Isaiah 45:7 : Does God Create Sin and Evil?

Isaiah 45:5,6 and 7
I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God...from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. ESV
Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. KJV
Here the KJV translates the Hebrew noun רַע in vs. 7 as “evil”. This can be misleading if someone isn’t aware of the context or culture and even other valid translations of Scripture. The term can be translated variously as we see in the ESV above. Yahweh is speaking to Cyrus of Persia whom He had given power to “subdue nations” and bring deliverance.

The Persians believed in an earthly dualism (good/light vs. evil/darkness). In fact, Zoroastrianism was a major religion there. Obviously then the meaning here is not a reference to the evil of sin that God does not create but to the judgments of war and its calamities. Keil and Delitzsch confirm this.
as the prophecy concerning Cyrus closes with this self-assertion of Jehovah, it is unquestionably a natural supposition that there is also a contrast implied to the dualistic system of Zarathustra, which divided the one nature of the Deity into two opposing powers.
The terms “light” and “darkness” used in vs. 7 are more likely to be symbolic of “deliverance” or “judgement.” which Cyrus had been appointed to deliver for the peace of Israel. Notice these remarks by the NET translators:
This verses affirms that God is ultimately sovereign over his world, including mankind and nations. In accordance with his sovereign will, he can cause wars to cease and peace to predominate (as he was about to do for his exiled people through Cyrus), or he can bring disaster and judgment on nations (as he was about to do to Babylon through Cyrus).
No, God does not directly create evil. It is a secondary or indirect cause in the created world. Thus the earthly conflict of light vs. darkness being played out in our world. Here the Only True and Living God is seen to be the “Lord and there is no other”. He is truly sovereign over all creation. Keil and Delitzsch close their thoughts on this passage with these remarks:
The meaning of the words is not exhausted by those who content themselves with the assertion, that by the evil (or darkness) we are not to understand the evil of guilt (malum culpae), but the evil of punishment (malum paenae). Undoubtedly, evil as an act is not the direct working of God, but the spontaneous work of a creature endowed with freedom. At the same time, evil, as well as good, has in this sense its origin in God,—that He combines within Himself the first principles of love and wrath, the possibility of evil, the self-punishment of evil, and therefore the consciousness of guilt as well as the evil of punishment in the broadest sense. When the apostle celebrates the glory of free grace in Rom. 9:11ff., he stands on that giddy height, to which few are able to follow him without falling headlong into the false conclusions of a decretum absolutum, and the denial of all creaturely freedom.


1. Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (2002). Commentary on the Old Testament. (Is 45:4–7). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

2. Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Is 45:7). Biblical Studies Press.


Biblical Numerics, Harold Camping, and the Trinity

An article in the Christian Post notes: 
"there are some popular numbers in the Bible that scholars generally agree are significant and are attached to a certain idea or Biblical story. These numbers include three, which refers to the trinity...So those numbers have significance, but the significance is always plainly given,"...When God wants to tell his followers something, stressed the Fuller professor, He usually says it in a “fairly plain” way."
Protestants and Evangelicals need another great-awakening. An awakening and realization of the trappings and baggage of the Roman Catholic Church. An even greater awareness than even Luther possessed many years ago. Clay Schimt from Fuller Theological Seminary is commenting on Harold Campings apparently false predictions. Camping, who claims to be a Reformed Trinitarian, will probably use the story of Jonah and God's mercy upon the repentant Ninevites to avoid being labeled a false prophet. However, Schimt rejects Campings numerics and then instantly advances his own. One of which includes the number three and the Trinity.

There is some significance to Biblical numerics. The consistency of these numbers only confirm the fact of divine inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). The tenor of Ephesians 4:4-6 and its use of "one" is significant denoting absolute singleness. The number one can also refer to unity of purpose (John 17:21-23) but never to the compromise of monotheism (Deut. 6:4). Seven seems to be a number of completion. God rested after the seventh day of Creation. There are seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Seven parables in Matthew 13. There are seven notes of music, seven colors in a rainbow, even seven days in a week.

The number three does not refer to the Trinity. At least not a Trinity of divine persons as is popularly promoted for sure. Numbers usually take on spiritual meaning or significance in the context they are used. 1 John 5:7 is a reference to "three" but is not a reference to a Trinity of persons and is considered by some to be a later addition to the Bible. Matthew 28:19 is a threefold reference and never teaches a Trinity of persons. Both of the previous texts have valid interpretations that do not include the dogma of the Trinity.

The number three can refer to blessing as in Isaiah 19:24-25 or Zechariah 13:9. In Ecclesiates 4:12 a threefold cord is not easily broken thereby denoting strength. In Judges 7:22 Gideon has a mighty victory accomplished by three bands of soldiers. Ezra also took three days to prepare for revival in Ezra 10:9. It took three days for the decision to build the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah 2:11. Esther calls a three day fast in preparation to meet the king in Esther 4:16. Jesus was in the belly of the earth for three days (John 2:19). He had an earthly ministry of three years (Luke 13:7) and as Christ he is prophet, priest and king.

There is a fine line between Biblical numerics and Numerology. The latter is where one worships and idolizes the numbers. Numbes have both good and evil connotations. Numbers can be used as simple data in written text or have a form of symbolic meaning in Scripture. We must be careful that we do not abuse this to create private interpretations. The symbolic meaning of numbers is typically to amplify or intensify the truth they symbolize. They are to be used with careful discretion.

Notice the words of Schimt carefully above though. Although probably not intentional this seems to be a bait and switch. In reply to Camping he points out that when God wants to tell believers something it is done in a "fairly plain" way. Did anyone notice the switch? The most common appeal of Trinitarians in explaining this belief is to mystery. If God speaks to us in a plain way then He has not spoken--at all--concerning the Trinity.

Harold Camping has taught the world a great lesson. Hopefully they will learn. When the Trinitarian appeals to the number three or Biblical numerics to support the Trinity they are smuggling post-Biblical concepts and philosophy back into the Bible through their own numerology. Just as Camping did with May 21, 2011.


Pssst...Harold...the verse you missed

Harold Camping

Mark 13:32, But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. ESV


Date and Burgos Aftermath : Comments from listener's

"I was amazed at how much time was spent discussing things that did not actually pertain to the debate. They spend much of their time twisting up David Bernard, Robert Sabin, and Jason Dulle and not the debate. They did admit that some OT passages that Trinitarians use as proof texts were, in actuality, not good proof texts of the trinity. LOL OP's have been telling them that for years. I guess it's finally sinking in."

"Interestingly enough they did mention a few comments from some Trinitarians who didn’t like some of Mike’s comments during the debate and said, “he gave away the farm.” Evidently he couldn’t convince some of his own fellow Trinitarians. I think Chris discerned this."

"They did bring up the fact that James sounded easy to listen to and that he seemed to be the more dynamic, charismatic speaker. Then they went into a dialogue about Mike needing to improve in his speaking ability. That he needed more debating experience, and that he was nervous and didn’t know what James was going to bring up. Well, la-de-da!! Chris and Mike seem to leave people with the impression that Mike was a novice debater and this was possibly his first debate when in reality this is far from the truth. Mike has had several debates (verbal and written)...This should tell people how he thought the debate went. Incidentally, they also forgot to mention that this was Bro Anderson’s first debate, he was probably nervous also, and he didn’t know what direction the debate was going to move either."

"They talked about interpersonal communications between the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit and and selected comments from David Bernard. They ridiculed him yet never answer his arguments. This wasn’t information discussed in the debate."

"Chris and Mike left the impression that their Trinitarian view of the Godhead subsists in three centers of consciousness. No important Christian theologian has argued that there are three self-conscious in the Godhead. This would be theological suicide."

"Toward the end of the program they tried to patch up Mike’s answer to the question of how many spirits did Jesus have. He admitted he said what he did for “the sake of brevity” (actually he let Chris put words in his mouth) now he wanted to clarify (fix his mistakes) what he meant."

"The Host, Chris, seems like a likeable guy and comes across at being fair, but definitely shows his bias by taking two days of his program time to attempt to “patch up” the blunders Mike made. I tend to like Chris but think he should let the debate speak for itself, if he wants to come across as being fair, instead of propping up his own Trinitarian biases. Anyway these are just my personal thoughts."

Comments posted (5.13.2011) from a listener on Theopologetics:

"Thanks for this, Chris. I missed the original debate, but this discussion was thoroughly interesting. I was brought up with the Trinity drilled into me. But I was also reading the Bible daily from a very young age, which is why preterism came so easily to me when I finally learned of it. And I’ll be honest, the concept of the Trinity has bothered me for years. It’s not that I disagree with what people say about the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It’s just that the way people talk about the Triune God doesn’t seem to be completely consistent with the way the Bible talks about God the Father, His Son and the Holy Ghost. But I see now that you and many others have studied this subject a lot more in-depth than I have.
Listening to this show gave me a lot to think about. I’m still unsettled in my opinion of the Trinity concept, but it was great to hear about some perspectives I hadn’t thought about before. I sure appreciate what you do."


Patching Things Up : Burgos and Date

Date and Burgos

Recently I had a debate with Michael Burgos on Theopologetics, click here for information and links to the mp3's. The thesis I denied was "The Son personally preexisted the incarnation with the Father." Burgos affirmed. The debate went well and Burgos made the typical Trinitarian mistakes. His proposition was never sufficiently supported without considerable doubt upon the Trinitarian interpretation and articulation of those texts. 

Shortly after the debate I received an email from a listener to the debate. Here are his words:
I also thought it was very interesting that the Host wanted Burgos back on the program next week to discuss the debate. Evidently they want to patch up things.
Apparently Date saw a need for this before the recording of the debate was ever complete. Indeed the patch up can be downloaded and listened to here. It is in two parts, episode 41 and 42.

At one point Burgos even calls the Word and God of John 1:1 two "personal beings" which are also separate from each other (see Burgos/Sullivan debate). Burgos plays this off as an error but it is simply to be expected. If anyone has listened to only a handful of debates with Trinitarians such errors always pop up. Trinitarians can hardly avoid such language given the nature of their psychological tritheism. Ironically, while Burgos is a fan of James White he didn't seem to like White's “God is one what but three whos.” Obviously Trinitarian apologists are still formulating their conclusions. Burgos' appeal to each person being exhaustive of one another is clearly a hint of Van Til. 

In the opening statements of the original debate Burgos offered around 20 verses from the New Testament. That is around 1 per minute of his 20 minute opening remarks. Burgos did not appeal to the Old Testament because this is not high ground for any Triniarian apologist, despite their mumblings to the contrary. Burgos stated, "In the Old Testament we see that God did not immediately reveal the entirety of His nature and character, simply because additional revelation has been provided in the New Testament."(Progressive Revelation and Doctrine of God)  In the patch up you can tell that Date originally feels the Old Testament is high ground and even reads from disgruntled Trinitarians saying Burgos "gave up the farm". Burgos conflates his view with some hesitancy to allow for Date's presuppositionalism in this regard.

If one reads the text of Scripture with the presuppositions of Creedal theology then they will find the Trinity. The Trinitarian interpretation is a forced reading that must adapt the plain and clear meaning of Scriptures by which no man comes to the Trinity. Trinitarians read their presuppositions back into the text since there is no one verse that describes the Trinity nor is it found conclusively in any of its passages. Burgos conceded as much in the early parts of cross-examination. He had to admit that there was no verse he could go to in order to explicitly prove the Trinity. 

I did not have time to respond to all 20 of his verses nor could I satisfactorily in such a debate. Burgos was merely flooding his initial speech with verses of which many simply point to the Incarnation or Deity of Christ and not the Father and Son pre-existing in a person to person relationship. The verses I primarily focused upon where Phil 2, John 17, Heb 1, and John 1. 

I highly recommend listening to the patchwork done by Burgos and Date. Especially the circular logic used by Dates and Burgos to support the argument for the Trinity using love. This is an argument emerging from a response to 20th Century theologians like Karl Barth and Karl Rahner who have a significantly different view of the Trinity. Essentially, Date asked me about the object of God's love. I answered creation, you, me, etc. I never said God must have creation in order to love I was simply answering his question. Date then suggests that proves his point and that God being love also necessitates Him being three persons. This simply replaces the contingency upon creation with the contingency upon needing more than one person in order for God to be a complete and perfect self. Just so happens this contingency only relies upon three. One must ask, why not a fourth? 

It was apparent that Burgos presented more verses than time would allow to answer but he also voiced an objection to my use of scholars. In the words of another listener to this debate, "It speaks volumes." This is only par for the course since during the actual debate Burgos called the Louw-Nida lexicon "fringe scholarship". This makes Burgos' entire case suspect given such abject ignorance.

Burgos suggests his appeal was to the scriptures but instead interpreted his verses with post biblical theology and concepts. He had no answer to Isa. 46:9. An appeal to the uni-personal nature of God is valid in this regard. Trinitarians merely saying it isn't so does not amount to it not being so. He made a complete mess of his view of One Yahweh but each are Yahweh’s. As typical Trinitarians end up articulating more than one Yahweh. Consider the proposition that Glen Burt, a Church of Christ, debater said he would affirm:
The scripture teaches that the Godhead (one God) is three divine beings. (Click here for more info)
I have moderated a couple debates with Church of Christ debaters (Bruce Reeves, Glen Burt). I even attended the one with Tom Wacaster and Bobby Sparks a few years ago. It seems Reformed apologists make some of the same mistakes but the Church of Christ are even bolder and more clear about their claims. Such Trinitarians are advocating for a divisibility in the eternal nature of God. Let this be anathema.


Galileo by Mitch Stokes

Galileo Galilei

Galileo. The name itself is likely to be immediately recognizable by most youth and adults today. It is often that he is the subject of science textbooks and even modern debates. Mitch Stokes' excellent biography is part of the Christian Encounters series which also includes his contribution on Isaac Newton. In this biography Stokes explores the controversial and misunderstood genius of Galileo Galilei.

In 1564 when Galileo was born. He was seemingly a young man who couldn't get his act together and struggled financially most of his adult life. The year he was born is the same year that witnessed the birth of Shakespeare and the deaths of John Calvin and Michaelangelo. He emerged from the Florentine tradition that produced such men as Machiavelli, Vespucci, and da Vinci. Galileo's father, Vicenzio Galilei, passed on to his son a Aristotelian view of things. Stokes also notes that "We can identify perhaps ten people in the world who held Copernicus' view between 1543 and 1600. It seems that Galileo was one of those ten." (pg 67)

Often Galileo is used as a hero of martyrdom. This was especially so during the Enlightenment era. Stokes suggests that portrait is historically inaccurate. In fact, Galileo states, "none...have spoken with more piety or with greater zeal for the Church than I."(pg. 3) Galileo was devout to his faith even until death. While mathematics was lacking in his time, his contention concerned the interpretation of Scriptures. His biggest mistake may have been his interaction with Pope Urban VIII whom, in his description of Galileo stated: "He did not fear to make sport of me." (pg. 165) Although some mistakenly think so that contention was never couched in a secular science versus religion debate.

In 1981 Pope John Paul II formed an interdisciplinary commission to investigate the nagging affair of Galileo. A long eleven years later, in 1992, the report materialized. The report summary is worth a thousand words:
"It is in the historical and cultural framework, far removed from our own times, the Galileo's judges, incapable of dissociating faith from age-old cosmology, believed, quite wrongly, that the adoption of the Copernican revolution, in fact not yet definitely proven, was such as to undermine Catholic tradition and that it was their duty to forbid its being taught. This subjective error of judgement, so clear to us today, led them to a disciplinary measure from which Galileo "had much to suffer." These mistakes must be frankly recognized, as you, Holy Father, have requested." (pg. 194)
Prior to his death men such as Thomas Hobbes and John Milton would visit Galileo. Ironically, Galileo died on January 8, 1642 the same year Isaac Newton was born on a small farm in England. Newton's work published in 1687, The Principia, would cause greater acceptance of the Copernican system for which Galileo was told could not exist. Indeed, ten years after Newton's death the body of Galileo was moved from a small room under a bell tower to a tomb, finally built, near Michaelangelo's and Machiavelli's tomb's in Saint Croce's basilica.

Click here to go to Thomas Nelson's Christian Encounter Series

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


What is your Dream Bible?

There are plenty of Bibles to choose from with many features including various papers, fonts, formats, translations, covers, references, notes, etc. If I were able to ‘Build-a-Bible’ I know what my Bible would look like. It would be my dream Bible. Here’s what features I would choose...click here to read more from BibleBuyingGuide!


Quotes from God in Christ by Horace Bushnell

Two of Bushnells most interesting works are God in Christ and The Character of Jesus. God in Christ, published in 1849 created quite a stir and Bushnell was brought before the association of Congregational ministers to answer to a charge of heresy. His views concerning the Godhead, the deity of Christ and His character were very enlightening. In this volume is the reprinting in its entirety of The Character of Jesus and in part his God in Christ. Paperback, 64pgs. Apostolic Editor. Click here for more info on purchasing this edition published by editor Thomas Weisser.
"But, as soon as the question is raised, what are we to intend by the word person, the appearance of agreement, and often of self-understanding, vanishes." 

"The mind is involved in a dismal confusion which cannot think of without the sincerest pity. No soul can truly rest in God, when God is two or three, and these in such a sense that a choice between them must be continually suggested."

"when we speak of God as unrevealed, to speak of Him anterior to His act of creation; for the worlds created are all outgoings from Himself, and in that view, revealments of Him. God unrevealed is God simply existing as spirit, in Himself."

"There is in God, taken as the Absolute Being, a capacity of self-expression, so to speak, which is peculiar, a generative form, a creative imagination, in which, or by aid of which, He can produce Himself outwardly, or represent Himself in the finite. In this respect God is wholly unlike to us."

"Our imagination is passive, stored with forms, colors and types of words from without, borrowed from the world we live in. But all such forms, God has in himself, and this is the Logos, the Word, elsewhere called the Form of God...It is God mirrored before His own understanding, and to be mirrored as in fragments of the mirror before us...He bodies out His own thoughts."

"whatever may be true of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it certainly is not true that they are three distinct consciousness, wills, and understandings. Or, speaking in a way more positive, they are instrumentally three, i.e. for and as related to our finite apprehension and the communication of God's incommunicable nature."

Trinitarianism: A Family of People God?

Trinity = Father, Wife, and Son? Why not?

Witness a study by a professed Trinitarian who believes the Trinity is a family. Watch Trinitarian revelation first hand as a supposed "brand new insight."

Philippians 1 and Paul's Defense

This Saturday I sat down and read through Ephesians, Philippians, and parts of Colossians again. Instead of reading through the Scriptures with my normal reading program I determined to immerse myself in some of Paul's thoughts. The last couple years I have primarily been using the NRSV so that will be the text I will be quoting from in this post. 

Defense and Opponents:

In the first chapter of Philippians alone Paul uses the term "defense" twice (vs. 7, 16). He says to "speak the word with greater boldness and without fear." He hoped that he would "not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body." (vs. 20). For Paul "living is Christ and dying is gain." (vs. 21) It was "more necessary" (vs. 24) for Paul to "remain in the flesh" than to go to be with Christ. Instead he remains to "continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith," (vs. 25). He says to "live your life in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ" (vs. 27) and to be " in no way intimidated by your opponents." (vs. 28). 

Communicate Boldly:

For Paul this was significant as he was speaking to other Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians. He encourages them to have boldness when communicating the Gospel. In fact, as believers we are fighting in one accord using weapons that are not of this world (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Christians are not to be surprised when opposition arises anywhere the Gospel is preached. Paul tells those at Philippi "And this is God's doing." (vs. 28). For Paul God is the cause of everything and creation evidences God's existence (Romans 1). Paul clearly stated: "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) We are to rely upon God and not fear.

Privilege of Believing and Suffering:

Paul's final words seemingly run contrary to our human nature and in fact the concept that some have of modern Christianity. Notice, "he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—" (vs. 29) For Paul these words were not sterile or just smooth sayings. In fact, for Paul suffering for Christ is the struggle he enjoyed even while writing this letter..."the same struggle"..."that I still have." (vs. 30).


Paul is saying that those who war and struggle against the Gospel evidence their destruction.  For those who seek God this sign also speaks of our salvation. The Psalmist declared something similar: "Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1) The "fools" here are those who have no sense of morality or even social obligations (see Isaiah 32:6, I Samuel 25:25). They are corrupt and spiritually vile. They do not care for their lives and therefore do not seek God. 

Defending Things?

To those who think that believers shouldn't be about defending or giving a "defense" of ones faith this post is for you. It is important that Christian culture does not contract the virus of popular culture, i.e. relativism. This position cannot be sustained but a message of relativism still gets tossed about in popular dialog. While many have not actually committed themselves to absolute relativism somehow this option remains on the table for many people. Where does the Christian culture come in? It is the acceptance of a blind leap of faith. Paul was not comfortable with attributing his Faith to chance or a burning in the bosom. He was so sure that he was willing to give a "defense" and encourages us to not be intimidated by those who would oppose the Gospel.

Happy Mother's Day!

I think these words are fitting by a former President:
The mothers of our land, who rule the nation as they mold the characters and guide the actions of their sons, live according to God’s holy ordinances, and each, secure and happy in the exclusive love of the father of her children, sheds the warm light of true womanhood, unperverted and unpolluted, upon all within her pure and wholesome family circle...~ President Grover Cleveland


Quotes from Jewish Monotheism and Christian Trinitarian Doctrine (Lapide and Moltmann)

Lapide: "Israel grew up in the middle of a pagan world...with numberless gods...'In the beginning God created heaven and earth.' Here began the complete elimination of the power of all animal gods and idols; in fact, it emptied the heavenly bodies of all magic so that they, like all things in the universe, would be reduced to the instruments of the One God...the cosmos is explained as the order of nature providing humanity with a causal beginning..." (pg. 25)

Lapide : "Belief in One God is the foundation of Judaism...behind...all perceivable reality...which creation remains subordinated to God and to God alone. The Jew...can recognize the One God in all of God's raiments...The pagan...does not recognize God in God's numberless forms of appearance...the Lord set the family of humanity, to whom the Lord gave common parents, one and the same destiny of humanity, and a common hope along the way for a redemption at the end of time." (pg. 26)

Lapide : "Israel's monotheism...stems not so much from rational reflection as from the inextinguishable Thou experience which reveals the Lord of the universe...this I-thou experience of immediate relationship is so powerful, singular, and unique that it never allows the presentation of a plurality of principles or of a multiple personality of God to arise..." (pg. 27)

Lapide: "...the Hebraic concept of being denotes an effective-being, a dynamically living being, a co-being and a self-disclosing-being, which all together is experienced as a process of becoming without pause...God's dynamic essence that is becoming, and expressed itself by in-the-world actions...active, open, and always new are the three dimension which the three Hebrew words of the divine self-expression disclose: "I will be as the I will be" (Exodus 3:14)...concerns God's trustworthiness in helpful "co-being," God's being with us..." (pg. 29)

Lapide: "...the Trinity by the Church...not some kind of difference in number...rather a difference in essence...inner content...for "one" is not so much a quantitative concept as a qualitative one. Two or more cannot be absolute. Two or more cannot be timeless and eternal. If there are two or more, there can be no concept of omnipotence...the God of Israel is the only One." (pg. 30)

Lapide: "the Lord stands incomparably over against them, for the Lord alone is the Living One...from the Hebrew word echad we learn not only monotheism, not only that there is non outside of the Lord, but also that the Lord is One and therefore that the Lord cannot be viewed as something put together which would be divisible into various properties or attributes..." (pg. 31)

Lapide: "The average Jew today considers the  Trinity at best a kind of triumvirate, and at worst a tritheism which is reminiscent of a relapse into paganism...much too like polytheism to still earn the name of monotheism...." (pg. 32, 33)

Lapide: "'The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,' for it concerns three difference experiences of God which indeed fundamentally differ from each other..." (pg. 36)

Lapide: "Trishagion from Isa. 6:3...part of our daily morning prayer...spoken while standing...this so often repeated three-foldness of the holiness of God had led to a whole wave of quasi-trinitarian speculation...(pg. 36)

Lapide: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit." Here he appears rather to be speaking of a poetic triad, as faith, hope, and love in 1 Corinthians 13, rather than a dogmatic Trinity, of which indeed the Jew Paul could have had no knowledge, since that came into the world only centuries after his death..." (pg. 39)

Lapide: "In the first century God is still monotheistic in good Jewish fashion. In the second century God becomes two-in-one; from the third century on God gradually becomes threefold. Only in the fourth century...does the elevation of the Holy Spirit to a special hypostasis with its own value take place..." (pg. 39)

Lapide: "It was during the bloody intra-Christian religious wars of the fourth and fifth centuries, when thousands upon thousands of Christians slaughtered other Christians for the sake of the Trinity..." (pg. 40)

Lapide: "is it not time to take seriously the call of the General Synod of the Netherlands Reformed Church, which recommends a rethinking of the dogma of the Trinity?" (pg. 41)

Lapide: "Thus a God who was not communicable could not really be a Jewish God...we can only experience a God who gives himself to us to be known anthropocentrically. Hence all the Jewish attributes of God are oriented toward the human person..." (pg. 65)

Pinchas Lapide - Jewish Theologian and Historian


More Quotes from The Restoration of Christianity by Michael Servetus (1511-1553)

Michael Servetus

"Moreover, we have already shown somewhere near the end of Book One against Lombard that the Spirit's dispensations was the same thing as God, not a third metaphysical entity, and now we are going to demonstrate it again thus. For, just as God is said to have made through Himself what He made with the Word, because "God was the Word," so, because "God is the Spirit," what scripture relates as done through his Spirit, it relates as done through God Himself. Just as the "holy spirit spoke," so "God spoke through the mouth of the saints and prophets" (Acts 3 and Heb. 1). Therefore, what belongs to the domain of the holy spirit is attributed to God Himself in terms of a particular mode..."Who lies to the holy spirit, lies not to men, but God" (Acts 5)." (pg. 236)

"Because of these words, obviously speaking metaphysically about an invisible, real Son, Hilary in Book 2 and Book 8 of On the Trinity said that through the Holy Spirit sometimes the Father, sometimes the Son, sometimes a third entity was indicated. In the beginning of his Dialogues, Athanasius made similar references to the threefold spirit of those three entities. But, as far as I am concerned, everything is easy enough without metaphysical entities..." (pg. 237)

"First, by conceiving all things in His own mind God formed from eternity as exemplars the things in the form of his own light. Next by bringing them forth to exist as individual things, He gave them such a form as He had prefigured them in advance...Christ was the first who had in God his form."  (p.g 258)


Inroads to Reformation Theology

by J.R. Ensey

One Sunday last month, a lady who has begun attending our church told me that her son, who has a troubled life, had been informed by a Calvinist (a strict Reformed Theology adherent) that he was doomed to hell because he was not one of the elect for whom Christ died. It totally crashed his world and weighed heavily upon his mother. Without hope, what do we really have?

Calvinism is cruel. Reformed theology, of which Calvinism is a vital part, is dangerous. Even the respected Christian counselor Jay Adams (Competent to Counsel and many other books) made this statement in the above mentioned book: “As a reformed Christian, the writer believes that counselors must not tell any unsaved counselee that Christ died for him, for they cannot say that. No man knows except Christ himself who are his elect for whom he died” (p. 70). That is heresy, you say. But that is Reformed Theology—the theology of Calvin, of R. C. Sproul, John Piper, and a host of other prolific authors. Arthur Pink’s affirmation that Christ does not love the non-elect reminds us of one minister’s view of hyper-Calvinism: “God hates you, He has a terrible plan for your life, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

I would not worry about any of this, heresies will come, said the apostle, but I regret that it is creeping into our own Pentecostal ranks. Only certain aspects of it will show up at first, but when the camel gets its head under the tent, the body won’t be far behind.

Why the sudden popularity of the Eastern Orthodox Church brand of Christianity? EO churches love ritual. I suppose some just like to sit and watch it all unfold. Strange.

And why the movement toward Reformed Theology (RT)? Some Evangelical types are becoming enthralled with the likes of R. C. Sproul (pictured), John Piper, Jerry Bridges and others who are stuck in the sixteenth century and can’t seem to progress into the current millennium. A number of “emerging” ministers have adopted a Reformed position. Even some Apostolics have fallen prey to their glib teachers and have cast their lot with John Calvin rather than John the Revelator. What’s going on?

Some may become snared before they really know what is happening. RTs publish books and Bible studies prolifically while we are busy prowling the suit shops, pricing the latest tech toy, and texting on our I-Phones. They have flooded the print and broadcast markets with their skewed views, particularly in the area of eschatology. When you hear someone question the Rapture, the reality of a future Tribulation and Millennium, suggest that the devil has already been bound, that the Book of Revelation is to be considered as allegorical or historical in some way, that Jesus “came” or “returned” in some fashion in A.D. 70, that there is no future for national Israel, that the church is destined to be “triumphant” in evangelizing the world and taking dominion of its societal segments, you might suspect that they have been reading and studying Reformed Theology. Or at least being influenced by those who have.

If you would like to know more about what RT teaches, here is a link that you might find helpful:advanceministries.org.  

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Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)