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Jesus’ Deity – Difference in Function Does Not Indicate Inferiority of Nature

There is a frequent assumption that unbelievers have about the Trinity. But if you are aware of this deep assumption by those who deny the deity of Christ, you can disarm them. James White has said:

Difference in function does not indicate inferiority of nature.

There is a built-in assumption for many that if Jesus possesses a lesser role than the Father, he must therefore posses a lesser nature. This is not a valid inference. Those who oppose the deity of Christ point to Jesus’ submissive remarks about doing the will of his Father.

For example, Jesus says, “the Father is greater than I am.” They infer from this that Jesus does not share the same nature with the Father. This ignores that the context is talking about their relational roles, not their nature, John 14. Jesus also calls the Father, “My God.” Yet those who oppose the deity of Christ ignore that this is a humble acknowledgment of the incarnate Jesus, modeling for us humility and submissiveness (John 20:17). This exalting affirmation is what we would expect from the Son of God.

Similarly, it is argued, since Jesus is the agent of the Father in many respects such as creation, Jesus cannot be fully God. Regarding the Spirit, they will make the similar false assumption: Since the Spirit is sent by the Father, the Spirit cannot have the same divine nature as the Father. They will look at these statements and make the fallacious leap that difference in function indicates inferiority of nature.

By doing committing this fallacy, they also deny the freedom of the Divine persons to choose their roles. Or to put it another way: they assume that to be truly God, the Son and the Spirit must have the exact same roles as the Father. Do not allow them to accept this assumption.

A simple, but effective, illustration will show that difference in function does not indicate inferiority of nature: A husband and wife will have different roles in a marriage. Wives are to take on the submissive role, but this does not indicate that difference in function requires inferiority of nature. Does the wife have a lesser nature than that of the husband? Not according to Christian anthropology. They both are fully human.

Let’s praise God for the incarnation, which itself presupposes a submissive role that brought about our salvation. We do not worship a unipersonal-unitarian God, but instead a complementary-trinitarian God.


Watchtower Society Publishes 2013 Edition of New World Translation

Just a quick note: the WTBTS has come out with a new edition of the NWT, and though I have only had time to download it, I note that everyone is pointing out that they have removed the brackets from around the inserted word “other” in the great Christological text in Colossians 1. This was how they originally published the text, reducing Jesus to a created being and turning Paul’s argument on its head by saying “all other things” were created by him and for him. Such a cry was made, however, that they then put “all [other] things” in the next editions right up until this new printing. But now they have figured no one really cares anymore, so why not just go back the the really blatant and biased rendering? And so they have. I am sure some folks with a lot more time on their hands will do more snooping around in the new edition and if they come up with anything particularly relevant I will try to let folks know!

Testimony from a Former Jehovah Witness

Matthew Fenn is a former Jehovah Witness saved by God’s grace through the reading of Philippians chapter 3.

Read his edifying story, here.

“But when I read this passage, I read that was talking about “not having a righteousness of his own”. That blew me away. It blew me away because it was so different from what the Watchtower teaches. The Watchtower teaches that God only saves the godly. The Organization says that Jesus helps us but we also need to help him. He isn’t enough to save us, we need to do something as well. Their version of salvation is Jesus giving the sinner the same chance as Adam had. Jesus needs us to participate and contribute to our own salvation. As a result it isn’t humble, it’s proud. It isn’t joyous, but very angry, critical, and mean. It’s isn’t grace, it’s nothing but pure law.”

After Fenn’s conversion, he would meet with the JW Judicial Committee, which was very telling. So read the whole story!

Here is video of his story: