Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

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darinhouston
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Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by darinhouston » Sat Jul 06, 2024 9:46 am

I was listening to some of Steve's lectures on Discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus and he mentioned Richard Wurmbrand in prison - when someone in prison asked him what Jesus was like, Wurmbrand said something like "well, he looks a lot like me." In the same lecture he noted how John 14:9 was a proof certain that Jesus believed himself to be God, and it struck me that this event was instructive to that point. It's hard to put the non-trinitarian view of this passage (and others) in a way that people say "oh, I see how that might otherwise be taken." It's one of those passages that once you see it from one perspective, it's really hard to see otherwise, but it just never seemed that clear to me that Jesus was trying to say he was God. Yes, he could be opaque at times, but If he had wanted to convey this as clearly as people see this as being I think he would have said it differently. At the very least, just as one could see Jesus in Wurmbrand (if imperfectly), I believe Jesus could very well be saying here (perfectly) Peter, I am how you can know God - that's why I came - otherwise the Father can't be seen - but that's what I'm here for - look at me and you know the Father. I am the perfect image of him - you have no other need of revelation than through me and my life. That's my role.

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mikew
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Re: Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by mikew » Sat Jul 06, 2024 4:28 pm

I would agree that Jesus' earthly ministry was not to go around saying "I am of the Godhead follow me." Jesus barely revealed himself as the promised Messiah -- and even to do so would be years before he functionally was to begin his reign as king. To speak much of either of these could have caused problems of acceptance of him or of future situations. But he still had to be the one promised in scripture and that is what we find in the Trinity. One main aspect of his earthly ministry was to gain the repentance of the Israel people ahead of the oncoming judgment. Most of the other details would be aid to understand who Christ is and what he would be accomplishing both for the Israel people and the broader world. Nor are you the only one who has struggled with coming to the understanding of Christ in the Trinity. So you are not alone.
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darinhouston
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Re: Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by darinhouston » Sat Jul 06, 2024 10:08 pm

mikew wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2024 4:28 pm
But he still had to be the one promised in scripture and that is what we find in the Trinity.
What do you mean by that?

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Re: Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by mikew » Tue Jul 09, 2024 11:40 am

darinhouston wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2024 10:08 pm
mikew wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2024 4:28 pm
But he still had to be the one promised in scripture and that is what we find in the Trinity.
What do you mean by that?
the most obvious verse is Isa 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Binitarian concepts appear also in the Old Testament where the angel of the Lord has attributes and naming of God too. It is not likely that we stop having such a concept just because we transition to the New Testament.

I don't know where you have developed your thought on this. I once was thinking that it was a misconception to recognize the divinity of Christ based on Paul using separate terms for God and Christ. Now I see the distinction being that Christ has special significance as the person of the Godhead that became incarnate, so we know his divinity among us.

Here's a Sean McDowell video for people interested
The Trinity Is Not A Problem! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iJifwhHYX4

This next video by Mike Winger covers more detail
The Trinity: Can We Defend it Biblically? youtube.com/watch?v=p0cLKtR5kfE

Ok. I forgot darinhouston has written a book that would have to be addressed on a deeper philosophical level. I do tell people that if there is a better conception than the Trinitarian doctrine that this other conception could eventually become the standard doctrine. But the groups that promote other doctrines have not proven their doctrine over against the Trinitarian doctrine.

Another edit added: after reading the posts from darinhouston from 2022, I do not see his approach as satisfactory without discrediting the New Testament testimony as if Jesus misunderstood his own identity.
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darinhouston
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Re: Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by darinhouston » Fri Jul 12, 2024 10:16 am

Thanks. I think I see what you're saying - those OT references aren't particularly convincing to me - but, I guess I reject the premise that I have to provide a better explanation than the Trinity. The Trinity itself bears the burden of proof on its own and it fails miserably. There are a great many good explanations for what people see as "Christophonic" references in the OT some textual but others including agency and similar references to others besides Christ (there's a lot discussed on this forum in regards to those passages), but if it's not coherent as an explanation for these texts even on traditional interpretations, it needs to be reconsidered even if there aren't better explanations. Particularly in light of the actual history of trinitarianism in the decades and centuries following 325. The notion that Nicea was a universal straightforward rejection of a single heretic is embarrassing and should make the popular teachers who proclaim it ashamed of themselves - I assume it's ignorance, but it's ridiculous. The disparate views even agreeing to the Nicene language as to what they meant by it is telling. But, the widespread rejection of the Trinity in the immediate years following Nicea (and the sparse representation AT Nicea) belie that myth. Few are even aware that Arius was returned form exile and that subsequent councils restated Arianism and that Trinitarians like Athanasius were exiled (and back and forth) - it was a bloody mess and as political an issue as any in church history or world history.

I highly commend two books if you're interested in the history - one is When Jesus Became God by Richard Rubenstein and the other is Out of the Flames by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. The first is from the perspective of a highly regarded expert on conflict resolution and particularly religious political movements in history. The context around how Nicea "went down" is uniquely presented there. He explores the give and take and personalities and debates at Nicea and following. The latter addresses events centuries years later in the context of the persecution of Servetus by Calvin and others. This focuses on the writings and history of those writings of Servetus and the conflict with political and religious leaders. But, it presents a similar background history not found often. Though his historic interest is largely around his conflict with Calvin over sovereignty issues, the issues began with his writings on the Trinity. It is a fascinating story and the life of Servetus is quite remarkable. There is also a considerable treatment of the medical persecution at the time and Servetus' role in that. Servetus actually discovered the circulatory system and was seen as a heretic for that way before his religious views became an issue. That alone and the efforts to quench him as a medical heretic is worth a read. Both are highly recommended for their story-telling and history no matter what your views of the Trinity are.

Mystery and the lack of revelation is better than an incoherent theory with almost no consistent understanding over the years. There are almost no two serious Trinitarian apologists who would agree with one another on the finer details. It simply has no marks of truth to me as an explanation for some of the more curious and unique scriptural references that are often discussed. The only thing I can't seem to fully resolve in most so-called "biblical unitarian" explanations are texts purportedly supporting some form of pre-existence. There are explanations but they sometimes feel a bit contrived. But, that leads to a more Arian explanation (which orthodoxy similarly rejects). I'm not so concerned about falling in line with an orthodox position simply because it's orthodox, but I'm presently ok with a gap in understanding compared to the incoherence of every Trinitarian position I've heard once it's discussed at any depth. I tend to think today that the answers of pre-existence could have something to do with our ignorance of extra-dimensionality and space/time realities in the spiritual realms beyond our created order. Even cause and effect could fail to follow our physical understanding and that leaves mystery I'm comfortable with though would prefer to understand. But, that does not mean that Jesus was eternally pre-existent just as the Father in a form of "god-head." Even the "Everlasting Father" reference you mention in your post is inconsistent with traditional Trinitarian explanations (Jesus is simply not the Father in any real Trinitarian understanding so that has to be understood differently than supporting the Trinity no matter how it's understood). And I've jettisoned the separate personality of the Holy Spirit a long time ago.

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darinhouston
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Re: Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by darinhouston » Fri Jul 12, 2024 1:25 pm

I thought this was funny...

https://www.facebook.com/share/r/yBd6CbboA78J7tZc/

I'm also really interested in responses to the argument in my original post.

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darinhouston
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Re: Richard Wurmbrand and John 14:9

Post by darinhouston » Fri Jul 12, 2024 1:26 pm

Oh, I'm a big fan of Winger but I thought his response on this was full of false assumptions and atypical ignorance - he has not done the work on the alternative views for this topic that he does with others to understand them and respond directly to them. Really an unintended straw man response to typical simplistic JW type assumptions .

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