Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Against Modalism 8: The Eternal Son 3

1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

Here again we see Jesus Christ described as the one through whom are all things and yet He is described as distinct from the Father, so again His pre-existence is affirmed.

‘Ah, but what about “one God, the Father”?’ say the Modalists. Fair point, but given the evidence against the Modalist position, can it really be affirming their position?

The reality is that this statement says too much. Modalists come in various shapes and sizes (modes?). For those who believe that there is one Divine Person who is manifested in different forms, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there is a problem. If God is restricted to “the Father” in this sense, then God must be restricted to the Father mode, i.e. there can be no God the Son mode, nor any God the Holy Spirit mode.

Even for other Modalists, a similar issue exists: whatever way you try to use a “God = The Father” as opposed to “God = The Son” or “God = The Holy Spirit”, you’re still placing a restriction that destroys your ‘Oneness’ theology.

So what does “one God, the Father” mean? The word Father in relation to God is used in various senses: one is the Divine Person who bears a relation of Father to the Divine Person called the Son; another is of God as the Father of His adopted children (believers); and lastly, God as ultimate progenitor of all things, or God as Creator.

In this last sense, God is described in this passage as Father, or ultimate progenitor. He is the one ”of whom are all things”. This is especially relevant to the pagans in the preceding verses, who generally conceived of an Ultimate ‘One’ who is Father, or Source, of all (Acts 17:28,29), including the multitude of so-called gods; yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him. There are no other ‘gods’.

To those who use this verse to deny the deity of Christ, they should consider these verses as a sample: Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13; 2 Thess. 1:12; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20.

Again, lest my main point be lost in answering the objection, here we see Jesus Christ described as the one through whom are all things and yet He is described as distinct from the Father, so again His pre-existence is affirmed.

Continued...

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Polycarp said...

Timothy,

I posted a response.

Can I ask you to define distinction and separation, and both of these in relation to the Trinity? As I have said, I have dealt with a variety of Trinitarians. I am just trying to understand yours more. You are welcome to email me if you wish. - Joel

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:21:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

Joel,

Certainly. I'll try and answer this query tomorrow. I think that I represent historical Trinitarianism as stated in the Ancient Creeds and Protestant Confessions.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:39:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

See new post.

Friday, April 25, 2008 7:44:00 am  

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