The Blasphemy Argument

‘Those who argue against the Christian orthodoxy of Trinitarianism perpetuate an ignorance not with regard to the ontological Trinity but regarding the economic Trinity. Such persons misunderstand how the Persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can share a divine Essence. 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 is an easy-enough equation to grasp and affirm. But how the three relate to the other to form the equation as one is somehow missed. The consequences of a Trinitarian-bankrupt theology are devastating in absolute terms.

I think Jesus’ confession, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30), is the key to a proper understanding of the economic Trinity. If one were to deny that the Father and the Son, as two distinct Persons, share the Essence of God, then that person argues with those who charged Jesus of blasphemy in the first century. After all, Jesus is the one who makes the claim of being “one” with His Father (John 10:30), and insists on making Himself equal with the Father: “My Father is working still, and I am working.” (John 5:17 RSV) Should one deny that this confession was thought as blasphemy, then one is obliged to ignore the reaction of the Jewish leaders: “This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he … called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)

Jesus’ qualifying His words and actions did not help the situation (John 5:19-20), as He further expounded upon His equality with the Father, and His position of righteous Judge (John 5:21-24). Coppedge writes:

The intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father comes into perspective when toward the end of his time with [His] disciples, Jesus says, "That you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father" (Jn 10:38; see also John 14:10-11; 17:21). Jesus also says, "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30). His hearers understand the implication and accuse him of blasphemy, "because you, being a man, make yourself God" (Jn 10:33; cf. John 10:36,38; 17:11, 21-22).1
Anti-Trinitarians are obligated to side with Jesus’ opponents and confess that He actually was a blasphemer; that is, if Jesus is not “one” with the Father, the second Person of the Trinity, who shares of the divine Essence.’
source: Will Birch, “Dale Tuggy and Anti-Trinitarians: Consequences of Denying the Trinity” (williambirch).
footnote:

1 Allan Coppedge, The God Who is Triune: Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2007), p. 29.

W Scott Taylor wrote:

‘The question, or rather the ugly insinuation of being a blasphemer by the Jews (see John 8) is still being asked of Jesus today in a more genteel way by those who deny the Deity of Christ. It is assumed, that Jesus must actually say” I am God” for the truth of Incarnation of the Word of God to be true. It never seems to occur to them that they are assuming the validity of their own numerical Monotheism ( i.e., “ONE” Person, if they even grant personhood to the notion of what it means to be God). And by Incarnation it is not meant that the “Word” was equivalent to the Greek demiurge or eternal reason or “thought” of God. The Apostle John, in the first eighteen verses of his Gospel asserts the primacy of Plurality of Persons over the demiurge paradigm of Greek philosophy, the Incarnation of the Second Person of a plurality of Persons called God, the only one of His kind, to be the author of eternal salvation to every one who believed in Him.’

source: W Scott Taylor, “Whom Do You Make Yourself out to be?” (ideoamnostoutheou).

H.B. Swete wrote:

‘“Who art Thou?” “Whom makest Thou Thyself?” 1 Others saw quite clearly what Jesus meant; He “called God His own (ιδιον) Father, making Himself equal with God”; “Thou, being a man,” they said bluntly, “makest Thyself God.” 2 On two occasions this conviction lashed them into a fury; they seized the fragments of marble which were lying on the pavement of the courts, and would have stoned Him for a blasphemer then and there.3  Were they mistaken in their interpretation of His words? A large and growing body of modern theologians is of opinion that they were. The question is a vital one. Jesus taught as He did at the risk of His life, and must therefore have regarded this element in His teaching as of primary importance. That it was reserved for Jerusalem and for the Temple invests it with especial solemnity.’

source: H. B. Swete, D.D., Studies In The Teaching Of Our Lord, (Hodder and Stoughton, Publishers, 1906), p. 128.

Read also: “The Trinity Logically Explained“,

Some Passages that speak of Trinitarianism” and

Expanded View on The trinity“.

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