This is the postscript to my series of rebuttals to former Jehovah’s Witness turned Atheist Hector Heinz: The Bible on the Only True God Pt. 5.
On April 5, 2001 Heinz included an addendum to his initial response to my paper where he attempts to rebut Robert Hommel’s article regarding the proper understanding of John 17:3. Aside from Heinz erroneously attributing the article to me, an attribution which he later partially corrected after being informed of his error, the mistakes in Heinz’s logic and exegesis are quite glaring. This will be documented in a future rebuttal, Lord willing.
Here, I would like to address Heinz’s response to Jude 4 where Jesus is said to be our only Sovereign Master and Lord. Heinz begins:
Sam: Witnesses who argue as Stafford does deny the possibility of a multipersonal God from the outset. They therefore place considerable emphasis on their preferred definition of “true,” for without it, they would be forced to concede that the Son is a false god. However, we may ask how it is that John 17:3 excludes Jesus from the category of “true” God, when Jude 4 does not exclude the Father from the category of Lord?
Reply: Because, the Son was “MADE LORD.” (Acts 2:36) The Father was never MADE anything, and as almighty, does not need to be made anything. Again, you can see what is happening here. Again, there is no proof of a tri-personal/triune anything, as it is all about the Dynamic Duo, never the Triune Trio. This is sheer trickery at work.
Heinz then goes on to claim:
Sam sent: But then we may ask why it is that this same exclusive connotation does not exclude the Father from being “Lord” and “Master” in Jude 4?
Reply: Again, like I said, the Father was never made Lord (Acts 2:36). He GAVE Jesus authority (Mt 28:18). Obviously there was a time when he was not Lord, and did not have authority. Oh what confusion this terrible Trinity brings with it.
Robert Wilken wrote in _The Myth of Christian Beginnings:
“From the very beginning, the Christian tradition had struggled with the question of JESUS’ relation to God . . . Very early Christians tried to account for his extraordinary life and accomplishments and his Resurrection, and it was not long before he was called Son of God–then God. EVEN SO, HE WAS NOT GOD IN THE SENSE IN WHICH THE FATHER WAS GOD–OR WAS HE? Was he creator, was he eternal, should he be addressed in prayer? These and other questions troubled thoughtful Christians for almost three centuries. During these years, MOST CHRISTIANS VAGUELY THOUGHT OF JESUS AS GOD; yet they did not actually think of him IN THE SAME WAY THAT THEY THOUGHT OF GOD THE FATHER. They seldom addressed prayers to him, and thought of him somehow as SECOND TO GOD–DIVINE, YES, BUT NOT FULLY GOD . . . When the controversy over the relation of Jesus to God the Father broke out in the early fourth century, most Christians were “SUBORDINATIONISTS,” i.e. they believed that Christ was God BUT NOT IN PRECISELY THE SAME WAY THAT THE FATHER WAS GOD” (See pp. 177-183).
Aside from the ad hominem slurs, Heinz’s response is actually no response. I had already anticipated and addressed Heinz’s claim that Jesus was made Lord. As I stated, even if Jesus was made Lord by the Father this still does not answer the question. Here is the question that Heinz still did not answer. Since the NT clearly teaches that Jesus is the one Lord, and more specifically our only Sovereign Master and Lord, how can the Father also be both Lord and the Sovereign Master of believers as the NT teaches? Either the NT contradicts itself (something unacceptable to both Evangelicals and JWs), or (as my position assumes) the exclusive use of a title for one member of a group does not rule out the use of the same title for another member. The reason why the Father can be referred to as Sovereign Master and Lord while the Son is said to be our only Sovereign Master and Lord is because both the Father and the Son share the same eternal Being of the one true God. Hence, what is said of one member of the Godhead equally applies to the other member(s) as far as their divine nature and attributes are concerned.
Furthermore, Heinz does not care to mention that Acts 2:36 actually states that Jesus was made both Lord and Christ. Heinz also forgot to mention that the context of this statement refers to Jesus’ post-resurrection ascension and exaltation:
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:32-36 NIV
The context implies that Jesus was made both Lord and Christ after his resurrection. Yet scripture elsewhere states that Jesus was both Lord and Christ even before his death and resurrection:
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’ When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”’” Matthew 2:1-6 NIV
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.” Matthew 16:15-20 NIV
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:10-12 NIV
“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41 NIV
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:13-14 NIV
If Heinz insists that Jesus only became Lord and Christ at his exaltation to heaven then he must presume that the Holy Bible contradicts itself. Since neither Heinz nor myself believe that the Holy Bible contains any real contradictions then the problem lies with Heinz’s insistence on taking the word “made” to mean that Jesus actually became something at his resurrection that he had not been previously.
In light of the preceding passages, the sense in which God “made” Jesus both Lord and Christ is that through the resurrection God demonstrated that Jesus was in fact who he claimed to be. Christ’s resurrection and exaltation was God’s declaration to the world that Jesus is his beloved Son, the Christ and the Lord of all. (Cf. Romans 1:3-4) Therefore, there was no name given to Jesus after his resurrection that did not already belong to him prior to this event.
Heinz then cites Matthew 28:18 where Jesus is said to be given authority. Seemingly, Heinz is trying to establish the fact that Jesus cannot be God if his authority was given to him by another. Heinz commits a categorically fallacy since he confuses Jesus’ position with his nature. Heinz fails to take into consideration that at the incarnation Jesus took on the form of a slave and set aside his authority for a season. (Cf. Philippians 2:5-8)
Therefore, Jesus received an authority that he already possessed prior to becoming man. Jesus himself asserts this:
“So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself WITH THE GLORY I HAD ALONGSIDE YOU before the world was.” John 17:5 NWT
Jesus is demanding to receive the very same glory he already possessed with the Father before entering into the world. Jesus is receiving something that already belonged to him but which he voluntarily set aside.
Heinz’s reasoning would also prove that the Father is not fully God in the sense that Jesus is since the Holy Bible teaches that Jesus will give the Father all authority and dominion at the consummation of the age:
“Then comes the end, when He (Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.” 1 Corinthians 15:24 NKJV
Heinz might wish to argue that the context clearly states that Jesus is giving to the Father something that he already possessed but passed on to his Son. Therefore, this passage does not prove that the Father is not God or that Jesus is a greater God than the Father. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:25-28)
If so this affirms my point, namely that just because the Son was given authority does not rule out the fact that Jesus is God. Heinz’s argument no more proves that Jesus is not God in the same sense that the Father is then the fact that the Father receives dominion from the Son proves that the Father is not the same kind of God that Jesus is.
Another problem with Heinz’s use of Matthew 28:18 is that it ignores the immediate context. When read in its intended context the passage actually affirms that Jesus is God Almighty:
“Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the thins that I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” Matthew 28:19-20 NWT
Matthew affirms that Jesus shares the same divine name of the Father and is also omnipresent. Matthew ends his Gospel in the same manner in which he began it. Namely that Jesus is Immanuel, the eternal God himself who is always with us:
“All this actually came about for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by Jehovah through his prophet, saying: ‘Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Im-manu’el,’ which means when translated, ‘With Us Is God (ho Theos- THE GOD)’.” Matthew 1:22-23 NWT
Heinz once more commits the fallacy of appealing to authority by citing Wilken’s The Myth of Christian Religion. Wilken is wrong in claiming that Jesus is not God in the same sense that the Father is. His very own criterion establishes that Jesus is indeed God Almighty. Both the NT and the early Church clearly taught that Jesus was the Creator, Eternal, the very One addressed in prayer as well as receiving the very same exact type of worship that the Father receives.
Furthermore, the only ones that struggled with Jesus’ Deity weren’t orthodox believers but heretics who denied the Son’s essential equality with the Father.
Third, the way in which the Fathers thought of Jesus being different from the Father is in the Son’s eternal generation. Whereas the Father was Unoriginate/Unbegotten, the Son was eternally begotten yet NOT MADE. The Fathers were clear in distinguishing Jesus’ generation from the Father with asserting that Jesus was created. They clearly denied that Jesus was a creature, affirming instead that he was the eternal Creator.
Wilken also commits a categorical fallacy since he assumes that the early Fathers’ belief in Jesus’ subordination to the Father somehow implies that the Fathers denied Jesus’ essential equality with the Father. The early Church Fathers wholeheartedly affirmed that Jesus was equal with the Father in nature and essence, having the same substance, while remaining subordinate to the Father in position and rank.
We therefore find both Heinz and Wilken committing a chronological fallacy. They read their own modern understanding of what it means that Jesus was subordinate to his Father into the writings of the early Church. They refuse to allow the Fathers to define what they meant since to do so leads to the inevitable conclusion that the Fathers were in fact Trinitarians.
This concludes our rebuttal to Heinz for now.
In the service of the one true God Jehovah, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One God in three Persons, a blessed Trinity. Amen.
Heinz also added the following statement at the beginning of his article:
Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures are from the American Standard Version 1901
A Partial Reply to http://pionet.net/~cultrsch/biblical_mono….but wait, as of April 10 2001, Sam Shamoun indicated to me that he did not write this, or parts of this. As you can see, Trinitarians are very confusing.
Aside from Heinz’s sarcasm, it is pretty evident that Heinz doesn’t mind using underhanded tactics to undermine his detractors. If Heinz is claiming that I denied writing the article on Biblical monotheism then Heinz is simply being deceptive. Here is what I said:
I have added an addendum (per your email) at the same page at
Sam’s email response:
Ahh, your apparent ignorance is quite glaring. I did not write that article. So please stop lying to your readers by attributing something to me. I am almost done with my response.
Ahh, I think that is interesting from a psychological standpoint, don’t you. Are you a habitual liar?
Ahh Hector, your Mother has taught you well. You are much like your father who only knows to lie. John 8:44
The author of that article is Robert Hommel who will be informed of your gross errors and scripture twisting. Just wait and see how Jehovah Jesus delivers you over by exposing your misquotations and logical fallacies. You are a master of logical fallacies, I must say. I am about done. Just be patient. You will be exposed soon.
It is quite apparent that the only part I denied writing was the article regarding John 17:3 since that article was written by Robert Hommel. It is quite sad to see JW apologists stooping to such levels of dishonesty and name-calling in order to obtain an unfair advantage over their opponents. As I stated to Heinz, it is only those who are under the bondage of Satan that feel the need to lie. John 8:44
We pray that the Lord Jesus will set him and the other JW apologists free and come to accept the biblical truth that Jesus is Jehovah God incarnate. John 8:31-36