The Instigator
radz
Pro (for)
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1 Points
The Contender
Weiler
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Arianism: totally refuted based on Scripture

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after 1 vote the winner is...
radz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,738 times Debate No: 38590
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

radz

Pro

Arianism is a teaching about Christ's relationship to the Father as Father and Son in titles and function not in nature.

The Scripture teaches that Christ's relationship to the Father is Father and Son in titles, in function AND in nature.

Let the Arians explain these verses:

Proverbs 8:22-31 LXX
Psalm 45:1 LXX
Psalm 110:3 LXX
John 1:1
John 1:14
John 1:18
John 3:16
John 5:18-19
John 5:23-26
John 8:58
John 10:28-38
John 17:3-5
Colossians 1:15
Revelation 3:14

* This debate is highly recommended for those who are either Arian themselves or for those who are very knowledgeable about Arianism.
Weiler

Con

Your verses from Proverbs and Psalms seem irrelevant to this debate and I will respond if you explain how you feel they support your position.

In John 1:1 - The answer goes back to the Greek. The definite article (the) appears before the first occurrence of theos (God) but not before the second. The articular (when the article appears) construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular anarthrous (without the article) predicate noun before the verb (as the sentence is constructed in Greek) points to a quality about someone. So the text is not saying that the Word (Jesus) was the same as the God with whom he was but, rather, that the Word was godlike, divine, a god.

The remaining articles make no divine claim, and a careful reading of the preceding and following verses reveal Christ speaking of God as someone who has sent him, has given him glory, and has given him power. In some, Christ even says he would have been unable to do these things himself.

Finally, Arianism cannot be TOTALLY refuted by scripture since Christ himself stated ""You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." - John 14:28 NIV
Debate Round No. 1
radz

Pro

1)The Septuagint passages are relevant because it is the source of the New Testament revelation about the divinity of Christ. Let me present to you a coherent and scriptural arguement for this one:

The Sophiology Backround of Nicean Christology

The Nicene Creed stems from the ancient faith preserved by the bishops from since the departure of the Apostles. I will present below the Sophiology backround of the Nicene Creed to my opponent:

The Old Testament Wisdom Theology

YHWH is deemed to be all-wise. Throughout the Old Testament age, he always acts wisely. His wiseness no one could comprehend. YHWH’s Wisdom ( Greek: Sophia) is personified as his eternally begotten offspring:

Premise 1: Begetter: The eternal Lord – Proverbs 8:22 LXX
Premise 2: Begotten: The eternal Wisdom –Proverbs 8:25 LXX
Conclusion: The eternal Lord eternally begets Wisdom.

God begets Wisdom even before the Genesis creation: “The Lord created me, the first of his ways for his way” (Proverbs 8:22 LXX) “Before the hills, he begets me” (Proverbs 8:25 LXX)

Begetting denotes “creation within one’s nature”. This is akin to the scientific law of Gregor Mendel’s Genetics (like begets like). In Latin, this is called “creation ad intra” ( creation from within). Wisdom is equal to God in nature because he came from God’s very being. On the other hand, creation ad extra or creation from outside one’s nature is the one referred to in the Genesis account of creation (e.g. God created Adam out of dust. God and Adam are not equal in nature).

The Personified Wisdom played a great part in Jewish Theology because Israel is a monotheistic faith who detests polytheistic neighboring countries. God alone is worshiped and he is only one. His Wisdom is not other than him but of him that is why he can be praised through his Wisdom.

Although this is a literary form of expressing a divine truth, we nevertheless can conclude that systematically, God has three offspring in the Old Testament:

1) Angels (Job 38:4-7)
2) Israel ( Exodus 4:22)
3) Wisdom ( Proverbs 8:22-31)

Inter-testamental Jewish Theology

The Jews preserved the teaching of Wisdom theology as found in their Scriptures ( i.e. the Septuagint) and they had two great religious literary contributions about their age-old Wisdom theology:

Wisdom of Solomon
Book of Sirach

Philo of Alexandria who is a contemporary of the Apostles identifies Wisdom as Logos. He calls Logos as the “first born” of God and as the” image “of God. Although his stance on the Logos is as un-begotten, he deemed it as God’s first born one which denotes, together with its being God’s image, divine revelation and action.

New Testament Wisdom Theology

The writers of the New Testament Scriptures also understood Wisdom / Logos as “firstborn” and “Image” of God but unlike Philo, the disciples follow after the Old Testament Scriptures regarding the begottenness of God’s Wisdom/ Logos ( Colossians 1:13-17).

The disciples did not only follow the ancient Judaic concept of God’s wisdom but they also went further as to consider Wisdom as a real person than a mere personification. They identify Wisdom/ Logos to be Christ Jesus himself ( Hebrews 1:3).

1 Corinthians 1:24 Christ, the Power and Wisdom of God ( Sophia theou)

Jesus Christ himself was the one who taught this based on his very words:

John 3:16,18 He claims to be the ‘only begotten Son’ sent into the world by the Father
John 5:18 He claims equality in nature with 'God' because he calls him his own 'Father'.
John 5:19 He claims impeccability and omnipotence by saying " whatever the Father does the Son also does in the same manner".
John 5:23 He claims equality with the Father in honor. Jesus believes that he and the Father are co-equal in honor.
John 5:26 He claims equality with the Father in the sort of life ( eternality- existence without beginning or end).
John 8:58 He claims existence before Abraham's own existence.
John 10:28-38 He claims equality with the Father in the trait of impeccability and omnipotence: (1) None of Jesus' sheep (i.e. the saints) will be apostatized and (2) He is the one who will give them eternal life (both divine trait in same verse, Deuteronomy 32:39 LXX).
John 17:5 He claims to HAVE glory 'with' the Father before the world was.

By putting all of these into coherency, his beloved disciple John came up with his "Prologue":

John 1:1-4 ( Ps. 32:6 LXX) The Word existed with 'God' and has the “nature” of this God before creation all things through him. In him was life.
John 1:14 ( Ps. 45:1 LXX, Prov. 8:22-30) The Word has the glory of being the only begotten one with the 'Father'.
John 1:18( Ps. 110:3 LXX) The only begotten Word ( God in nature- monogenes theos*) or Son ( monogenes huios*) is within the bosom of the Father. * either reading supports the teaching of the Word's personhood.

CONCLUSION:

Jesus is equal to God in nature because he Wisdom, the eternally begotten by God:

Premise 1: Wisdom is eternally begotten by God.
Premise 2: Jesus is Wisdom
Conclusion: Jesus is eternally begotten by God.

God can be praised through Jesus while remaining purely monotheistic.

Premise 1: monotheistic Jews can praise God through his Wisdom
Premise 2: Jesus is Wisdom
Conclusion: monotheistic Jews can praise God through Jesus

2) I agree that the 3rd clause in John 1:1 has "theos' in the qualitative sense.

The Greek word "theos" is in the predicative nominative case. In Greek grammar, this denotes three things but only one of them is the correct one to be meant by John. So let's scrutinize:

1)definite ( God as noun)It can't be definite because the Word was with God
2)indefinite( a god)It can't be indefinite because the Word created everything
3)qualitative ( God in nature, God as adjective)This is the only one that fits both the immediate context and greater context. The Word has the nature of the God he's with.

3)The very verse you presented proves my stance:

""You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." - John 14:28 NIV

Why did Jesus say that the Father is greater than him? The context shows that it is because he is going to the Father.
What then does he mean by the Father is greater than him? Based on the context it's not talking about "nature" but 'position" because Christ was on earth and the Father is in heaven that is why he is going to the Father. The verse doesn't refute the divinity of Jesus but on the contrary it proves it! It's because he call God his own Father making himself equal with God which per se an another relevant scripture within the Johannine texts (i.e. John 5:18).

Is my argument sound? I do believe so. My opponent could see it for himself:

""You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." - John 14:28 NIV



Weiler

Con

The topic of this deabte is "Arianism: totally refuted based on Scripture" (emphasis added)

As an agnostic on this topic (as well as many others), and based on the topic of the debate, my burden here is not to prove the Arian position, but only to show that there is a rational argument for it based on scripture. John 14:28 provides a basis for that rational argument.


I will take my opponents counter arguments one by one.


The Sophiology Backround of Nicean Christology

My opponet correctly describes Nicean Christology as Sophistry. It was an argument made at a council called mostly for the specific purpose of addressing the Arian controversy. The Council declared a trinitarian notion not entirely found in the Bible. This is the point, there was legitimate dissent from that position. However, it was in this council that Arius and those whose subscribed to his theology were declared heretics.


Far from settling the issue, the controversy raged on, and Arius was exonerated just ten years later at the regional First Synod of Tyre, only to be declared a heretic again after his death at the First Council of Constantinople.


Arianism does not necessarily deny the divinity of Christ. It only postulates that Christ was created by the Father, and was a distinct, subordinate entity.

The Old Testament Wisdom Theology

My opponent and I agree that Wisdom, Christ was begotten by God and therefore share a divine nature with him. Just as a man begetting produces a child subordinate to the man.

Inter-testamental Jewish Theology

As per the debate topic, this section is irrelevant. Non-scriptural Jewish literary works are not evidence under the debate topic. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Book of Sirach, are only canonical to Jews and Catholics. My opponent and I are neither.


New Testament Wisdom Theology

Most of this argument I agree with, except Christ never actually claimed to be equal with the Father. He claimed to be his son. I myself am my father's son, and that doesn't make me equal to him. Christ is claiming divinity, not equality with the father. His claiming equality with the Father was only the accusation levelled upon him.

"What then does he mean by the Father is greater than him? Based on the context it's not talking about "nature" but 'position" because Christ was on earth and the Father is in heaven that is why he is going to the Father. The verse doesn't refute the divinity of Jesus but on the contrary it proves it! It's because he call God his own Father making himself equal with God which per se an another relevant scripture within the Johannine texts..."

My opponent enter into the same error as the new testament Jews by assuming that Christ claiming sonship and divinity mean he is claim equality.


Again, arianism does not necessarily object to the divinity of Christ, it only asserts that he is an entity subordinate to the father.[1] An argument supported by nearly all the verses my opponent himself has cited.



Sources

1.
http://en.wikipedia.org...;

2. http://en.wikipedia.org...










Debate Round No. 2
radz

Pro

On the supposed Arian Text

The rational argument that my opponent has presented is not rational at all because it contradicts reason AND logic per se WITHIN the context of the said text.

John 14:28, when taken in context, don’t teach anything about Arian Christology and to make it clear to my opponent, I’ll elucidate and explicate it below:

Arian Christology

The Son of God was created ad extra (creature of God)

Conclusion:

The Son is not equal to the Father in nature (ontological subordination)

The Son is not equal to the Father in authority (functional subordination)

Nicene Christology

The Son of God was created ad intra (begotten of God)

Conclusion:

The Son is equal to the Father in nature (ontological equality)

The Son is not equal to the Father in authority (functional subordination)

Therefore, My opponent must prove that the Son is “ontologically subordinate” to his Father because I already adhere and concur that the Son is “functionally subordinate” to his Father.

On the Nicean Trinity

The Council declared a trinitarian notion IS entirely found in the Bible:

The Bible teach the Trinity not in a systematic way but in a personal way.

The disciples of Christ received the teaching of the Trinity by religious experience through being in Christ.

Therefore, Christians also after them would receive the teaching in the same way but now via the Holy Spirit ( John 14:25-28).

Jesus reveals God to us. That's his job. It's the reason why he has the appellation of "the Word" ( John 1:1,18).

Jesus affirms monotheism. The belief in an only one deity.He believes that this one God is the only true God and other deities are false but he didn't just affirm that for he also affirmed that this single God is his own very Dad ( John 5:18, 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6).

Jesus' sonship is the proof of his godhood. Although he is a Son, it doesn't mean there's an another God and hence, two Gods. There's still only one God because this Son is the Wisdom per se of the one God.

Again, there is an another person who is God yet God is still one. How then could this be? It is because the Son of the Father is his own Wisdom per se ( 1 Corinthians 1:24-25, Hebrews 1:3).

The trait Wisdom of the Father is equally a person like him ( because it's his own Son)and equally God in nature like him ( because he is from him , in his very being).

In what way is Jesus God's Wisdom? According to the plain scripture, he is God's Wisdom literally. Let me explain:

The Son is the Wisdom of the Father per se means that God doesn't need experiential knowledge to make sensible decisions and judgments in a situation because he could make all sensible decisions and judgments in all his activities via his Son ( Luke 11:49-Matt. 23:24, 1 Cor. 1:24-Col. 1:16-17, Heb. 1:3-Wisdom 7:25,26). Both Jesus' claims of Divinity and of Sophilology ensues his Apostles to identify him as the Divine Wisdom in the flesh. The personified attribute in the Old Testament Scriptures had began to be understood as a real person in the New Testament.This fact remains strict monotheism despite of plurality of person within the Jewish Deity.

This fact shows that God is totally unlike us, that he's indeed incomparable to humans( Isaiah 46:5).

The Apostles and disciples of Christ received the teaching of the Trinity by Progressive revelation through being in Christ.

Synoptic gospels–Son of Man (focused on humanity: office as Prophet and Messiah of Israel)

John-Son of Man & Son of God ( Neutral: office as Priest and Shepherd )

Epistles- Son of God ( focused on divinity: office as Head of the church and king of the kingdom)

The Trinity Doctrine:

The three persons: The Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit are the only true God.

The Father is the only True God ( John 17:3).

The Son is the Power and Wisdom, the eternally begotten of the Father that is why he is also the only true God, that is, the second person who equally shares the title and nature of the first person by virtue of their relationship as God and Wisdom, as Father and Son.If the Son is not the Power and Wisdom, the eternally begotten of the Father then it means that the Son is a second God ( 1 Corinthians 1:24-25, Proverbs 8:22-31 LXX, John 1:18).

The Holy Spirit is the Life of the Father and the Son that is why he is also the only true God, that is, the third person who equally shares the title and nature of the first person and second person by virtue of their relationship as God and Wisdom and Spirit, as Father and Son and Holy Spirit.If the Holy Spirit is not the Life of the Father and the Son then it means that the Son is a third God ( Matthew 28:19).

The Three Persons are the only true God by virtue of their relationship to each other.

Conclusion:

It is very possible and logical according to the Scriptures to have a single deity existing in three personalities based on New Testament Wisdom Theology.

On the Inter-testamental Jewsih Texts

I do not consider Wisdom and Sirach as inspired but I do believe that allusions to its sophiology in the New Testament proves that the divinity of Christ did not came from paganism nor from roman mythologies but from Jewish source per se.

It only proves that contemporary Jewish people in the days of Jesus knows sophiology. In fact, Jesus and the Apostles knew very well about Jewish sophiology because they always spoke of it.




Weiler

Con

Weiler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
radz

Pro

radz forfeited this round.
Weiler

Con

Weiler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by radz 4 years ago
radz
@autodidact, for the old testament, i use the Septuagint and for the New, i use NIV 2011.
Posted by autodidact 4 years ago
autodidact
What translation are you using in your argument?
Posted by 2-D 4 years ago
2-D
I've never heard the term but I guess I have heard the position. I'll look into it I don't know if there is a good argument either way.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SPENCERJOYAGE14 3 years ago
SPENCERJOYAGE14
radzWeilerTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.