We’re going through the New Testament looking for understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. We’ve been looking at the prologue of John and right now, we’re on the third verse. This prologue is crucial for us to study in that John writes in a poetic detail as it were on the awesomeness of who Christ and ties it back to the creation. As I said earlier, we are looking at the third verse which is as follows:
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Yesterday, I made the statement that John will often repeat things in either a synonymous form with different words, or he will repeat the same point in a negative format. Last night, we saw one of the cases where he gives a synonymous case with different words and for tonight’s blog, we have the opposite.
Greg Koukl has an argument based on this verse that he calls “The deity of Christ: Case closed.” I would love to have a link up to the site, but at the moment, it seems to be down so I am unable to provide a direct link. I recommend that those who are interested go to STR.org from my links here and do a search for the article.
Koukl contends that this is the verse to go to in this prologue because if we go to John 1:1, we will simply wind up debating John 1:1 and whether it should be “God” or “a god” and most of us don’t know Greek well enough and so we will simply be arguing based on what we have heard. Now if you’re a Greek scholar and you can argue such, do so. More power to you.
I happen to agree with Koukl, however, and in fact have used this argument against Mormons as well in arguing for the identity of Christ. The verse states that all things were made by the Word. It then states the negative that without the Word, nothing was made that has been made. Simply put, if something was made, it was brought into being through the Word.
So what I did with the Mormons in using this argument was to take a sheet of paper and draw a line down it and put on one side “made” and the other “not made.” I thien asked that they tell me things that go into the made category.
I was told all manner of things from creation and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to go. Whether your inquirer names the universe itself or a number of things in the universe, put it down. My caution would be to avoid absolutes that are of the nature of God such as beauty, truth, logic, morality, etc.
We then have left the category of things not made and in that the Mormons put God. (Although I would say that in Mormonism god is a created being.) For the Christian theist, this would also include all attributes that belong to his absolute nature.
Now for the question of Christ. Which category do you put him in? He’s one or the other.
Let’s suppose he belongs in the category of things made. Let’s put that idea into the verse. “Through Jesus, Jesus was made. Without Jesus, Jesus was not made.” Koukl would ask if that makes any sense. If you think it doesn’t, you’re not alone. It’s nonsensical. If it doesn’t make sense to say Jesus was made, we have only one category left.
Conclusion: Jesus was not made and is therefore seen to be somehow in the absolute nature of God. Jesus is an eternal being who has never come into existence at any point in time. We will get more on how this relates to the incarnation in John 1:14 as we do agree that that began at a point in time.
We shall look at the fourth verse tomorrow.