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  #1  
Unread 19th August 2007, 02:34 PM
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Jehovah's Witnesses rebuttals?

Got into a discussion with a Jehovah's Witnesses recently, and I discovered that they hold Arian beliefs. Sorry, I can't let go of what the Council of Nicea has already defined as our Trinitarian beliefs, along with the Son of God meaning God the Son, not Michael the Archangel.

Anyway, what I got back was , "If Jesus is God, then Manoah & his wife would have seen him, thus making John 1:18 incorrect." Of course he has his Arian answer, and my Reformed study Bible doesn't really go into that aspect of a pre-incarnate Jesus. So I'm asking for a little help here other than "it's a mystery."

Also another rebuttal from him, "By the way, you didnít explain Rev 3:12, Jesus worshipping his God."

I don't see his side of it at all because of all the other texts that support Jesus being God, but the text that he quotes does confuse me a little. What I get out of Revolution 3:12 is that "God worshiping God" is really just a parting out of the Trinity to show distinctive personalities while remaining a mystery of unity within the Godhead. And as Jesus as a man was subject to God the Father, so we see a mirror image here without losing the deity of Jesus Christ.

Is this what y'all get out of it?

I keep telling him that there is no way that we are going to convince each other of the truths of our positions. He is locked into Jehovah's Witness theology, I'm locked in to Calvinism, and we will be discussing meanings of verses until we are blue in the face. And I would do the same thing with Arminianism, I know that I will not be able to convince anyone outside of Calvinism of the truth of this position, except only in rare circumstances. But I ain't gonna budge.

There are a couple of other issues that he discussed, and I'll get to them later, this is enough for now. I would appreciate some Calvinist inputs to refute what he's trying to tell me.
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  #2  
Unread 20th August 2007, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by kj7gs View Post
Got into a discussion with a Jehovah's Witnesses recently, and I discovered that they hold Arian beliefs. Sorry, I can't let go of what the Council of Nicea has already defined as our Trinitarian beliefs, along with the Son of God meaning God the Son, not Michael the Archangel.

Anyway, what I got back was , "If Jesus is God, then Manoah & his wife would have seen him, thus making John 1:18 incorrect." Of course he has his Arian answer, and my Reformed study Bible doesn't really go into that aspect of a pre-incarnate Jesus. So I'm asking for a little help here other than "it's a mystery."

Also another rebuttal from him, "By the way, you didnít explain Rev 3:12, Jesus worshipping his God."

I don't see his side of it at all because of all the other texts that support Jesus being God, but the text that he quotes does confuse me a little. What I get out of Revolution 3:12 is that "God worshiping God" is really just a parting out of the Trinity to show distinctive personalities while remaining a mystery of unity within the Godhead. And as Jesus as a man was subject to God the Father, so we see a mirror image here without losing the deity of Jesus Christ.

Is this what y'all get out of it?

I keep telling him that there is no way that we are going to convince each other of the truths of our positions. He is locked into Jehovah's Witness theology, I'm locked in to Calvinism, and we will be discussing meanings of verses until we are blue in the face. And I would do the same thing with Arminianism, I know that I will not be able to convince anyone outside of Calvinism of the truth of this position, except only in rare circumstances. But I ain't gonna budge.

There are a couple of other issues that he discussed, and I'll get to them later, this is enough for now. I would appreciate some Calvinist inputs to refute what he's trying to tell me.
Witnessing to JWs can certainly be a toughie. They really are locked into their own interpretations of the Greek. I sat down with one for a long time and we went over John 1, where their New World Translation says "In the begining was the word, and the word was with god, and the word was a god...". I thought I had demonstrated pretty conclusively that they have a mistranslation there, that it really should be translated "and the Word was God..."...and made not a bit of headway with the person, who insisted they have the correct translation even though I had just demonstrated that it could not possibly be translated their way.

I think another approach, that I have not yet tried but am eager to try at the next opportunity, would be to focus on Total Depravity and the fact that there is nothing we can do to earn salvation. They really are big on salvation-by-works.

One important point, I think, is that our goal in evangelism is not to win arguments. It is simply to present the truth and let God change the hearts. Surely, we want to present God's truths as clearly as we can, but even if we can back the other person into a corner with our arguments, and they merely concede that they cannot beat our arguements without experiencing a change of heart, we havn't really won anything. We need to be responsible to present God's truths and rest assured that God will use that to His glory however we perceive our words' effectiveness to be. Your job here might simply have been to plant some Gospel seed and doubts in his/her current system.

Oh, BTW....the person's question about Rev 3:12 demonstrates the main problem with a lot of people who deny the Trinity...the don't really understand it. I'm having an ongoing discussion with some neighbors who follow Gwen Shamblin's views against the Trinity. I can't make then understand that the arguements Shamblin presents against the Trinity are largely arguements against 'modalism'...which is not the Trinity. I found a great pamphlet at our local Christian bookstore that really helps explain what the Trinity is and what it is not. I usually buy three or four every time I go to that bookstore and pass them out almost like tracts, mostly to other believers. Check this out.
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  #3  
Unread 20th August 2007, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kj7gs
Anyway, what I got back was , "If Jesus is God, then Manoah & his wife would have seen him, thus making John 1:18 incorrect." Of course he has his Arian answer, and my Reformed study Bible doesn't really go into that aspect of a pre-incarnate Jesus. So I'm asking for a little help here other than "it's a mystery."
I don't know what the Jehovah's Witness was trying to prove. It is apparent that in Judges 13, it is the angel of the Lord (see 13:3, 9, 13, 16, 17, 18, 21).

Originally Posted by kj7gs
Also another rebuttal from him, "By the way, you didn’t explain Rev 3:12, Jesus worshipping his God."
That's not what the Text says. Yes, Jesus says, "my God," but that's not worship.

Originally Posted by kj7gs
What I get out of Revolution 3:12 is that "God worshiping God" is really just a parting out of the Trinity to show distinctive personalities while remaining a mystery of unity within the Godhead. And as Jesus as a man was subject to God the Father, so we see a mirror image here without losing the deity of Jesus Christ.

Is this what y'all get out of it?
I wouldn't go with this assumption. The verse isn't even about worshiping.
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  #4  
Unread 20th August 2007, 01:23 AM
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Double post.
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God is deemed omnipotent, not because he can act though he may cease or be idle, or because by a general instinct he continues the order of nature previously appointed; but because, governing heaven and earth by his providence, he so overrules all things that nothing happens without his counsel. For when it is said in the Psalms, "He has done whatsoever he has pleased," the thing meant is his sure and deliberate purpose. -Institutes i, xvi, iii

Last edited by Monergism; 20th August 2007 at 01:25 AM. Reason: ignore double post
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  #5  
Unread 20th August 2007, 08:37 AM
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My patent response to any JW that clouds my day is to tell them to repent of their blasphemy against my Redeemer and flee that Russellite synagogue of Satan, because all the while they spend there the wrath of God is justly fixed against them. The usual reaction is widened eyes and a stammering retreat, which is fine with me. Rather than engaging in contentions over words and their meanings, I'd rather just leave the blasphemers with a warning, and hope that they may hear it and turn.

Russell was an arrogant, blaspheming scoundrel with limited education who did what all reprobates who fancy themselves "enlightened" do; created his own false god to which he could ingratiate himself by his own actions. Nothing new under the sun, and nothing to get worked up about. The Lord will redeem His own. Arguing Greek with a JW just doesn't seem to be a productive endeavor to me.
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Unread 20th August 2007, 11:12 AM
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Unread 20th August 2007, 12:26 PM
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Pehaps one way of arguing with them would be to focus on disproving things they believe but do not see as so central, such as whether Christ died on a cross or a stake. They may be more open to persuasion here. Yet them compromising here would lead to less confidence in their other beliefs, once one has been undermined. OTOH this is probably falling into the trap of letting the discussion move away from the really important issues never to return.

BTW wasn't there a bit in one of Paul's letters in which Paul takes an OT hymn to God and applies it to Jesus? I think it was Philippians, but I'm not sure! Sorry!
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Unread 20th August 2007, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bradfordl View Post
My patent response to any JW that clouds my day is to tell them to repent of their blasphemy against my Redeemer and flee that Russellite synagogue of Satan, because all the while they spend there the wrath of God is justly fixed against them. The usual reaction is widened eyes and a stammering retreat, which is fine with me. Rather than engaging in contentions over words and their meanings, I'd rather just leave the blasphemers with a warning, and hope that they may hear it and turn.
But isn't that just how you witness to everyone, anyway? (Well...modifying the 'Russellite' part, as necessary.)

...Arguing Greek with a JW just doesn't seem to be a productive endeavor to me.
It hasn't been very productive for me so far. It was just another class for me in the School of Hard Knocks, I guess.
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Unread 20th August 2007, 08:54 PM
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I rarely see JW's anymore.

Several years ago they knocked on my door and, of course, had lots and lots of their Watchtower publications to share.

I nicely agreed to take and read their publications if, and only if, they took mine - and I handed them copies of the London Baptist Confession and John Piper's The Passion of Jesus Christ.

Needless to say they weren't interested in what I had to share - and they haven't stopped at my door since.

edie
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It often surprises people to learn that God is not always pleased when people worship him. We might be inclined to think that God should be thankful for any attention we give him out of our busy schedules. But worship is not about God's thanking us; it is about our thanking him. And God is not pleased with just anything we choose to do in his presence. The mighty Lord of heaven and earth demands that our worship-indeed, all of life-be governed by his word.
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  #10  
Unread 20th August 2007, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by edb19 View Post
I rarely see JW's anymore.

Several years ago they knocked on my door and, of course, had lots and lots of their Watchtower publications to share.

I nicely agreed to take and read their publications if, and only if, they took mine - and I handed them copies of the London Baptist Confession and John Piper's The Passion of Jesus Christ.

Needless to say they weren't interested in what I had to share - and they haven't stopped at my door since.

edie
Yup...that's a show-stopper!
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