Saturday, April 25, 2015


The Trinitarian form of monotheism defies reasoning and common sense. The creedal codification of the Trinity (the Athanasian Creed) states that the persons of the Trinity are incomprehensible; line 9 of the Creed states: 
The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible.” 
For this reason alone the Trinity is outside biblical tradition. We can make this assertion with confidence because the New Testament is clear that the Godhead is comprehendible  Paul writes that we may know God and His Godhead. He writes that we are without excuse if we do not know Him. Paul assures the believers that we may know Him through the things He has made. The Apostle writes it this way: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: ... ” 

We do recognize a trithi-ness in the Deity. Truly, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One must admit that these are three separate and distinct ... somethings; but not persons. The facts compel us to this conclusion because a person has a recognizable center of intellect, volition, and emotion; therefore persons (plural) would have separate and distinct centers of intellect, volition and emotion.   To say that God has separate and distinct persons is to say that within this group known as God, or within the corporation known as God, or even in this race known as God, or better yet, in this species known as God, there are three persons with three separate and distinct centers of intellect, three separate and distinct centers of volition, and three separate and distinct centers of emotion. This would mandate three separate and distinct gods within the sphere of deity. 

Try as Trinitarians might they cannot get away from the notions of three gods. No matter how they try to escape, no matter how deep a hole they try to hide in, they cannot evade the charge of tritheism. An accusation that Monarchianism lays at the feet of Trinitarian theology is this: Trinitarians pray to and worship three separate and distinct co-equal and co-eternal God-persons; each with their individual centers of intellect, volition, and emotion; and each being fully God without the aid of the other two.  This does violence to the Shema, (Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD.” ) and is the height and depth of blasphemy.

The Trinitarian tells us that each God-person is separate and distinct from the others, and that each is fully God within Himself, without the aid of the other two. So, then, the Trinity has:  One God the Father, plus one God the Son, plus one God the Holy Spirit: 1+1+1. Their mathematical equation for the Godhead is addition: 1+1+1 equals (they want to tell us) 1. Now, that is not the math any of us learned in school. One god, plus one god, plus one god, equals three gods; there is no way to avoid this sum, if the equation is addition. The Trinitarian’s mathematical equation does violence to the Shema.   

One may well ask: “What is the correct mathematical equation for the Godhead.” Well it certainly is not addition. One cannot say that one, plus one, plus one, equals one (1+1+1=1). That would be a lie. But one could, and should, use multiplication. When the One God (who eternally exists as God) multiplied Himself in His Son, He did not add a God-person, but Himself became multiplied. (Himself became Himself in another way.) In this way one times one does not increase the equation. One, times one, times one—still equals one. We have, then,  God the Father (Who is One), Who came to earth and duplicated Himself in flesh as a man; One times One, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Now this God the Father who multiplied Himself as the Son of God, multiplied Himself once again as the Holy Spirit. Did Jesus not say, “It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I do not go away the Comforter will not come?” In John 14 Jesus is recorded as saying that the Spirit of Truth (Himself) that was, then, with the disciples would soon dwell within them as the Comforter? In fact, Jesus said in John 14:18 that He was the Comforter: “I will not leave you comfortless,” Jesus said, “I will come to you.” The Spirit of the Holy Ghost in the lives of the believers is the Spirt of Jesus Christ. So,  we do not have one —plus one—plus one. We have one (God the Father) times one (the Son of God) times one (the Holy Spirit) equals one God: 1x1x1=1.

This, my friend, is true and does no violence to the logic placed within each man by which he is to reason himself to God. “Come! Let us reason together,” the Bible says, “though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow.” 

Beloved, isn’t it great to know the God whom we worship? Is it not a thing wonderful to know that when we bow our knees, we do not bow to three individual persons? We do not pray, as the Trinitarians do, now to the Father, now to the Son, and now to the Holy Spirit. But when we bow, we bow our knee to one Almighty; Who is one—times one—times one—equals one. We pray to one God Almighty who is our Father, is the Son, and lives in our hearts as the Holy Spirit. Permit us to declare with the Modalistic Monarchians throughout history, We believe in, and worship, one God who is the Father in creation, the Son in generation and redemption, and the Holy Spirit in emanation and sanctification. 1x1x1=1!

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can The Deity of Jesus Be Called The Son of God?

Creed Statement #21 of The Apostolic Creed: “Thereby, and because of generation and redemption, re-asonably termed the Son of God.”
This article is an excerpt from my book "Godhead Theology," Look for it at Amazon Books.

John 1:18 “ No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (NASB)
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
The word “Thereby” is in consideration of all that has gone before in this paragraph of the Creed:  1. The manifestation in the flesh of God Almighty; 2. The conception caused by the Holy Spirit; 3. The birth from the virgin Mary; 4. The incarnation of God and man consubstantiated in one person; 5. the name “Jesus” meaning Yahweh Savior; 6. The homo-ousios of Christ to the Father; 7. And the homoi-ousios of Christ with humans.
When we consider Jesus being the Son of God because of His “generation” we have the event of God Himself being birthed into our world through the matrix of a woman’s womb. The Greek New Testament (EN1) renders John 1:18 thusly, “θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε: μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο. Here John calls Jesus “monogenēs theos” English: “only (uniquely) begotten God.”(EN2) In this case it is the Incarnated God that is called the Sonbecause of His having undergone generation. Therefore, in this sense, it is not the humanity of Christ alone that the Scripture designates as the Son, but the God-man as He is in Himself. It is in this sense that the ancient Monarchians viewed the Son of God as God. In this writer’s opinion this definition must be allowed because of the weight of manuscript evidence for John 1:18. To confirm this view one is reminded of the use of the phrase “son of... .” One is said to be the “son of” whatever he exemplifies or manifests. One who dwells in the desert, for example, is said to be a “Son of the Desert.” Also, in this way the brothers James and John were said to be “Sons of Thunder;” and, Joses’ name was changed by the apostles to Barnabas (“Son of Consolation” Acts 4:36). Thus, these persons were understood to be the very nature, character, or essence of what they were the “sons” of. Understanding this helps us comprehend the encounter between Jesus and the Jews in John chapter 10 where Jesus had said that He and the Father were One. The Jews then took up stones to stone Him. Jesus asked them for what good work they were preparing to stone Him. They said clearly, “For no any good work, but because you being a man have made yourself God.” Jesus, in His defense said, “You say I blaspheme because I said, I am the Son of God.” To the Jews, then, Jesus had called Himself God because He said He was the Son of God. As one is the “Son of the Desert”, or “Sons of Thunder”, or the “Son of Consolation,” Jesus was the Son of God. He embodied all that was God the Father (John 10:30ff; 1 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9). This, then, makes Peter’s confession more powerful than we ever knew, when he proclaimed: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16).
 In fairness it should be pointed out, however, that the Textus Receptus(EN3) reads “θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.” This text has John calling Jesus “ho monogenēs huios;” in English “the only (uniquely) begotten Son.”  The Son, it is argued, is limited to His humanity and is inferior to the Father as the term “Son” would imply. I understand that concept, but acknowledge that it does not answer the best Greek manuscript evidence of John 1:18, “θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε: μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο” (“monogenēs theos”) “only (uniquely) begotten God.” Twentieth and twenty-first centuries Oneness adherents have a proclivity to view the Son of God as limited only to the humanity of Christ. This, of course, aids in fielding the queries concerning the differences demonstrated between Jesus as God and Jesus as man.  In a very particular way this is true. However, one can not disallow the God-man concept of the Son in some general manner. The New Testament seems to use the term “Son” in two very different ways: One who embodies and reflects the character, even the very essence of someone or something else; and, one who is the offspring of another. We must depend on the context to sort out the meaning of the term.
Another consideration for the title of “Son” is: “because of ... redemption.” In order to facilitate redemption it was obligatory that the Savior be at once God and man. In this sense He held the position of federal head of both families. The God Jesus is often referred to as the “Son of God,” and the man Jesus as the “Son of Man.” The glory with which Jesus prayed to be glorified (recorded in John 17), was the preordained works of redemption (i.e. His passion, shedding His blood for the redemption of mankind,  and resurrection).(EN4) This, He could only accomplish as the incarnate God-man: the glory of the passion in His humanity, the cutting of the blood covenant by the shedding of blood of both God and man, and the glory of His resurrection in His deity. Jesus told Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, that He was the resurrection and the life;(EN5) Paul wrote that He alone has immortality(EN6). Further, only in the incarnation was the blood of God shed (Acts 20:28). In this sense the Sonship of the God-man is manifest. It, then, is established that the “Sonship” of Jesus Christ embraces both natures of the God-man.

End Notes
1 The designation Novum Testamentum Graece normally refers to the Nestle-Aland editions, named after the scholars who led the critical editing work. The text, edited by the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) is currently in its 28th edition, abbreviated NA28. The Nestle-Aland text is the primary source for most contemporary New Testament translations, although most are translations of the edition that was available at the time of translation. The Nestle-Aland text is also the standard for academic work in New Testament studies.
3 Textus Receptus (Latin: "received text") is the name given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, and most other Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe. The series originated with the first printed Greek New Testament, published in 1516—a work undertaken in Basel by the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus. Although based mainly on late manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type, Erasmus' edition differed markedly from the classic form of that text, and included some missing parts back translated from the Latin Vulgate.
4 John 2:1 8-21 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
5 John 11:21 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
6 1 Tim 6:14-16 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

This article is an excerpt from my book "theology of the Godhead," Look for it at Amazon Books.