how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Hi Ed

There are about 50 or so logical flaws in your comment above. Nearly every sentence you’ve written contains logical fallacies – which is not uncommon when engaging Trinitarians. Here goes:

The REASON oneness theology was rejected from its very inception is because it contradicts that clear principles of Scripture.

You’re overselling your theology here. You’re assuming the ultimate truth of human decisions and make a judgment call on the alternative based on those decisions. It’s again a matter of lending greater priority to tradition and not seeing what biblical history, culture, anthropology and theology say themselves.

Your reference to prima traditione is a tactic called poisioning the well. It is a polarizing and pejorative term designed to distract and deceive.

I beg to differ. My reference to prima traditione is in response to the overwhelmingly clear display of unquestioned allegiance and loyalty you have for your cherished tradition. When pushed on what you believe based on Scriptural, linguistic and historical grounds, you make ad hominem attacks, and resort to threats and name-calling while reminding us that that is the typical, traditional and historical way “the Church” has dealt with heretics. So you can rant and rave about this self-inflicted wound all you like – prima traditione it will remain until your behaviour, logic and rhetoric justifies my dropping it. Appeal to emotion all you like (another fallacy), but you have earned this label.

Tradition is not ipso facto contrary to doctrine. It is used in both a good sense and a bad sense in the NT documents.

Strawman. I’ve never dismissed tradition per se. I’ve been in disagreement with aspects of Christian tradition enforced upon the Church by the powerful, corrupt and oppressive, while having hardly any Scriptural basis for its preference. While the early Reformers were just as opposed to preferring Tradition over Scripture (hence the slogan sola scriptura), you folks have displayed an allegiance to inherited (however unscruptural) Tradition, hence my disagreeing with your inconsistency and your compromising the sola scriptura principle.

Anyone can call anyone else “self-deceived” and sound like they know what their talking about when they do it.

True, but you’re wrong again. I’m not calling you folks “self-deceived” just for the sake of doing it. My conclusions follow from reason. There are certain hallmarks of self-deception such as denialism, inconsistent reasoning, contradiction, circular argumentation, fallacious reasoning, etc. Since you folks have displayed these traits in my engaging you, the logical conclusion, namely self-deception is something you’ve earned yourselves. Take ownership of it – that might help…

What you call “persecution,” Jesus Christ and Paul called Church discipline.

False parallel. First off (again earning your prima traditione label) you’re assuming that the church has gotten it perfectly right every time as in the case of Jesus and Paul, elevating its doctrines to the level of biblical truth. Secondly, I’ve never read Jesus Christ and Paul ordering or practicing burning dissenters at the stake for confessing what the Bible articulates contra Church Confessions. I’ve never seen them so focused on avenging dissention that wet wood was used and sulfur dusted on the dissenters’ heads to prolong the burning at the stake. (Sound familiar? Your Messiah, John Calvin was a torturer par excellence). You’re obviously approving of the Church’s legacy to send dissenters to Inquisition chambers, lock them up in dungeons, slaughtering and killing their empathizers and pillaging their property. You and your approved Church legacy stand in stark contrast to Jesus’ and Paul’s legacy of decisive, yet nonviolent action against rebellion against Scriptural principles.

Men who rose up teaching doctrines contrary to those handed down directly from the apostles were dealt with harshly for their obstinance and herersy. The Church must be kept pure. That means identifying the leaven and purging it from the body.

I’m not sure which doctrines you’re referring to here. If it is the Trinity fabrication formalised in the 4th and 5th centuries, you’re most certainly mistaken. There was no direct handing down of this invention from the apostles. It was a development requiring certain cultural, philosophical and theological substrates as precursors to its final design. None of these cultural, philosophical and theological prerequisites can be found in or harmonized with the Hebraic thought-world of Jesus and the apostles. In fighting the “monster” the Church has become the monster. By elevating the word of man to the level of God’s Word, your ancestors shed innocent and righteous blood in the name of Christ. That is the God-dishonoring blight European Christendom has given to Christianity – a legacy you are obviously delighted about…

Oneness theology is heretical leaven that was purged from the Church in the very beginning. And throughout Church history, every time it has attempted to infect the body with its vile self, it has been identified and purged and its adherents excommuicated. That is not persecution, it is obedience to the teachings and faith handed down to us by the apostles themselves.

I’m not Oneness, so I’m not sure why you’re raising this issue. The judgment of the Church is still not to be elevated as if it were the opinion of God. Prima traditione vs. Sola Scriptura. And apparently according to you, the only difference between Church discipline and brutal persecution is the group doing it – that’s not a good testimony of sophisticated logic.

Those of us in the Chruch are forbidden from debating this issue with you as if it is a discussion between fellow-Christians. It is not!

Well, you can’t burn us at the stake anymore, can you?

Should we be surprised if the hearts of men grow continually wicked, never ceasing in their efforts to corrupt the Church of God for whom Christ died? We are not surprised. That a great falling away should come before the end is clearly taught by Paul. The closer we move to the culmination of the great appearing of our Lord, the more wicked men will become. This correlation is clearly delineated for us in Scripture.

Amen to that! During the Reformation the Reformers were the leaven who corrupted the Roman Church. How interesting to see that the persecuted has gradually become the persecutor. And alas! Self-deception has prevented you folks from recognising the villain in the mirror…