity -- His 'Three-in-One'ness -- are the many instances where scripture ascribes one divine work indifferently to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The principle: "With regard to the divine nature, on the other hand, it is otherwise.  We do not learn that the Father does something on his own, in which the Son does not co-operate.  Or again, that the Son acts on his own without the Spirit.  Rather does every operation which extends from God to creation and is designated according to our differing conceptions of it have its origin in the Father, proceed through the Son, and reach its completion by the Holy Spirit." (Gregory of Nyssa, On Not Three Gods):

Three in One
Who Raised Jesus from the Dead? Who Authored Holy Writ?
Who Alone is Holy? Who Sanctifies Believers?
Who Gives Eternal Life? Who Supplies Pastors?
Who Draws Believers? Who Regenerates Believers?
Who is the Comforter? Tempting in the Wilderness
Who Created the World?

The early Unitarians were a voluble lot, though one will search this literature in vain for any explanation of why the letter to Hebrews says that Jesus created the world (1:10). After extensive debate, both Unitarians and the orthodox found that they concurred, the Unitarians do not believe the Bible. Oddly enough, modern 'secular' Bible study has been saddled with this movement's long abandoned, indefensible set of interpretations of the numerous problem texts. The early writers, however, still thought there was hope


John Toland
Christianity Not
Mysterious
William Ellery
Channing
Unitarian Christianity


Humble, Meek and Mild

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is humble: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29).

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:5).

But hear the words of Jesus: "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:37). Hear His words: "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." (John 5:23).

"Is He, if He be not God, really humble? Is that reiterated self-assertion, to the accents of which we have been listening. . .consistent with any known form of creaturely humility? Can Jesus thus bid us believe in Him, love Him, obey Him, live by Him, live for Him; can He thus claim to be the universal Teacher and the universal Judge, the Way, the Truth, the Life of humanity — if He be indeed only man? (H.P. Liddon, Lecture IV, The Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, The Witness of His Consciousness, Was He Really Humble?).

Muslims and Socinians claim to hold Jesus in high regard. Do they really? They don't believe the claims He made about Himself. A man who would make such claims, if they were not true, would not be a good man:

"If this religion is untrue, it is the most stupid lie that can possibly be conceived. It would be extremely stupid to say that a crucified man is God – unless it was true. . .Had Christ, in spite of His assertions, not been God, His pride and dishonesty would have been unparalleled. . ." (Girolamo Savonarola, The Truth of Our Faith Made Manifest in the Triumph of the Cross, Book 2, Chapter 7, pp. 107-108.)
"Let us approach the issue in this way - either Christ is the true God and the First Cause of all things, or He is not. If He is God, it follows that Christianity is true; and there is no need for further discussion. If He is not God, He must have been the proudest man, and the greatest liar that ever lived. He must also have been exceedingly foolish. . .If Jesus of Nazareth was not true God, then He was a most foolish and blasphemous seducer. . .If any mere man were to speak in this way, would we not dismiss him as a madman?" (Girolamo Savonarola, The Truth of Our Faith Made Manifest in the Triumph of the Cross, Book 2, Chapter 13, pp. 121-122).

One must either believe the claims, or condemn the man who made them.

Patriot Unitarians

The third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was a Unitarian:


Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson's sometime pastor was a man named Joseph Priestley, whose scholarship Jefferson highly recommended. This noted chemist is remembered for the discovery of oxygen. . .and phlogiston (oops). Judge for yourself whether his theological discoveries are more like oxygen, or phlogiston:


The Logos Bible Doctrine
Plain and Obvious A River in Egypt
Doubts and Fears Assail Plato's Trinity
Jewish Church Filled with the Spirit
Thomas Jefferson Draft Board
Person and Being Religious Liberty
Who You Calling Idiots? Absence of Evidence

Joseph Priestley


Is God the Father-only?

  • "Q. Show how it is also repugnant to the Scripture that Christ should have a divine Nature.

    A. First, because the Scripture proposeth to us but one God by nature, whom we formerly demonstrated to be the Father of Christ."
  • (Racovian Catechism).








Is the Trinity of Pagan Origin?

Anti-trinitarians trace the origin of the doctrine of the trinity to pagan sources: "The actual origin of the Trinity Doctrine predates Christianity. The ancient Babylonians and other Pagan nations all worshiped the Trinity." (Biblical Apostolic Organization web-site). However, when asked for an example of a 'pagan trinity,' they supply a random assemblage of three pagan gods:

Pagan Trinity?
Pagan affinities? Alexander Hislop
Changing God Masked Gods
Hindu Modalist Trinity Plato
Plotinus Jehovah's Witnesses
Isis, Osiris and Typhon Zeus, Hera and Athena
At Random Jupiter, Mars and Venus
Diana Bus Herds

Hell-Fire

In 1961, two declining denominations, the Unitarians and the Universalists, joined forces to become the Unitarian Universalists. The guiding idea of Universalism is that a loving God would never consign anyone to hell-fire, not even Josef Stalin or Osama bin Laden. Is this Biblical?


Lake of Fire Worm Dieth Not
Lazarus I'm Not Going
The Face of God Dark Fire
Wheat and Chaff Vengeance is Mine
Wheat and Tares Old Testament
God's Will Gandhi in Hell
Hell in the Koran Infinite Loss
Do Unto Others Atheists in Hell



Trail of Tears

On the surface, 'Oneness' Pentecostalism and Unitarianism appear to be poles apart, inasmuch as the 'Oneness' Pentecostals claim strongly to believe that Jesus is God, while the Unitarians explicitly reject this claim. However, they lay claim to the very same martyrs, including Michael Servetus, burned at the sake in John Calvin's Geneva:


Michael Servetus


The first generation of American Unitarians could still believe they were enacting the Reformation agenda of returning to the condition of the primitive church. Theodore Parker knew them:

"Some seem to think that if Jesus were to come back to the earth, he would preach Unitarian sermons, from a text out of the Bible, and prove his divine mission and the everlasting truths, the truths of necessity that he taught, in the Unitarian way, by telling of the miracles he wrought eighteen hundred years ago; that he would prove the immortality of the soul by the fact of his own corporeal resurrection."
(Parker, Theodore (2013-01-28). Works of Theodore Parker (Kindle Locations 149-151). The Perfect Library.)

But he also knew they were mistaken. One of the great, and unheralded, victories of Christian apologetics, is that the national debate touched off by the Unitarians ended with the Unitarians themselves conceding their faith was not Biblically based. He was obliged to acknowledge, of the gospel affirmations, "To me they are not truth and fact, but mythic symbols and poetry. . ." (Theodore Parker, Works of Theodore Parker, Kindle location 275). Whoever was the primitive church, it wasn't them.

When they started out, the Unitarians claimed to be Bible-believers. The Deists never claimed to believe the gospel at all:

"The Christian believes the gospel to be true and of divine authority, the Deist believes that it is not true and not of divine authority. . ." (Ethan Allen, Reason the Only Oracle of Man, Chapter VIII, Section III.)

As time went on and their detractors explained to them that, no, they did not believe the gospel, showing them chapter and verse, the Unitarians came to admit they did not. Thus in time, the differences between these two groups, Unitarians and Deists, evaporated into mist:



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