Dr. James White – “Why I am a biblical trinitarian”. Published on Sep 7, 2011 by LaneCh . Dr. White has also written a book by the same name: http://j.mp/pOfgN2 and has a website here http://www.aomin.org
Quote from lecture: (7 min mark) “I believe that the reason that Christian people formulated these confessions and creeds in later centuries was to answer questions as to what the completed canon of Scirptures taught. We are forced to believe the trinity when we believe “ALL” of the Bible and “ONLY” the Bible. The only way to not believe the trinity is to reject certain aspects of biblical revelation. That’s why I call myself a biblical trinitarian”.
Some notes: Dr. White lists 3 foundations. Whenever someone objects to the belief in the trinity, they are usually struggling with one or all 3 of these points.:
- Monotheism – there is one true God. There are 3 world monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But Judaism and Islam are unitarian religions. One person, one God. Only Christianity is Trinitarian: One being of God shared by 3 persons. Here are the verses that state that there is one God: Deut 6:4, Deut 4:35, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 45:5-6, and many more texts between Isaiah 40 and 48 of some of the richest theology of God (worth taking the time to go through that), Jeremiah 10:10, here in the transition to verse 11 the text changes form hebrew to Aramaic and God is providing his people with the apologetic in answer to the people that are inviting His people to go into idolatry (min 25); Isaiah 44:24, Psalm 96:5. Just remember: Monotheism speaks to the Being of God, while trinitarianism speaks to the persons of God. The negation of monotheism is polytheism; the negation of trinitarianism (3 persons) is unitarianism (one person). Trinitarianism is NOT the negation of monotheism.
- There are 3 divine persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (they refers to one another as persons). The Bible clearly differentiates between the 3 persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that the Father has eternally existed as a divine person; that the Son likewise has eternally existed as a divine person and that the Spirit has eternally existed as a divine person. These are 3 NT verses that state the eternal preexistence, personhood and deity of the Son: John 1:1-3 and 18, John 17:3-5, Philippians 2:5-7. (min 32). Now, here is a text that throws a curve: John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one”. So does that mean Jesus is the Father? No. Some claim that Jesus is here identifying Himself as the Father. However, Jesus uses the plural form of the verb “we are” instead of the singular “I am”. You cannot translate this “I and the Father ‘IS’ one”. The verb is plural. Hence, “I and the Father (we) ARE one”. If you would read the context, Jesus is demonstrating that the oneness that He has with the Father is a oneness of purpose in bringing about the redemption of God and His people. You think that could be said of a mere creature? This text DOES teach the deity of Christ, but it does so only when it’s understood properly. And it does not say that Jesus and the Father are the same person.
- These 3 divine persons are coequal and coeternal. This is by far the most commonly attacked truth of trinity. Liberal theology denies this truth, groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses specialize in attacking the deity of Christ and the person and deity of the Holy Spirit. Islam, likewise denies that the New Testament teaches this truth. Christians must be prepared to discuss these. Here’s a few things to remember: (1) Without the highest view of Scripture, inspiration, inerrancy, historicity- there is no reason to believe Jesus was God incarnate. Arguing about the deity of Christ and you don’t believe that God has spoken with clarity in the Bible is just foolishness. I mean, it’s just myth vs. myth. WHy would anyone bother? That’s why liberal theologians always abandon these things because they no longer believe that God has actually spoken. (2) Without Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone and Tota Scriptura – All of Scripture- one will never believe in the deity of Christ. In other words, if you’re willing to pick and choose, “I like this text; I don’t like this text”, as long as you’re willing to pick and choose, you can come up with any “Christ” you want.(3) All of what the Bible says about Christ must be taken into consideration. Christians often get stuck in proof texting instead of asking the opponent of orthodoxy to give the same kind of evidence for their own position. Any passage can be taken in the exclusion of others to the detriment of the truth.
Three categories of evidence for the deity of Christ (min 44):
- The use of God in describing Christ. He is called God numerous times in the Bible.
- The identification of Jesus as Yahweh. If Jesus is Yahweh, Jesus is God.
- The ascription of divine attributes and activities to Christ.
Dr. White focuses on category 2 and shows how to debate Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs using 2 texts.(min 46). Hebrews 1:6-12 emphasis to verse 10. John 12 at the end of Jesus’ public ministry, v 39-42. 41 Isaiah said this because he saw His glory and spoke about him. When did Isaiah see Jesus’ glory? This is a citation from Isaiah ch. 6 . Isaiah 6 is Isaiah’s vision of the Lord. v. 10. Do you see what John is saying in John 12, when he says Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and he spoke of Him. If you asked Isaiah, “Isaiah, who did you see in Isaiah ch. 6?” and Isaiah’s response would have been, “Yahweh, Yahweh was sitting upon His throne, lofty and lifted up”. If you asked John, “John, who did Isaiah see?”, John’s answer would be, “Jesus. The one sitting upon the throne is Jesus”. John identifies Jesus as Yahweh.
So, why do I believe in the doctrine of the trinity? Because I believe the Bible. Sure the council of Nicea is important, and all that stuff is important and I am not saying there’s anything wrong with studying all of that, but the reason a Christian is a trinitarian is because the Bible teaches those 3 trinitarian foundational truths.