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This is the thirteenth post in a moderated debate between Biblical Unitarian Danny Dixon and Trinitarian Marc Taylor. A complete list of posts can be accessed here.

This debate has turned out to be an entirely different thing that what I had expected. I have debated Marc before, so it was not so much that I would have expected his arguments to be radically different, substantially, than what occurred in the first discussion. I was not, back in June to October of 2006 as focused on his methodology of debate. And I should probably say that he did not, at that time, follow the approach he has taken in this contest—at least not to the degree to which he has done so in the present discussion. I’ll say more on that momentarily.

I think in review, Marc has never adequately met the argument presented on the basis of John 5:26; 6:57 that Jesus’ life is an existence, from the beginning, that was derived from the Father who gave it to him. In trying to argue that Jesus is omnipotent and omniscient Marc has dodged the issue that anyone who gets his abilities from someone else is not the one who is Almighty. Not only is all authority something Jesus receives from the Father, that very fact demonstrates that for at least some period of time, Jesus was a lesser-in-rank entity. Of course closely related is Marc’s belief that Jesus is eternally begotten—an illogical statement that cannot make sense in the human language. Begottenness is a point-in-time reality. Jesus is begotten and therefore had a beginning.

Nor ought we to forget that whatever power Jesus had, manifested in his abilities on the earth as well as in his ability to receive and to answer the prayers of his disciples (John 14:14) are things he has been given the power of God to accomplish. Therefore such things are neither impossible nor to be unexpected of a glorified and gifted individual as was Jesus. The Greek language is even capable of sustaining the concept of someone, a human, receiving worship as depicted in the word latreuo (Adam, as recognized in the early Jewish-Christian literature); and a question designed to make nonsensical the idea of Adam receiving worship is shown to be contradictory when Marc will readily admit that the word is used of pagan deities. And when one considers that it is perfectly logical to explain that one God authorizes to be worshipped may receive such glory at his bidding (John 5:23).

Jesus had deity before his coming to earth in Mary’s womb, but God was pleased to give it to him again after the resurrection. And I can say confidently that my Lord (Adoni) Jesus the Messiah is reigning and will reign, seated at God’s right hand until his enemies are made his footstool. But his present seat beside God is not an arrangement extending into eternity past. Marc’s Angel of the Yahweh as being Yahweh was logically challenged by even respected Trinitarian scholars. Not to mention that Jesus’ claims not at all to be God as his opponents thought he was doing; he was, historically speaking, sentenced to death, most likely, for insulting hardened leaders at his trial.
And let us not forget John 1:1-2, not only that the passage teaches that Jesus was personally involved in creation, but that the entity, the Logos was with God (The Son was with the Father) and the Logos was divine. The reader will have to judge how well scholars are represented as they re-read this debate. Indeed this whole debate, as I mentioned above, has a marked aspect of how one looks at scholarship. Rather than argue points, Marc has merely parroted scholars. But I’ve demonstrated that scholars can be quoted in support of opposite traditions.

This leads to a crucial point, how will the reader judge Marc and Danny as regards argumentation. I shan’t assume reader- assessment, but I, again, will ask the readers of this debate to watch for fair treatment of texts both in respect to Greek-English scholarship. But please keep in mind that it is not one’s ability to demonstrate the reality.

I have no knowledge of how long comments can go on. If they can continue, I hope scholar-readers here will prayerfully seek truth as they read.

Blessings on opportunities Marc has in his teaching English in the Philippines, that he may have open doors to point men and women to God.

It will be interesting to see if others will take up some of Marc’s challenges to debate related matters. Until then Peace to all!

Danny André Dixon

One Response to “Danny’s Concluding Statement (7a)”

  1. on 10 Jan 2012 at 12:31 amDanny Dixon

    Marc asked in this debate who I would name as recognized biblical scholars who question the deity of Christ. I didn’t really respond in the debate.

    I could have mentioned James D.G.Dunn in his work “Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?” This is from the last paragraph of the book:

    “So our central question can indeed be answered negatively, and perhaps it should be. But not if the result is a far less adequate worship of God. For the worship that really constitutes Christianity and forms its distinctive contribution to the dialogue of the religions, is the worship of God as enabled by Jesus, the worship of God as revealed in and through Jesus. Christianity remains a monotheistic faith. The only one to be worshipped is the one God. But how can Christians fail to honor the one through whom it believes the only God has most fully revealed himself, the one through whom the only God has come closest to the condition of humankind? Jesus cannot fail to feature in their worship, their hymns of praise, their petitions to God. But such worship is always, should always be offered to the glory of God the Father. Such worship is always, should always be offered in the recognition that God is all in all, and that the majesty of the Lord Jesus in the end of the day expresses and affirms the majesty of the one God more clearly than anything else in the world.”

    On my shelf I have at least these other writings by Dunn:

    1. Word Biblical Commentaries 38a and 38b on Romans.

    2. Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into th eOrigins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation.

    3. Theology of Paul the Apostle

    Many recognize James D.G. Dunn as one of the primier experts in New Testament interpretation. Not that I think this will matter much to Marc. I know he can cite premier New Testament scholars who say that Jesus was worshipped as God. I’m thinking that, should I debate Marc again, and we’ve already tried it twice, the topic should be “HOW are we to know whether Jesus is God or a begotten-in-time entity who leads us most perfectly into the worship of God?”

    Grace and Peace,
    Danny Andre’ Dixon

  

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