Recently I wrote a deductive argument for Jonathan McLatchie’s webinar, the Apologetics Academy which hosted a Mormon, Jaxon Washburn on the topic “Why I am a Mormon”.
During the Q&A I engaged Jaxon and put forth the deductive argument, which he could not give an answer to, and so he sent the argument to Robert Boylan, who mustered up some sort of a laughable response (1). In this article I will only address the first 7 paragraphs of his article, as his rant about concluding the Trinity from OT Titles is totally irrelevant to the argument which I presented and am defending.(2)
My argument goes like this:
1.Jesus is the only Sovereign and Lord of Christians (Jude 1:4)
2.Jesus and the Father are separate beings
3.Since Father and the Son are not the same being if one is characterised as only in a category,
the other one cannot be included into it
4.If above premises are true, Father cannot be our only Sovereign and Lord
5.If father is not our Sovereign and Lord he could not possibly be our God
6.Therefore either premise 2. is false or Father is not God!
Robert, the awesomely learned apologist he is, after presenting my argument states:
” Firstly, why stop at separate beings; this “logic” can also work for Modalism–just replace “beings” with “persons” in no. 2.”
I am not here to teach ignorant Mormon self-proclaimed apologists about other Heretical doctrines, but doesn’t he know that in Modalism there exists only 1 person, shown in 3 modes? And that if you did as Robert suggests a Modalist would wreck the argument by pointing out that Father and the Son are not separate persons? Ah, fun it is dealing with these people.
If however, he means this in a sense that Modalists could use the argument Against the Trinity, that is false (Premise 3) since them not being the same person, does not change the fact that they are the same being, meaning 4,5 & 6 do not follow.
But it gets worse, quite a lot worse.
He goes on to state:
“Using such “logic,” Jesus and Moses are the same “being.” Jesus is referred to as being the only μεσίτης (mediator) in 1 Tim 2:5, and yet, Paul uses the term for Moses in Gal 3:19. Now, one may claim that μονος (only) is not used in 1 Tim 2:5, this is not a perfect parallel, but the number εἷς meaning “one” is used in this text, and I doubt that the Trinitarian apologist who would use such an argument will hold that there are other mediators with Jesus, even “co-mediators” a la Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theology.”
Fun begins, during the talk I had with Jaxon I specified what μόνον refers to, namely that μόνον is in a sense, modified by ἡμῶν.
This is exactly the same thing I stated to Mr. Dale Tuggy in a similar argument I made for our Unitarian friends,the same gentleman Robert mentions in the irrelevant part of the article.
Why is this significant? Being only one in a category has to be meant in a certain sense. If I am at home and I say “This is the only beer” I am not excluding the existence of other kinds of beer, rather I am stating that at my home, this is the only kind of beer. Well since μόνον is modified by ἡμῶν the sense in which Jesus is the only Sovereign and Lord is in the sense that he is the only Sovereign and Lord of Christians (hemon, of us). This is further exemplified if our Mormon friends read 1 Cor. 8:5-6, there are many Lords and Gods, but only one for Christians.
But in what sense is Jesus, the mediator between God and Man? And in what Moses? Moses in the sense of the one who is entrusted with the Law (Gal. 3:19) but Jesus, as the Savior of Mankind. (1 Tim. 2:6) So then, Jesus being the one mediator,between God and Man, does not exclude Moses from being the mediator of the Law.
How does this, then help my argument? Well, we have just knocked down his ridiculous rant, by pointing out different senses in which they are mediators.
But the sense in which Jesus is Sovereign and Lord is quite different, he is the ONLY Sovereign and Lord of Christians. So if the modifier is “of Christians” where does the Father fit if they are separate beings? He simply does not. Yet if they are the same being, but distinct persons, Father is still our only Sovereign and Lord as the Son is the same being that the Father is.
Our Mormon friend then goes on to make fun of my argument by rewriting it in a way that he states is a “parody”:
1.Jesus is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5)
2.Jesus and the Moses are separate beings
3.Since Moses and Jesus are not the same being if one is characterised as only in a category,
the other one cannot be included into it
4.If above premises are true, Jesus is not the only mediator
5.If Jesus is not the only mediator, then (the author does not say what here, but we will assume it is the same as my argument)
6.Therefore either premise 2 is false and Moses and Jesus are indeed the same “being” or the Jesus is not the only mediator between God and man!
Could they make my job any easier? Unlike them tho, I will refute the argument in a way logical deductions are to be refuted if false, that is, by destroying one of the premises.
The argument falls at premise 3.
Premise 3 is false in that Moses and Jesus are stated as mediators in different categories, one a mediator between God and Man, as a Savior and another a mediator in a sense of being entrusted with the Law.
Contrast this with my premise 3, which clearly stands, as Father and the Son have to be Sovereign and Lord of the same category, that is “of Christians”.
Thus the argument he makes falls.
Paragraph No.7, the last one I will address, states this:
” It also works from the inane approach that any title and/or function predicated upon Jesus ipso facto can be predicated upon the person of the Father (as well as the person of the Holy Spirit), and yet we know there are titles and functions predicated singularly upon Jesus that are not, and cannot be said of, the Father and Spirit. Jesus is the only Lamb of God who remits our sins, for example (John 1:29). But as the “being” of the Son is shared by the Father and the Spirit, the Trinitarian apologist, if he were consistent, would have to argue that the Father and Spirit were slain for the sins of the world, too.”
Here a Mormon friend of ours displays his qualities of understanding the Trinitarian doctrine as ones resembling the Muslim understanding.
If the Father and the Son are the same being, the individual persons can share attributes or titles (all powerful, Lord etc.). However can≠must as they are individual persons.
To put Robert’s argument in a deductive form, one I like dealing with the best, and one that puts the argument forth in a most fair way, here is how his argument would look in a deductive form.
1.Jesus and the Father are the same being
2.Jesus is the “Lamb of God”
3.Therefore, the Father must be the “Lamb of God”
The argument is obviously false at premise 3, since the “is” used in premise 2, by Trinitarians is the “is of predication”,that means that Jesus’ person, has the attribute of being the Lamb of God, not “is of identity”, that his being is the Lamb of God. Thus Jesus being the Lamb of God in the sense of prediction,does not equate him being the Lamb of God in the sense of identity, which renders the whole argument useless as Law of Identity, does not apply to statements of predication, meaning that the Father does not need to be the Lamb of God.
Next time Robert, try to be a bit more careful and pick less solid arguments from other people, Logical Charlatanism does not work with me.
(2) – From ” Furthermore, it does smack of the whole “the NT uses a title/function of Jesus that is a title/function of God in the OT, ergo, Trinity!” nonsense one often finds.” paragraph onwards.