Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Arguments against the Trinity, part 2

Argument from Jesus' subordination: "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28; see also 1 Corinthians 15:20-28). This argument is meant to show that Jesus is not coequal with the Father, and is therefore not God. Remember that according to the Trinity, the Father and the Son are coequal and coeternal, because they are the same being. If it can be shown that they are not coequal, that argument alone would refute the Trinity.

Answer: This argument equivocates on the word "equal." That is, it shows that the Father and the Son are not equal in one sense in order to prove that they are not equal in some other sense. According to the doctrine of the Trinity, the Father and the Son are equal in the ontological sense. That is, they are equal in nature, being, value, etc. But all John 14:28 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 show is that Jesus is not equal with the Father in a functional sense.

To clarify what I mean by this distinction, let's look at 1 Corinthians 11:3, which says, "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ." In this passage, God is the head of Christ in the same sense that the man is the head of a woman. Headship is a function of a relationship between two persons. One is the head of the other. But clearly, men are not superior beings than women. Ontologically speaking, men and women are equal. They have the same nature and value, and they are equal heirs of eternal life. Men and women are ontologically equal, because they are the same kind of being--human. The same holds true for God and Christ. God is the head of Christ in a functional sense, but ontologically, they are equal. They are both God.

Another analogy is that between the President and Vice President. The President is greater than the Vice President in terms of their office, authority, etc. Ontologically, however, they are equal, because they are both human beings.

to be continued... Against the Trinity, part 3


At 10/17/2011 8:37 PM , Blogger Richard W 4Christ said...

Well we see throughout the New Testament that God the Father is Jesus's God. Is there any scriptures that says that Jesus Christ is the God of The Father Jehovah? Has the Father ever said that Jesus is His God? I'm asking this since we are talking about equality of the two. Jesus says the Father is greater than He is. Is there a time where God the Father says that Jesus is greater than He is? God the Father gave Jesus authority. Was there ever a time that Jesus gave his Father authority? Just asking us to clarify this equality thing?

At 10/17/2011 8:43 PM , Blogger Sam said...

Richard, the Father did not humble himself by taking on the form of a servant the way Christ did, so we shouldn't expect the reversals that you're asking about. The Bible doesn't even address those questions.

At 2/11/2013 12:23 AM , Anonymous B. P. Burnett said...

Richard's comment presupposes that the eternal Son of God could not choose to take into himself a perfect human nature and live in such a way as to fulfil the law in our stead whilst also acting as an example for us.


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