Now THIS was a debate. I’ve been watching the Church of Christ broadcasts for quite some time, and this is the first time I felt like they really had a legitimate debate. Kudos to Johnny and Armando for the civility and the good points made on both sides.
I’ve mentioned before that I am a “trinitarian”. So, as I think back over the broadcast, I find myself in the very unusual place of agreeing with Johnny for nearly an entire broadcast! Very interesting feeling, this. A bit disconcerting… 😉
Because the debate itself went so well tonight, I’m going to actually dig into what was argued. Since I am a trinitarian, I was looking for Armando to convince me of his position tonight, and it just didn’t happen. Some thoughts along those lines, directed to Armando:
1. Your example that trinitarians have four gods is not correct. Actually, I agree completely in your quotation of Deut 6:4 – that “The Lord our God is one”. All trinitarians agree with this. We have one God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As Johnny said, the word “trinity” is just a word that is used to try and explain this very mysterious concept.
2. I would have liked to have heard a response to Johnny’s arguments. He laid out several verses where there’s more than one personality involved in the Godhead – and the Bible would need to be rewritten to support your assertion that it’s only one personality.
3. I thought it was funny that you mentioned John 1:1 – I had just written that verse down as an argument in support of the different distinct personalities of God.
4. Your argument about Rev 4:2 – yes, John saw “one” sitting on the throne. But, that’s not the end of it. Later, in Rev 5, we read about another person – “The Lamb”. Look at Rev 5:13: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Are the lamb and the one sitting on the throne the same person?
5. Johnny mentioned Rev 20:4 as there being more than one throne. I am not sure if he was implying thrones for each person of the trinity – but it seems from reading the context that this is referencing thrones for the saints in some form.
6. You said “the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the trinity”. What? Read this link to see that they most certainly do not: http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/index.htm. You also said the Mormons believe in the trinity. Their belief of the trinity is more like what you are criticizing – that there are three gods involved. It really is polytheism. http://www.mormonolympians.org/mormon/godhead_mormonism.html, but their belief doesn’t jive with Scripture – at least not Biblical scripture. Maybe the Book of Mormon?
As to Johnny’s “performance” tonight, I’d just say that the only thing that marred it for me was when he briefly fell back into his usual “what church are you in?” routine. I’m glad he didn’t stay in that. I thought he did a good job again of moving things along, and handling the callers, some of whom were… interesting (to say the least).
The only critique I’d make about the debate I would make is that I’d like to have had the two men really respond to the arguments that the other was making. Because through each ten minute session, each man was essentially continuing the same argument of the prior ten minutes. In Johnny’s case, he was just continuing the argument – in Armando’s case, he was repeating many of the same arguments over and over.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s debate. And, in case he does read this, I have a brief message to Johnny: If you would do this sort of debate more often, where it is fair and balanced, avoiding the theatrics, you would find a lot less criticism from the community, and your message would get out much more effectively, IMO.
Nathan’s Blog Result of the Third Night:
(Kudos again to both men for great civility and jobs well done, but…)
Johnny 1 / Armando 0
Look for the newspaper headline tomorrow… “Hell Freezes Over!”