Did we lose the teaching of Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I’ve already addressed John 10:36. Now it’s time to deal with John 5:19 which Buzzard uses in two paragraphs and these paragraphs are one right after the other. In this verse, Jesus says He can do nothing of Himself unless it is something He sees His Father doing. Absent from this is how the verse before the author says that Jesus is making Himself equal to God in His claims.
What would Buzzard think Jesus should say otherwise? “I don’t watch the Father do anything! I do what I want!” Of course not! If anything, this is showing a strong unity. The only actions Jesus does is what He sees the Father doing. This is also in reference to healing and doing “work” on the Sabbath, since obviously the Father never walked on Earth and healed on the Sabbath.
Buzzard again also says how easy it would be for Jesus to say “I am God, the second person of the triune Godhead.” Many times, Buzzard seems to indicate He knows why Jesus would not say this, and yet still dishes out the argument. Either he is forgetting what he said in those other places, or he is just being dishonest. You choose. At any rate, this would not have cleared things up. It would have made them more confusing instead!
He also says no Israelite could have remotely imagined reading the Scriptures that the Son of David would have been a member of the Godhead come down in human form. Quite likely! Nor could they have imagined that He would die on a cross for the sins of the world and be raised bodily in the middle of space and time. If Buzzard wants to go this route then, he should cease claiming those events are true as well. However, this argument works when it’s the doctrines Buzzard doesn’t believe in. Convenient, isn’t it?
He also says, another line used repeatedly, that to be the Son of God, you have to be a being who is not God. Very well. Then to be the Son of Man, you have to be a being who is not….oh wait. There’s a problem there. Unfortunately, it’s one Buzzard never brings up. His argument only works if God is unipersonal, which is the very claim under question.
He also says that believing in a being who is God on Earth and a being who is God in Heaven is a problem. Isn’t this two gods? Again, this is still the same assumption of unipersonalism. If this is a problem, what is going on in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:24?
Look it up. You have the name in there twice. The Lord rains down fire and brimstone from the Lord out of Heaven. We are also justified in believing there is still a figure on Earth called the Lord since He was just conversing with Abraham in the prior chapter. (Also noteworthy there were three people who came, but Abraham is said to talk to “the Lord.”)
In looking at the Reformers and the Trinity, Buzzard says they emphasized Paul over Jesus. Even if that is so, does this somehow change the argument? Does Buzzard not think that Paul and Jesus agree? His argument only works if one disagrees with the other.
He talks about Jacob’s wrestling with the angel in Genesis which he says is not repeated in the New Testament. Correct. And? What has that to do with the price of tea in China. He says that the text says Jacob was wrestling with a man, but when Justin Martyr dialogued with Trypho the Jew, who seems stunned by the argument. Go through and read the dialogue some time, Buzzard. Trypho objects to a lot of arguments you would agree to as well. Still, if you go back to Genesis, what does Jacob say? He saw the face of God and lived and he is told by the man “That he has struggled with man and God and prevailed.”
Oh, no. I have no idea where Justin could have got this crazy interpretation he holds! Maybe he just read the text or something?!
Let’s also deal with this argument that God never dies and thus needs to be resurrected. Okay. What does it mean to die? Did Jesus cease to exist? If so, then we have a problem in Col. 1 since it says by Him, all things hold together. If Jesus holds everything together and He ceases to exist….I think you know what happens.
Instead, what if dying just means the soul of Jesus was separated from the body of Jesus? Many Christians think that’s what happens to them when they die, rightly or wrongly. It is a perfectly sensible idea and deals with the problem.
He also says Jesus never demanded worship as God. True enough. However, he also never denied it when it was given Him. He also says Jesus is to be honored in the highest sense, short of making Him equal to God, but Jesus Himself says in John 5:23 that Jesus must be honored just as the Father is honored.
Buzzard also considers the reply of Jesus to the rich young ruler that “No one is good but God alone!” Okay. Buzzard agrees that Jesus is a sinless human being in this chapter. Is a sinless human being not good? Even Adam was said to be good before the Fall. Did he have something Jesus never had? Does Buzzard want to say Jesus is not good?
But wait, if Jesus is good, and no one is good but God alone, then Jesus is…
Does Buzzard want to go there? Does he want to say Jesus isn’t good to defend his position? It seems he has to.
There is a statement also of what it would mean if the three persons took upon themselves a human nature. Yes. That is what he says. No, Buzzard. That did not happen. Only one person took on a human nature. He also sees Galatians 4:4 as saying Jesus came into existence through a woman. We’ll deal more with preexistence later on.
He says the point of the Messiah is he needs to be a Son of David. He can’t be a non-human creature. Good. We agree. The problem? Does he not realize that all Trinitarians say Jesus was fully human?
Reading Buzzard, you sometimes wonder if he really knows what he’s arguing against.
We’ll continue next time.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)