Some Christological Errors Committed by Dr. John Lennox

I like to watch Dr. John Lennox on the NRB television network. He is a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford in England, a philosopher of science, and a public apologist for Christian faith. Dr. Lennox is widely known for publicly debating some of the world’s leading atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens before he died. John Lennox is a brilliant, likeable, and witty Irishman as well as a good public speaker. I also like him because he is a Plymouth Brethren—a church denomination from which I have learned much about the Bible.

As much as I like to watch Dr. Lennox on television, I disagree with him on a few fundamental issues regarding our shared Christian faith. The reason I have chosen to write about it here is that I think he is making some theological errors which detract from his main thesis—that belief in God is not contrary to true science. Thus, I think it would strengthen his other arguments if he corrected these errors. When he declares them in public debates, it seems his non-Christian opponents are unaware of them.

First, in Dr. Lennox’s televised debates and speeches, he often mentions humankind being made in the image of God. This is a particularly important axiom for Mr. Lennox when he tries to harmonize biblical faith with what he deems as true science. At the same time, he occasionally affirms the doctrine of Trinity. I think this reveals that although he is a very brilliant man, Dr. Lennox is to some extent like the rest of us—a product of indoctrination, some of which he likely has not investigated much since this belief cannot be satisfactorily reconciled either with reason or the Bible.

I mean specifically that the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be reconciled with the biblical account in Genesis 1.26-27, which says humankind was made in the image of God. If both concepts are true, then each human would consist of three persons because the doctrine of the Trinity says God is three Persons. Of course, that is ludicrous since each human is a single person. That being so, God must be a single person as well, which renders the doctrine of the Trinity as an error. This reasoning does not make God in man’s image as some allege; rather, it’s just the reverse.

Second, John Lennox often cites the opening verses of the Gospel of John in the New Testament (NT) to affirm that Jesus preexisted as God and that he created the universe. In so doing, Dr. Lennox relies on the King James Version (KJV). It reads as follows: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him” (John 1.1-3). Dr. Lennox’s three main points he draws from this reading are that Jesus, as the Word (cf. v. 14), (1) preexisted in the beginning of creation, (2) was God, and (3) created all things at that time.

Now, the Greek text of the third clause of John 1.1 is complex, and this traditional translation of it raises several irresolvable questions. For instance, how can the Logos (Word) be with God (repeated again in v. 2) and also be God? And isn’t the traditional interpretation inconsistent—that the first theos (God) refers to the Father while the second theos does not? But the main issue with this text is grammatical, in which the first theos has the article ho (the) whereas the second theos does not. In 1973, P. B. Harner convincingly established that this second theos indicates qualitative value, which affirms the NEB translation of John 1.1c as follows: “and what God was, the word was.”

This NEB rendering of John 1.1c does not declare that the Word/word was God, but that the Word was exactly like God. This is the same idea that appears in the second clause of Hebrews 1.3 (NIV) about God’s Son, Jesus Christ: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” So, this says Jesus is “the exact representation” of God, that is, exactly like God, which indicates he cannot be God. An object cannot be like another object and at the same time be that object. The Apostle Paul states likewise, that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1.15 NIV). This further indicates that Jesus cannot be God since God is invisible to us sin-tainted humans whereas Jesus was visible to people.

Regarding John 1.3, some Plymouth Brethren folks still cling solely to the KJV, published in 1611. But this is unbecoming of an Oxford professor and an intellectual such as Dr. John Lennox. All modern English versions of the Bible are based on a much more recent Greek NT text which is superior to Textus Receptus (1516), upon which the KJV was based, due to thousands of Greek manuscripts of the NT which were discovered after the publication of Textus Receptus. But even translation of the same Greek text is often an improvement in accuracy in modern versions. An example is the first clause in John 1.3. The NRSV, the preferred choice of Bible scholars, renders it “All things came into being through him;” and the popular NIV translates it, “Through him all things were made.” Neither of these translations requires us to think that the Logos preexisted as a distinct person separate from God and that this Logos created the universe. Rather, these two translations say God created the universe “through” the Word.

Moreover, all contemporary, Johannine scholars agree that John 1.1 begins with an allusion to Genesis 1.1 which reads in both the NRSV and NIV: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Throughout the remainder of that chapter, the text repeatedly says something like, “God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light” (v. 3). Just as we would expect that this means God spoke, it came into existence, and his word was not a separate person from himself, so we should understand John 1.1-3.

If the Logos in John 1.1-5 is not a person distinct from God, then what about the personal pronouns “him” and “he” repeatedly applied to the Logos therein? They translate auto or houtos in the Greek text, which can be translated “he,” “she,” or “it.” Since they refer to the Logos, deciding which depends on whether or not the Logos is a person. Translators translate “he” and “him” since they believe the Logos is a person. And they do so likely because they, or a large majority of them, are Trinitarians.

Third, in an NRB telecast shown on June 24, 2013, Dr. John Lennox made some claims about his belief in Jesus’ incarnation. For example, he said, “Jesus claimed to be God incarnate.” Also during this speech, Lennox referred to C. S. Lewis. In Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, he states twice that the New Testament (NT) gospels reveal that Jesus claimed to be God. (I mentioned this in a previous post about C. S. Lewis, on June 19th.) Throughout those pages in which Lewis says this, he fails to provide any biblical reference to support this claim about Jesus. John Lennox did likewise in that telecast. In fact, there is no saying of Jesus in the NT gospels in which he claims to be God or God incarnate. The closest Jesus ever comes to anything that might be so misconstrued is his repeated claim that God indwelt him (e.g., John 10.30 cf. v. 38; 14.9-11). But God being “in Christ,” as the Apostle Paul describes this phenomenon about Jesus, in 2 Corinthians 5.19, is not the same as Christ being God. And regarding Jesus saying he was bread come down from heaven, in John 6.22-71, since he obviously meant that bread (so also “flesh,” “blood,” etc.) as a metaphor he must have meant the same about it coming down from heaven.

Fourth, also during that June 24th telecast Dr. Lennox committed a fundamental error regarding Jesus’ resurrection. I hesitate to criticize him for this since I rejoice that a man of his stature strongly defends before the academic world the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But Dr. Lennox said, “If Jesus arose from the dead that is evidence that he was God incarnate.” Yet Dr. Lennox said no more about this, letting this bold statement stand there naked without clothing it with scripture or logic. I treat this subject in my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ. All of the following is an excerpt from it (with references here omitted):

Some traditionalists have contended that Jesus’ resurrection is prime evidence of His incarnation and thus that He is God. Paul E. Little, in his best-selling book, Know Why You Believe, asserts, “Jesus’ supreme credential to authenticate his claim to deity was his resurrection from the dead.” And preeminent Evangelical theologian Alister McGrath states, “The central and decisive Christian doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ is grounded in his resurrection from the dead.” Those who make this assertion invariably do so arbitrarily by failing to provide any rationale or biblical support.

Most contemporary, traditionalist scholars would surely disagree with such an extreme position. World-renown Jesus researcher and traditionalist N.T. Wright rightly alleges that it is “a frequent misunderstanding” that “the resurrection somehow proves Jesus’ divinity.” Wright explains that in much of Judaism in Jesus’ time, “resurrection was what was supposed to happen to all the dead, or at least all the righteous dead, and there was no suggestion that this would simultaneously constitute divinization.”

Indeed, if Jesus’ resurrection attests that He was God, the future resurrection of the saints will verify that they are gods too! Wright adds, “When the New Testament predicts the resurrection of all who belong to Jesus, there is no suggestion that they will thereby become, or be shown to be, divine. Clearly, therefore, resurrection by itself could not be taken to ‘prove’ the ‘divinity’ of Jesus; if it did, it would prove far too much. The over-simple apologetic strategy one sometimes encounters (‘he was raised from the dead, therefore he is the second person of the Trinity’) makes no sense.”

Early Jewish Christians preached that Jesus’ empty tomb and post-resurrection appearances indicated God vindicated Him, and they further claimed this as evidence that He was the Christ, the Son of God, but not that He was God (e.g., Ac 2.31, 36; Rom 1.4). These positive maxims were the heart of their kerygma. Wright calls this connection “the key move in early Christology.” James D.G. Dunn compares these principal axioms and concludes, “The belief that God raised Jesus from the dead is, if anything, of even more fundamental importance to Christian faith than the belief in Jesus as the Son of God.”

Indeed, the book of Acts reveals that the early Christians made Jesus’ resurrection the chief cornerstone of their kerygma [Gr. for “proclamation”]. They never preached that Jesus was God but that God raised Jesus from the dead and that they were witnesses of it by afterwards having seen the risen Jesus (e.g., Ac 3.15). Subsequent church fathers reversed this early church kerygma, asserting that the foundation of Christian faith was that Jesus Christ was God. In so doing, they made Jesus’ resurrection a secondary element in their kerygma.

Jesus’ resurrection further substantiates His dependence upon God, which also affirms that He is not God. For, the nt unequivocally and repeatedly proclaims that God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus was not sovereign in accomplishing His resurrection [despite John 10.15-18]. Instead, He completely depended upon God for His vindication through resurrection.

In the minds of many Christians, their belief in classical incarnation—that God became man—overshadows Jesus’ resurrection and thus renders it of lesser importance. Some Christians have reasoned that Jesus’ resurrection was the necessary outcome of His being God. Thus, it is Jesus being God that is most important, not His resurrection, which merely testifies to His being God. But this reasoning does not correspond to especially Luke’s book of Acts. Therein, he shows that the early Christians repeatedly proclaimed Jesus’ resurrection, but he never relates that they proclaimed that He was God.

(To see a titled list of over fifty, two-three page posts (easily accessible) about the Bible not saying Jesus is God, click here.)

"Recognition of Jerusalem seemed like a no-brainer but moving the embassy is very foolish and ..."

Trump to Move U.S. Embassy to ..."
"Trump missed a few phonics a bit, but nothing that kept the YouTube Closed Captioning ..."

Trump Slurred More than His Speech ..."
"Thank you! Good to know you are on the team. Have an Egg Nogg on ..."

Trump Slurred More than His Speech ..."
"I was about to make the same points, but you said it so much more ..."

Trump Slurred More than His Speech ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Chala Tumelo

    As I see it, your four-fold criticism of Dr. Lennox is exclusively located in an earth-bound perception of time, space and matter, which is not an adequate location to discuss or argue either revelation and divinity. Why so?

    (1) It is only ‘matter’ in ‘space’ that cannot be three and one simultaneously, thereby rendering your understanding of the biblical teaching of the Trinity out rightly earth-bound; God is not matter!

    (2) It is only matter in space-time that cannot be ‘itself’ and ‘like itself’ simultaneously, once again rendering your understanding of the sameness of Father and Son out rightly earth-bound. God cannot be understood in terms of phyla, genera or a morph with edges so as to be counted as a unit or units. Come on!

    (3) It is only in the realm of time, and particularly among those whose primary source of ‘image’ and ‘authority’ is their academic certificates where an eminent professor of mathematics is expected not to be unaware of certain logic… by mere virtue of his academic eminence. On this point I must insist that the knowledge of God is accessed first and foremost not by reason but by revelation. That is why He is known only to some and not to all (and this is what makes evangelism and missions necessary). Otherwise all professors in the UK would have bowed and worshipped Him by now… yet most continue to deny Him.

    Finally It should be made clear to all regenerated Christians that ultimately, God’s nature, that is, all revealed and yet-to-be-revealed attributes (at glorification and possibly beyond) individually and together transcend the limits of both universal and local time, space and matter… to the effect that attempting to describe or characterise Him in strictly material, time-bound and spatial terms not only borders on blasphemy in the extreme, but also leads to profound doctrinal error, the logical end of which is atheism of all shades and colours.

    Dr. Lennox is in the clear on all charges.

    • Brad

      Yes I agree. I think a lot of these objections to the concept of the Trinity do not come from actual Scriptures but people’s inability to comprehend the concept. It’s not meant to be comprehended at least in this lifetime. And I agree with some of the others that man is a trinity … the mind, body and soul or spirit. A great book to read on the concept of the Trinity is the Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers.

      • kzarley

        I still say the belief that man is trichotomous–body, soul or mind, and spirit–is not an adequate parallel to the concept of God being three persons. The only adequate parallel would be that man is three persons. Since man was made in the image of God, if God is three persons then man would have to be three persons.

        • kingtoocole

          Taking a literalistic interpretation of the Trinity being reflected in the structure of human beings is new to me. Some teaching does parallel the threesome-ness of God with references to human beings needing to worship God with body, mind and spirit. But that doesn’t refer to the structure of individual human beings. Rather, scripture in the creation narratives, speaks of us being a soul. And here soul means the complete human not the pagan reference to an immortal part of us that floats off somewhere when we die. This aspect of pagan mythology is regrettably taken up at most Christian funerals, ignoring Paul’s teaching regarding the importance and advent of the resurrection within our space-time continuum.
          But what is this confusing Imago Dei business all about? Well, obviously, it doesn’t mean that we are three persons anymore than we can say we are divine (sorry Shirley Mac). What is the image of God? For traditional monotheists God is a single being and for Christian monotheists God is three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in the closest fellowship that we can hardly imagine. When God said, ‘Let Us make man in our own image”, I think the emphasis is in the nature of God not the structure of God or the structure individual human beings. Rather it is the relationship of human beings as a society uniquely different to any other creature. So Imago Dei applies to all humanity as a whole not to individual human beings.

  • Solidus Aurelius

    Concerning the Trinity, I want to first say that regardless of where I stand on the issue, I’m not implying I can paint a definitive picture of God. C.S. Lewis said “If we could fathom God, He would not be God.” Having said that, the doctrine of the Trinity is, in my belief, something simpler than we make it out to be. You mention that the Trinity doctrine is in error because the implication is that there are three separate people being discussed here (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) from whom we must be derived. My first question is this: What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Are they physical features (eyes, ears, nose, and mouth) or perhaps personality traits (introverted/extroverted)? I think this is a departure from what being made in the image of God really means. My belief is that it is tied to the intrinsic worth we have as beings who have as Lennox often puts it “rational intelligibility” and on a deeper level – and the one I believe is closest to definition of being made in God’s image – that we are capable of reciprocating God’s Love.

    Another example for this point is to posit that there are both man and woman, right? Are both not “created in the image of God”? Does God have gender? Will there be gender after the biological need for it (when we die and ascend)? Perhaps not, I can see no reason why it is needed and no reason why gender is a reason to rank anyone in the Kingdom of God. I say this because if gender is not accepted as a legitimate definition of God’s image, then physicality may not fit into the definition.

    As far as the Trinity is concerned, I think it is easy to we’re talking about three totally separate individual people. I believe the Trinity is God (the Father) manifesting Himself in physical form to take the sins of man and then in the form of the Holy Spirit as the accessible Spirit of God. The way I explain it is this way: We have fallen short of the Glory of God. Thus we must face death for those sins and if you are a gentile, you are in even more despair. God becomes flesh in the form the Son, Jesus. Why? Because the only chance for true, and I mean genuine, reconciliation between the Father and His creation is for God Himself – never having sinned – to experience the weight of sin. But where we differ is that you do not believe Jesus is God, as you point out in your second main point. Just because Jesus is visible to us does not mean He is not God, it means He is the physical representation of God.

    My questions are these: If Jesus is in fact not God, then why was His death able to bring atonement for the sins to man and reconciliation between God and man? Why could it not be some other person, who lived a blameless life? How can Jesus be “exactly like God” but not be God? Does that mean we are exactly like God? Isn’t being like God what was attempted in Genesis 3?

    Let’s say the Logos was with and exactly like God; and Jesus is the Logos. In Genesis God uses the Logos to speak creation into existence. We may infer from this reasoning that Jesus was in fact present at and was responsible for creation.

    “For by him [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16 (ESV – a completely interlinear translation of the original Greek)

    • kzarley

      Jesus told Thomas and Philip, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14.9 NRSV). It is in that sense that I mean Jesus was exactly like God, which is clearly stated in Heb 1.3, that Jesus was “the exact imprint of God’s very being.”
      Concerning your question about Jesus’ atonement, I think you mean the standard argument that Jesus had to be God to save us. No he didn’t. That argument put forward by Athanasius comes from Greek philosophy and is in opposition to Heb 2.17, that Jesus “had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect” in order to save us. It is the same with Deut 18.19, in which Moses says on behalf of God concerning Jesus, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people.”
      Jesus was not God but a man who had a virginal conception which enabled him to be sinless. However, I believe he still had choice in that matter. It is Jesus’ sinlessness that qualified him to be our Savior, since he was as the paschal lamb being without spot and blemish, i.e., he was without sin. There is nothing in the Bible which says Jesus had to be God to save us. That’s a philosophical construct that derives from Greek philosophy since many of those philosophers were dualists, believing that flesh is evil or the source of evil and only spirit is good and pure. That is why they opposed the concept of the resurrection of the body. See Ac 17.30-32. And notice there that Paul called Jesus “a man.” He never called him “God.”
      We are made in the image of God, but we are not like God because of our sins. That’s why we need Jesus our Savior.
      The Logos is God’s word. So, God spoke creation into existence. Later, God’s word “took flesh” and the result was Jesus (Jn 1.14). That’s when Jesus came into existence. Thus, Jesus did not preexist. Col 1.16 means that at creation God had Jesus in mind, not Jesus preexisted. Thus, God then planned to make Jesus the head, chief of his creation. Jesus will give it back a long time from now, as in 1 Cor 15.24. But see vv. 27-28, which states the essential subordination of Jesus to God, which is often stated in the NT and indicates Jesus cannot also be God.

      • John X

        There is no one then, today or future that can say they are sinless, only Jesus. Tempted in all points but never sinned.
        1 Peter 1:18-20
        18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
        19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
        20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

  • Guest

    Human kind was not made in the Image of God. Adam was made in the image of God. We are born in the image of Adam. Bible is clear about this. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
    As we can see the Bible says Adam was born in God’s image. And Adams son was born in Adams image. God even repeats it in clarity for those who try to rewrite what he says. The major difference being that Adam was created and without sin. Man was born, not created, and born in sin. Had to clear that up for you, because you make many other terrible mistakes where you also claim that people are indoctrinated where it seems you fall along this category also. You also as well have been indoctrinated. Man is not infallible and making claims as though its facts is ignorance 101.

  • DesertSun59

    The main problem Lennox has is that he’s so indoctrinated that he forgot that when the OT was first being compiled the ‘Jews’ were polytheistic. Genesis is a very poor attempt to reconcile their previous polytheistic beliefs and smush them into a monotheistic treatise. It fails miserably.

    History, folks. History.

  • David Harding

    Elohim…heard of them? Try Gen 1:1

  • Jonathan Shrader

    Human trinity: mind (father), body (son) and soul (holy spirit).

  • Michael Falsia

    It is possible to read the texts of scripture on the surface and not possess the wisdom to understand what is really taught. For example the above article touched on the resurrection and the deity of Christ without any consideration for the very nature of the atonement whatsoever? The basis for the deity of Christ by the resurrection does not stand on the merits of his death and burial but on the nature of his life and suffering? In other words being raised from the dead of itself is not a proof of his deity for in that case anyone raised from the dead would have a measure of divinity? No, the divine is attested in that only a divine being could endure the penalty for sin so as to satisfy a sense of eternal justice on behalf of those represented in Christ who acted as a federal head in his suffering and death. A mere man could not have offered himself as a propitiation for sin before the Eternal God and satisfy every demand of justice if he did not possess divinity. The fact of his resurrection is the proof that his life and sacrifice was indeed sufficient to appease divine justice in order to provide eternal life for those he came to seek and save.Only the divine Son was qualified to do that! That is the proof of his deity in terms of the atonement and all that was required. It is that aspect of the person of Christ Jesus and his redemptive work that one will not find in the passages relating to his resurrection. That is an insight only God the Holy Spirit imparts when the accumulative weight of the testimony of scripture is taken into account and properly harmonized. It was never the intention of God to make the scriptures simple and easy to be understood. Israels rejection of the Messiah and the Apostles clearly show this. Many of the passages used to prove his Messiahship such as references to David for example were repudiated by the people of that day based on a plain historical reading of the words of the text. The fact that the scriptures speak in symbols and parables often difficult to understand, that is, until you grasp the spiritual content being conveyed can leave the reader with the wrong impression. Again it is God the Holy Spirit who gives true enlightenment to those who Christ has saved. In my opinion this is whats missing in the above article. There is not enough space here to exegete both the Hebrew and Greek texts to substantiate my contention. Suffice it to say however that there is a powerful counter argument to be made against the assertions above. No matter how you read or study the scriptures if you do not have a true and sound or I what I would say is a true and saving knowledge of sin and its extent you will not have a right view of God and His what His plan of salvation entails as it was accomplished by the Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. All of ones skill and expertise in all of the means of interpretation will not assist you in the pursuit of Biblical truth. Go wrong in ones view of the covenant of redemption and your Christology will necessarily be defective in one wway or another. This is the work of the Triune God in regeneration.

    • kzarley

      There is no biblical support for the assertion that “Jesus had to be God to save us.” And it is not in the writings of the earliest post-apostolic church fathers. Nicene father Athanasius trumpets it in his writings. In my opinion, he was not a model Christian with his very caustic rhetoric against Arius. Christians Sir Isaac Newtion and William Whiston wrote books about Athanasius that were extremenly critical of him, so that they did not believe he was a genuine Christian.

      This idea that Jesus had to be God to save us comes from dualistic Greek philosophy, and perhaps the Gnostic Redeemer Myth had an influence. In contrast, the author of Hebrews states conerning Jesus, “he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect,… to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people” (Heb 2.17). Thus, Jesus had to be fully human to be our substitutional sin-bearer. If he preexisted and was God, he certainly was not like his Jewish brothers and sisters.

      Traditionalists like you also cite 1 Tim 2.5 to support their belief. This creedal text actually says just the opposite: “there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all” (NRSV). Paul indicates in all of the salutations of his NT letters that that one God is the Father. And Jesus is here identified only as a “human,” not a God-man. See my post about this on September 14, 2013 entitled “Jesus Had to Made Like His Brothers to Die for the Sins of All Us Others.”

      • Michael Falsia

        First of all what the so called Church fathers said or believed means nothing in terms of Biblical truth. So it is a mistake to use them as a reference to debate any controversial point of doctrine.
        Second I am not dependent upon these traditions since I can read the Greek testament for Myself and have studied theology for many years on my own. A person can make a case for one thing or another but it is up to each individual to examine and test all things by the word of God alone. If happily you find that there are many who come to the same conclusions all well and good. There is something to say for consensus but it is not the final authority! In this case outstanding scholars have poured over the Greek text and have come to the same exegetical conclusions without any corroboration from others. So this traditionalist designation is invalid at least insofar as you insinuated that it pertains to me? I have not spent a lot of time reading the Fathers. In fact I don’t care for much of their theology.
        Third, what you believe also has a tradition and would qualify for traditionalism in the same sense you applied the term to me. The fact that your tradition is much smaller and far less extensive or well known, outside of those who are somewhat familiar with Charles Russell and his disciples or are aware of historical controversies, is inconsequential in the sense of the derogatory way you intended it. Lets just say that it is not a very useful or compelling form of an argument.
        Fourth, a quite astonishing implication you make is that I discount the Humanity of Jesus Christ because I believe equally in his deity? Which renders your dualism and Gnostic allegation irrelevant. Now I know that you are too smart and well informed to speak as if you are not familiar with the Hypo-static union as it is commonly referred by those you classify as traditionalist? When the phrase was actually coined I do not know, but it is an accurate description of what I believe and what you obviously deny. This begs the question as to whether or not my view either denies the dual nature of Jesus or in some way lessens it. The Apostolic creed uses language that explicitly affirms the Human and Divine nature of the Son of God. The dualism of Greek philosophy or the Redeemer myth of Gnosticism are both invalid insinuations and therefore irrelevant to your argument. So why would you make use of it in the first place? Your position is better defended by relying on the scriptures rather than an historical Straw man.
        Fifth, I doubt you rightly understand sin, propitiation or appreciate the covenant of redemption. All of these aspects play a part in how one reads the scriptures and I maintain that this is where and why we differ. Please don’t take anything I have said as meant to be disrespectful or reflecting any animus. This fight has been too well publicized for either of us to add anything significant. Thanks for the space to speak.

      • John X

        You are lost.

      • John X

        All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Only Jesus came into the world without sin. After the fall of Adam, sin and death came into the world. We came from Adam’s loins, therefore sin and death has touched us. Jesus is called the second Adam, because He has no sin, therefore, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice to atone for the sin of the world. No one else could have done it and to say otherwise, is blasphemy.

        You need to read, Philippians 2:5-11.
        5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God,
        thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

        In the form of God, you read that? Jesus, who being in the form of God, though it not robbery to be equal with God. People like you have no idea what your talking about. Stop spreading this poison and repent. Jesus was fully God and fully man.

        The bible is to be understood as a whole, not bits and pieces. Without the Holy Spirit, this book is sealed to you and you will probably end up believing foolish things.

    • John X

      Jesus said he voluntarilly lays his life down and he can take it back. Jesus received worship. Only God can receive worship, so he must be divine. Jesus forgives sins, only God can do that. Jesus is equal to the Father in His essence. I don’t know of any serious bible scholar that says what you claim, in respect to the bible not teaching the trinity. That’s utter nonsense. You’re making a very broad and general claim. Only Jesus came into the world without sin after the fall of Adam. Everyone else was born into sin because we came from Adams loins. Jesus is the second Adam. Your comment demonstrates a lack of understanding in respect to the birth, resurrection and death of Christ. Only Jesus could satisfy the Fathers requirement to atone for the sin of the world.

  • Brad

    Exactly. People don’t realize that the strongest case in Scripture for Jesus being God is not John 1:1 but when Jesus says in several areas as you mentioned things like ‘before Abraham was, I am’ which is the name of God. The Jews had no doubt what he meant by that. There are also other numerous passages in the NT supporting Jesus is God if people are willing to search for them.
    The other thing I have noticed is that Christian sects that reject the Trinity(not sure about the author of this blog) are very anti-Catholic. I am not Catholic myself and disagree with much of their teachings but I wonder if these beliefs originally stemmed not from Scripture but from rejecting the Catholic church and as the Trinity is one of the cornerstones of the Catholic church teaching it had to go like it or not :)

    • kzarley

      In my book The Restitution of Jesus Christ, I interact a lot with the leading Christian scholars who have written extensively on the NT saying Jesus is God. Most are Trinitarians, such as Catholic Raymond E. Brown. He is my favorite NT scholar of the second half of the twentieth century, so I certainly am not anti-Catholic. These scholars unanimously say John 1.1c and 20.28 are the two foremost NT texts that identify Jesus as God (called “critical texts”), though some say John 1.1c identifies “the word” as God, which, despite v. 14, is not the same as saying Jesus is God. Thus, they say John 8.58 is a minor text. They pretty much agree that there are nine major “critical texts” in the NT that either do or don’t identify Jesus as God and that they are John 1.1c; 1.18; 20.28; Romans 9.5; 1 Thessalonians 1.12; 2 Peter 1.1; Titus 2.13; Hebrews 1.8; 1 John 5.20. Some of these texts are unfamiliar to most Christians as critical texts because they have to do with Greek grammar. But see Bible versions. Most Christians think John 1.1c and 10.30 are foremost, but all of these scholars, especially Catholic Joseph Fitzmyer, dismiss John 10.30.

  • kzarley

    Well said, except that the doctrine of the Trinity, stated in English, makes a clear distinction between Jesus and the Father as two separate persons. But it is confusing because the doctrine of the Trinity calls the Father “God the Father.” Yet it also says “God” is not a person but three persons and therefore Trinitarian scholars in the past preferred to refer to “God” as “the Godhead,” which is not a biblical concept.

  • Realist1234

    I find it strange that this blog comes under the ‘evangelical’ banner when it refutes basic evangelical beliefs, such as the divinity of Jesus and the Trinity. You have clearly shown your misunderstanding of even basic passages from scripture, eg Jesus is ‘ the image of the invisible God’. This clearly means he is God made visible (ie when you see Jesus you see God, which Jesus also said elsewhere). Yet you dont get it! I appreciate that the Trinity is a difficult concept, and if anyone says they understand it completely they are incorrect, but the only reason the concept was put together in the first place was to be able to explain the teaching of the New Testament. It seems you are trying to sow doubt about the person of Jesus under an appearance of evangelical Christianity, which is hardly evangelical!
    To summarise the evangelical Christian view, I would just quote doubting Thomas, ‘My Lord and my God’.

    • kzarley

      1. The first fundamental of Evangelicalism, and even Protestantism, is that the Bible is the final arbiter for faith and practice. Even distinguished, trinitarian scholars now admit that the Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. They correctly say that it only mentions God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit together in eight NT texts, without elaboration. I think if Evangelicals would believe the Bible instead of church creeds, they would not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.
      2. I became a Christian when I was thirteen years old by believing that Jesus died for my sins. Five years later I was taught the doctrine of the Trinity and believed it for the next twenty-two years. But just as I didn’t become an Evangelical Christian by believing the the doctrine of the Trinity, I also did not become a non-Christian when I no longer believed in the doctrine of the Trinity. I think whether or not a person believes in the doctrine of the Trinity has nothing to do with being a Christian. Even when I believed in the Trinity, I didn’t evangelize by telling people to believe in the Trinity or that Jesus was God to be saved, but believe that Jesus died for your sins and make him Lord of your life. Knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and thereby being born again, is what Evangelical Christianity is all about.
      3. Read my 600-page book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ, in which I cite over 400 biblical scholars, and then tell me if I am misunderstanding basic passages of Scripture. The texts to which you refer I treat at length in this book. I also have thirty posts here in Categories/Christology that represent two-page condensations of such treatments. See the ones on Col 1.15 and John 20.28, to which you refer.

  • John X

    It is so obvious by reading scripture that God is a trinity, that one would have to be taught otherwise. For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus. Where was Jesus? He was in heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father. Jesus said He saw satan fall from heaven like lightning. He was there to see it happen. That means that Jesus preexisted before coming into the world to save it. In the Old Testament, the trinity is called Jehova. God is three persons. Let me use the analogy of the Unites States of America. We have 50 states, but one nation. You wouldn’t say there are 50 nations just because there are 50 states, and rightfully so. Remember we are talking about something that our finite mind has a hard time grasping.
    1 Corinthians 13:12(KJV)
    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    We like to complicate things and reduce God to our level. You don’t need a degree in theology or go to a seminary to understand God’s word. What we need is to be born again, filled with God’s Spirit and lean not on our own understanding. These are spiritual things that need to be spiritually discerned. The natural cannot know the things of God because they are to be spiritually discerned through the person of God, the Holy Spirit.

    • kzarley

      If it is so obvious, why is there no word “trinity” in the entire Bible, let alone that God is never described or identified as a trinity. Or where in the Bible does it say that God is two persons, let alone three? Nowhere! You quote John 3.16. God sending Jesus means God sent him just as he sent all of the Hebrew prophets–he sent them on a mission. It has nothing to do with having preexisted and been sent from heaven. God sent Jesus in the same way he sent John the Baptist. For we read, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1.6). You’ve got it exactly backwards–you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity because that is what you were taught, not because you learned it from the Bible. I know; I was a Trinitarian for 22 years. See my post on 9/6/15, “He Who Sends Is Greater than He Who Is Sent.” And read my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ.

      • John X

        There’s no word bible either. The word trinity isn’t in scripture, but the doctrine is correct. God calls husband and wife one, how is that possible, if there’s two? The church has many members, buts it’s one. United States has 50 states, but it’s one nation. We don’t say, well, there are 50 countries. Jesus said to His disciples that they were to be one, like he and the Father are one. It’s one God, but three persons. God sent His only begotten son. He did not send himself, because the bible says clearly that Jesus took on flesh. Jesus prayed to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane. Are you going to tell me that Jesus was praying to himself. I know what your response is going to be. You are going to say that his humanity was praying to Himself in heaven. What utter nonsense! Jesus said I will go to the Father and He will send another, the Holy Spirit. Jesus all along the line says, I and the Father are one. He doesn’t say and never says, they are the same person. Please don’t use that scripture, where Jesus says, he who has seen me, has seen the Father. He isn’t saying the are the same person. That position has already been disproven. When Jesus died on the cross, who was He speaking too, Himself. Oh no, I forgot, Jesus flesh, was speaking to Jesus the spirit in heaven, really? No! Jesus was speaking to the Father. Jesus said, Father why has thou forsaken me? Then Jesus says, Father into thy hand, I commend my spirit. Sir, I am not blindly believing a doctrine. I have much proof and I don’t have to twist or ignore plain scripture to prove the trinity doctrine.

    • John X

      Jesus and the Father are God, but not the same person. Read;
      Philippians 2:5-11 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • Michael El Rambo Munguia

    We are made in three persons. You have your physical body or the flesh, spirit that goes back to YHWH when you die and then you have your soul, who will be held against judgement. I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

    • kzarley

      “We are made IN three persons.” What does that mean? I’m saying if we human beings are God’s image, and God is three persons, then each of us human beings woud have to be three persons, which is ludicrous. So, you’re analogy would have to mean that our physical body is a person, our spirit is another distinct person, and our soul is yet a third distinct person, making three persons in all. Accordingly, every human being consists of three persons. Do you not see the fallacy of your analogy? Besides, all trinitarian scholars agree that that analogies for the doctrine of the Trinity do not prove that it is true.

  • mbabbitt

    It’s hard for me to believe people make these kind of dumb contrived arguments to show how others are wrong.

  • Glenn Anderson

    The Bible is essentially a book of myths put together thousands of years ago in an attempt to explain the world and provide guidance to people before the enlightenment. To give it any any type of weight or credibility in today’s world is ludicrous. All arguments about the Trinity or the resurrection are ridiculous. You may as well be arguing about the relative merits of Harry Potter. Put away your away the bible on the shelf fiction where it belongs. Pick up books of reason and humanism and the world will be a much better place.

    • Go_Irish_Go

      Congrats, your comment is ridiculous and ludicrous.