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on 25 March 2016
Mr Strobel, this is a good book vitiated, I fear, by one issue that merits, in my view, your anxious consideration.
You assert that Jesus claimed to be God. On the contrary, Jesus constantly referred to God as his father, indicating that Jesus is the son of God--no more and no less. Dr Carson's convoluted attempt to effectively interpret Jesus's unequivocal and unambiguous statement "for the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) as "the Father is NOT greater than I" amounts, I am afraid, to risible sophistry; God has no equal.
Moreover, Jesus and God are "one" only in the sense that they are of one accord as demonstrated by Jesus's request addressed to God that his disciples "may be one as we are one" (John 17:11, 22). Now, if Jesus is God incarnate, who precisely was he praying to in John 17? Self-evidently, there would be no need for Jesus to pray to God if he is himself God.
Note also in Luke 22:42 that Jesus says "yet not my will, but yours be done", indicating that God's will takes precedence over that of Jesus and that God is indeed greater than Christ. Therefore, God and His son, Jesus, are self-evidently two wholly separate, discrete beings, as further demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 11:3, which states "the head of Christ is God". See also 1 Corinthians 15:27-28, 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Mark 10:18. After all, how can God sit at his own right hand (Psalm 110:1, acts 2:34)? Additionally, Colossians 1:15 states "[Jesus is] the firstborn over all creation." This means Jesus was created by God and therefore had a beginning whereas God has no beginning (Psalm 90:2).
While the historical perspective given by theologians such as Dr Carson are sometimes useful, sight must not be lost of the fact that the scriptures were written by ordinary people for ordinary people, and theologians are not infallible. After all, I suspect we have them to thank for the inquisition and the sell of "indulgencies", among other iniquities, by the Church of Rome.
In conclusion, the son of God cannot simultaneously be God; this is an affront to commonsense. Thankfully, Jesus does not himself, at any stage in the scriptures, require us to make this insuperable leap in imagination; He, as far as I am aware, does not anywhere claim to be god. Therefore, the trinitarian doctrine, adhered to by some (particularly papists) is fataly flawed: there is no such thing as a trinity of equals in the scriptures.
Separately, it’s my view at present that, although it is inspired by God, the Bible is not entirely free from error since its writers were fallible human beings. For example, in Romans 13:3, NIV, Paul states that “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.” In my view this statement is just as false today as it undoubtedly was in Paul’s times; certainly, the victim’s of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge or those of Hitler’s third Reich would take vehement exception to it. Are we to understand that these tyrants were instituted by God and that, moreover, their victims brought their fate on themselves? See Proverbs 29:2, NIV.