Did we listen to Gabriel? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
In this chapter, Buzzard bases his case largely on Luke 1:35. If we had listened to that verse, the Trinitarian debates would have never happened. Color me skeptical again. Let’s dive in and see what it says.
At the start, one new remark he has first goes to Luke 24 where the disciples on the road to Emmaus talk about Jesus as a man. Jesus is seen as a New Moses. Okay. What’s the problem? A Trinitarian can agree. We can say that of all the figures in the Old Testament, Jesus was the fulfillment Par Excellence!
He says that in the start that Luke is writing to Theophilus. It is then unthinkable that Luke would have written something believing in a preexistent Son and making it impossible for his readers to understand that. The problem with saying X is unthinkable is that a lot of people have thought that Luke was writing about a preexistent Son.
Imagine if I decided to go to John 1:1 and say “It is unthinkable that anyone can walk away from this verse without holding that Jesus is fully God in nature.”
Does that sound powerful to you? Nope. Good. It shouldn’t.
Yet it’s one of Buzzard’s most common techniques.
Buzzard says that the word “beget” means to bring into existence. No argument is given for this claim. It is just asserted. The word simply means born and it can refer to the new birth in Christ in John 3.
One of Buzzard’s favorite passages to go to is Psalm 2:7. “You are my Son. Today, I have begotten you.” This is not about the birth of a child, but about the coronation of the king. It is not at all saying that that day, the son was born. That day, the son was in a sense adopted into royalty as the new king of Israel.
Unfortunately, this is another one of Buzzard’s common argument techniques. Say what he thinks the word means or what the text is interpreted as and that ends it.
He goes to another text, Titus 2:13, later on, that he reads as being translated as the glorious appearing of our great God and our savior Jesus Christ. No word mentioned of when God is supposed to appear. Nothing about the Granville Sharpe rule at all on this passage. Then he just says that this text can’t be used to defend the deity of Christ because translations differ and Greek ambiguity.
Hear that?! Buzzard wants to debate and he wants to tell you what you are not allowed to use. If there is any question on what the Greek means or if translations differ, throw it out!
Unless, of course, that verse is used to argue AGAINST the Trinity and then it’s all good.
He also says that He claimed always to be the Messiah, but wait. Why is it then that at very few places do we have Him saying “I am the Messiah.” He told it to the woman at the well and He said it when He was put under oath on trial. You don’t have Jesus walking all over Israel stopping at every meeting and saying “I am the Messiah!”
Buzzard has a weird definition of always.
He then goes after the term pre-existing as if to say He existed before He existed. He tells us to try to make sense of it. Explain it to your friends.
Okay. I think I’ll take a shot!
It means that Jesus existed in some sense before He existed in the incarnation.
Wow. That was sure difficult! I can’t believe no one in church history ever thought of that before!
Oh wait. They did.
He then says that a problem cannot be avoided. How can there be someone who is God on Earth while there is someone who is God in Heaven? The one on Earth also has a human body that the one in Heaven does not. How do you distinguish between the God who became man and the God who did not without destroying the unity of God?
Oh, wow. Now that’s a stumper! Let me try again!
First off, it’s not that there’s one God in Heaven and one God on Earth. We are not tritheists no matter how much he wants to make us tritheists.
Second, we can distinguish the persons then by saying one became incarnate and one didn’t. We can also say one begets and one is begotten.
Third, they are unified by having the same nature.
Folks. I am just in awe here because I can’t help but be thrilled at the amazing insights I have here that no one in church history….what? You’re saying that this has been official Christian doctrine from the church fathers on?
Oh. Yeah. I guess Buzzard didn’t know.
I also don’t expect all of Christology to be contained in Luke 1:35. We did listen to Gabriel. We also listened to everyone else.
About the only one not worth listening to is Buzzard.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)