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The Difference in Jesus’ Divine Role Does NOT Indicate Inferiority of Nature

There is a frequent assumption, and/or misunderstanding, that unbelievers frequently expresss about the Trinity. As a believer you should be aware of this. James White on occasion says:

Difference in function does not indicate inferiority of nature.

For many who deny the Trinity or the deity of Jesus, it is thought that since Jesus fulfilled a lesser (subordinate) role in his incarnation compared to that of the Father, Jesus must therefore posses a lesser nature.

Those who oppose the deity of Christ often 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. But this is confusing categories. It ignores the broader context that is talking about their relational roles, not their nature.

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.

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 in order to share in the same nature.

A simple, but effective, illustration will show that difference in function does not indicate inferiority of nature: A husband and wife—as well as children!—will posses different roles in a marriage. Wives are to take on the submissive role, yet 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 are both 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 worship instead a complementary-trinitarian God.
trinity

A Tip on Getting Jehovah Witnesses to Take Your Literature

Jehovah Witnesses have been trained to refuse any literature when they are out witnessing. They simply will not take what you want to offer them.

However, there is one thing they will take…and that is your phone number.  And there lies your strategy.

Toward the very end (not beginning or middle) of your conversation with them, ask them if they would be willing to meet again to talk. Typically they will say ‘yes.’ Then immediately take the initiative and take out of your pocket a tract or other piece of evangelistic literature and write your name and phone number on the back of the tract, and give it to them asking them to be sure to call you for a follow up meeting.

Don’t ask them if they will take it. Just give it to them and say goodbye.

Be prepared beforehand to have a tract and pen ready for the end of your conversation. This tactic may not always work, but it will sometimes.

It is a strategy that God may just use to save their soul.

A New Journal – Call for Articles

Do you or someone you know (sounds like a commercial) have a special interest in the following area: cults, the occult, new religious movement, world religions, and general apologetics? If so please touch base with me. I am working on putting together a journal titled Christianity And…A Countercult and Apologetics Journal. In conjunction with the Journal I am hoping to do an online Colloquium with few of the authors.

I am currently waiting for confirmations from a few men for editorial work, and I am looking for articles to publish. I hope the Journal will be ready by January 2018 (perhaps a bit sooner), so there is plenty of time to research, write, and rewrite. If you have access to seminaries where men are writing papers on these topics, perhaps you can pass along the word.

Currently we have only FB page, please make sure you like the page, and pass the link around: https://www.facebook.com/Christianity-And-A-Countercult-and-Apologetics-Journal-252157268500719/.

– Jeff Downs

Open Phones on the Dividing Line

Started off talking with Mike O’Fallon from Geneva, Switzerland about our upcoming cruise to Alaska in September (don’t miss out!), and then played a clip from a recent Kent Hovind video where, irony of ironies, he is accused of doing everything Gail Riplinger accused me of doing—which he himself repeated and promoted!  Well, what goes around comes around, as they say.  Then we got to the phones and covered a wide variety of topics, from impeccability to John 12:39 and the deity of Christ to annihilationism, Titus 2:11, relationships with Muslims, and Luke 7:30 and free will.  A little something for everyone!

Here is the YouTube link: