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Featured The Unitarian Problem

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Redemptionsong, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    They would very likely say “Jesus,” like every other believer.
     
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  2. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    The big issue that divides Unitarians from Trinitarians is the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    IMO, if Christ is not God in the flesh then he is not worthy to be followed or served. If he is worthy to be followed, served and worshipped then he is 'my God'.

    I do not believe one can go to the Father except through the truth of the Son.

    It is also the case, scripturally, that Jesus Christ came to divide the sheep from the goats. To claim that all will find salvation in Christ, and not know the judgment of God, is false teaching IMO. It might sound nice to those who refuse to acknowledge their sin, but it's a false hope.
     
  3. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    Then is Jesus Christ not worthy to be served as our God?

    How does a believer receive the Holy Spirit if not through Jesus Christ?
     
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    The orthodox belief has always been that the holy spirit emanates from God.
    The whole issue of the filioque added to the Creed, and the split with the Catholics
    was caused by this.

    I would suggest that the Holy spirit is always with us from birth. Christian or not, acknowledged or not.
    It is the acknowledgement of the Holy Spirit and the acceptance of the teachings of Jesus that makes us Christian.

    Salvation Theology is not at all universally accepted.
     
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  5. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    The Holy Spirit does emanate from God; it comes from the Father, through the Son. That's why we must go to the one who has been given the authority to baptise with the Holy Spirit.

    Rather than talking theology, let's talk scripture. People must be persuaded by the Word of God. Where in scripture do you get the idea that the Holy Spirit is with us from birth?
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    That would depend on the specific belief of the Unitarian.
     
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Of course you can believe what you like. But that does not square with any Unitarian belief that I know of.
    I would suggest that the Holy Spirit has been with God since Creation. I do not accept that Jesus is God, as do not believe in the Trinity. Prior to the formulation of the Creed nor did many others. It is a later rationalisation, not found in the teachings of Jesus.
     
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  8. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    The real question is whether or not Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour. To be Lord and Saviour, he must be of God. This makes him worthy of our worship and service.
     
    #168 Redemptionsong, Dec 27, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Why would you suppose that a Unitarian would think that Jesus was a lord and Saviour. They may agree that Jesus was in some way the son of God, but more likely simply a son of God. Mostly they do not follow salvation theology at all.
     
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  10. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    My issue is with those Unitarians that accept the scriptures (the Christian Bible) as the Word of God.

    Do you?
     
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    The Bible contains many truths . But has many authors some of whome have brought us the only known teachings of Jesus to come down to us.
    It also contains errors and inconsistencies as do all writings. While the authors might have been inspired by God to write down what they had gathered and understood to be the truth, it is unlikely to be any more accurate than any other writings.

    I wonder which version of the Bible you consider to be the word of God, and which books you include. Perhaps you only consider the comon western lexicon be true. And disregard the various and older eastern churches selections of books.
     
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  12. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the Bible confirms the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit confirms the Bible. I don't see the errors and inconsistencies that you see in the received Hebrew and Greek texts!

    As an English speaker, I personally like to read from the AV/KJV, but I'm fully aware that mistakes have been made by translators. The key, however, is that the KJV has been around for over 400 years and has been studied in minute detail by thousands of scholars attempting to ascertain an accurate meaning for each passage. The result of this diligent work is to be found in explanatory notes, dictionaries, concordances and the like; but the fruit is also found in the millions of people who have come to recognise Jesus Christ as Saviour through the words of scripture (using the KJV, and a whole number of other versions).

    I no longer consider myself a person seeking after the truth. I believe that I have received the truth by faith. If I walk by the Spirit of Christ, then I walk in truth. If I walk by the flesh, I walk in sin.
     
  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I too read the KJV or the NRSV which is authorised by most protestant and catholic Churches.
    However I have not read the Bibles of the Orthodox churches, including the Coptic, Syrian or Ethiopian Churches which all predate ours and contain a different set of Books.

    I am also impressed with the Didache(Text, Translation, Analysis and commentary` by Aaron Milavec ) which covers the teaching of the new Christianity to the very early Judeo-Christian communities within the lifetime of those that witnessed Christs death. They were totally unaware of the later Trinity teachings or of the Salvation doctrine, Nor did they yet see Jesus as God. a concept that was still way in the future. as was any form of the Bible. though some of the letters and writings were written but not yet disseminated. the only texts available were the Jewish scrolls.
     
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  14. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    The Bible lacks evidence outside the Bible for provenance and authorship. The Pentateuch and the Tanakh or called the OT in traditional Christianity was compiled and edited some time after about ~800-700 BCE. The New Testament is compiled, edited and redacted between 100 and 400 AD with absolutely no evidence of earlier scripture, though there is evidence of an earlier simpler gospel, some call Q.

    Written by apologists in circular reasoning that the text of the Bible justifies the text of the Bible.

    The Bible lacks evidence outside the Bible for provenance and authorship. The Pentateuch and the Tanakh or called the OT in traditional Christianity was compiled and edited some time after about ~800-700 BCE. The New Testament is compiled, edited and redacted between 100 and 400 AD with absolutely no evidence of earlier scripture, though there is evidence of an earlier simpler gospel, some call Q.

    There is overwhelming scientific and historical evidence that Genesis is not a literal historical argument with Moses as author of most of it, and it cannot be literal history of Creation in any variation, and it is evolved text going back to Sumerian and Babylonian texts.

    Interpretation is the biggest deal, and yours is on of thousands of conflicting and diverse interpretations.
     
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  15. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    I agree that there are a number of books and manuscripts that have survived destruction that add to our understanding of both God and the world. But I contend that God Himself has determined which should be granted special status as the canon of scripture. Only these can be relied upon as His inspired, and inerrant, Word. Additionally, it is only through his chosen people has this Word has been revealed.

    If we focus on the received Hebrew and Greek text, we have a body of material that was revealed over a period of about 1500 years. To have such an ancient body of prophecy is, in itself, a remarkable story of survival. Additionally, we have a history of Israel woven into the fabric of the text, open to critical analysis from historians, archaeologists and others. Then we have the words of prophecy, some of which has already been fulfilled, whilst other parts still await fulfilment.

    IMO, one of the reasons that only certain books were chosen as scripture is that they form a peculiar part of a composite design. Each book appears to contain some reference that links it to another prophecy of scripture, such that foundational truths are repeated time and again. The books of Moses contain in shadow all that is later made manifest in the Prophets and Writings, and these, in turn, find fulfilment in Christ and the Church.

    Jesus said 'scripture cannot be broken', and to doubt scripture is also to doubt Christ. He was speaking about the Hebrew Scriptures, but we must also acknowledge that if the Tanakh points to Christ, then his choice of apostles leads us to the writings of the New Testament.

    Later theology, and terms such as 'trinity', are only used to explain to others what is understood when all of scripture is viewed retrospectively. There is a sense in which the Father predominates in the OT, the Son in the Gospels, and the Holy Spirit in the epistles. This is the overview gained from scripture, once complete. The redemptive plan can finally be seen in all its glory. God, who stood above his creation, has entered into the world to redeem his people, because his people are incapable of saving themselves.

    My issue with those who deny the deity of Christ, yet accept the Bible, is that they contradict, I believe, one of the most fundamental truths of scripture.
     
    #175 Redemptionsong, Dec 28, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  16. TrueBeliever37

    TrueBeliever37 Well-Known Member

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    The reason I know being born of the water is not referring to a natural birth is:

    Our Saviour said you must be born of the water and of the Spirit to enter the kingdom.

    Then the man given the keys to the kingdom (Peter) said to be baptized in the name for the remission of sins, and then you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NOTICE how it lines up with what our Saviour said. Both baptisms are involved to get into the kingdom.)

    In the book of Acts when there is a conversion, both are involved, as the following examples show.

    Acts 10: 43-48 Notice - You have water baptism here, and they received the Holy Spirit. If it was just an outward sign as you say, why were they commanded to be baptized after they had received the Holy Spirit?

    Acts 8:12 They believed and were baptized. (born of the water) Acts 8:14-17 The Apostles heard they had received the word, and sent Peter and John to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. They received the Holy Spirit in verse 17. (born of the Spirit) Notice once again - both baptisms involved.

    Acts 19:1-7 Here is an example of some that had been baptized unto John's baptism. When Paul found out they didn't understand about receiving the Holy Spirit. He explained things to them, and they were baptized again, this time in the name, for the remission of sins. Then they received the Holy Spirit in verse 6. (Notice once again how both water baptism, and baptism of the Spirit were involved.) If water baptism is just an outward sign as you say, why did they get baptized again a second time? After all, they were already believing disciples according to Acts 19:1-2


    As far as the Godhead. If you believe in the Trinity - you are believing in more than one God. Because Trinitarianism is a belief in 3 separate distinct persons that are each God. (That makes 3 Gods - which is too many)

    God is a Spirit - not 3 persons. The Holy Spirit is the Father, not another person.
     
    #176 TrueBeliever37, Dec 28, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  17. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    The Bible is a sealed and complete work, and this makes it all the more wonderful. It's only when thieves attempt to break into it with false claims that the importance of this circularity of truth becomes evident. Muhammad cannot be found in the Bible, nor can Baha'u'llah, because the scriptures are all linked, and together make a panoramic tapestry of great beauty and intricacy. They were formed by a God-breathed Word, and they are only fully understood by the Spirit of Christ.
     
  18. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    What do you think it means to be 'born of the water'?

    As regards the 'trinity', there are a number of variations on the theme. What they have in common is a belief in one God.

    The main point of difference between 'Unitarian Christians' and 'Trinitarian Christians' concerns the deity of Christ. Or, to word it differently, they disagree as to whether Jesus Christ is worthy of worship. Do you believe Jesus Christ is worthy of worship?

    And do you believe that God the Father is within you?
     
  19. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Absolutely no extra Biblical evidence to support this at the time it is claimed they were written. In fact the evidence has determined that it was compiled, edited and redacted without known authors nor original authored texts for most books.

    The Bible is also geocentric as referred to in many citations and believed for the early Christian history history until astronomical evidence in the 17th century became undeniably overwhelming. Can you provide an early Christian reference that referred to sun centered solar system?
     
    #179 shunyadragon, Dec 28, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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  20. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    The fact that men compiled the books does not detract from the divine authorship of the Bible. Men can be inspired in their studies as much as in their prophecy.

    In response to the second criticism, I would say that the Bible intentionally gives the earthly perspective. Nowhere are these biblical statements contrary to the idea of a sun-centred solar system. The scriptures give a human view, as one would see out of a window; the sun rises, and the sun goes down. The scriptures do not say that the sun circles the earth.
     
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