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Thread: Debate thread: lee_merrill & 37818 - nature of Only Begotten Son

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Debate thread: lee_merrill & 37818 - nature of Only Begotten Son

    This is for lee_merrill and 37818 to debate whether or not the Bible teaches that Christ is "the only-begotten Son of God eternally begotten of the Father from eternity"


    lee_merrill will open taking the pro position

    37818 will offer a rebuttal

    37818 will present the anti position

    lee_merrill will offer a rebuttal



    Aside from my post here this debate is restricted to the two participants (37818 and lee_merrill). All other posts will be deleted.

    If you want to comment on what is said please start a commentary thread or post it there if someone already started one. Thank you.

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Hi 37818, glad to discuss this aspect of the Trinity with you. In doing so, I shall attempt to show that this doctrine is a deduction from Scripture, like the doctrine of the Trinity is a deduction from Scripture.

    “Its eternity [of the generation of the Son] follows not only from the eternity of God, but also from the divine immutability and from the true deity of the Son.” (Louis Berkhof)

    I hope we both conclude that God is eternal (Rom. 16:26, Deut. 33:27), that God does not change (Ps. 102:26-27 / Heb. 1:11-12, Mal. 3:6, James 1:17), and that the Son is divine (John 20:28, 1 John 5:20).

    So then if the Son is divine, he is eternal and he does not change. Now the Son is begotten of the Father (Ps. 2:7), so then the Son is begotten of God from all eternity.

    “Father” and “Son” imply a begetting, and when did this begetting happen? If not in eternity, then at some point in time, the Son was begotten, and came into being.

    “… if the Son is the eternal Son of the Father, then to say he is the eternal Son is virtually the same as saying he is eternally begotten of the Father.” (Kevin Giles)

    For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
    And the government will rest on His shoulders;
    And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6)

    "Eternal Father" applied to Jesus implies he is an eternal Son, and thus his begetting is from all eternity.

    “… the idea of the eternal generation of the Son is an inevitable corollary of the eternal sonship [of the Son].” (Donald Macleod)

    But doesn't Psalm 2:7 imply a definite time when Jesus was begotten? This verse is quoted in Acts, in reference to the resurrection! Not the Nativity:

    “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’” (Acts 13:32-33)

    Begotten at the resurrection? This shows at least that even his earthly begetting is not viewed in Scripture at the time we would naturally put it, and I believe that this verse corresponds to Jesus' earthly begetting, when Jesus became the firstborn of creation.

    He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Col. 1:18)

    Also, even the title of "firstborn" seems to have applied to Jesus, before his earthly birth:

    And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
    “AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.” (Heb. 1:6)

    Implying he was “born” before coming into the world. So then this birth, this generation, would be from all eternity, since God does not change.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Hi 37818, glad to discuss this aspect of the Trinity with you. In doing so, I shall attempt to show that this doctrine is a deduction from Scripture, like the doctrine of the Trinity is a deduction from Scripture.
    The teaching of the Trinity from Holy Scripture is not at issue. That the Son of God is deduced from Scripture to be fully God with His Father, is not at issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    “Its eternity [of the generation of the Son] follows not only from the eternity of God, but also from the divine immutability and from the true deity of the Son.” (Louis Berkhof)
    Berkhof's argument is not Holy Scripture. And what you cited is a concluding remark of one of his arguments.
    In reference to ". . . begotten from the Father before all ages, . . . Berkhof argued, "This does not mean, however, that it is an act that was completed in the far distant past,." But goes on to argue, "but rather that it is a timeless act, the act of an eternal present, an act always continuing and yet ever completed. Its eternity follows not only from the eternity of God, but also from the divine immutability and from the true deity of the Son." Now the full deity of the Son with God the Father and the immutablity which accompanies the deity of the Son is not dependant upon that argument. But is true independantly of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    I hope we both conclude that God is eternal (Rom. 16:26, Deut. 33:27), that God does not change (Ps. 102:26-27 / Heb. 1:11-12, Mal. 3:6, James 1:17), and that the Son is divine (John 20:28, 1 John 5:20).
    That God being the True God (John 17:3) and the Son of God being fully God with the Father is not at issue (John 5:18; John 14:9). And that God does not change is not at issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    So then if the Son is divine, he is eternal and he does not change. Now the Son is begotten of the Father (Ps. 2:7), so then the Son is begotten of God from all eternity.
    There are a number of issues here. First, the Son in His divinity "was God" never changed (John 1:1). But the Son in His incarnation, being "made" flesh (John 1:14) was a change. A change from how He was "with" God (John 1:2).

    Secondly, Psalm 2:7 is a proof text that the concept Biblically of being "begotten" from the Father from eternity is false.

    ". . . I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou [art] My Son; . . ." First, it states that the Son is already the Son.

    ". . . this day have I begotten Thee. . . ." Secondly, states a time, "this day." And the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us what day that was, it was the day the Son of God was in His incarnation rased bodily from the dead.

    ". . . God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. . . ." Acts 13:33 and context.



    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    “Father” and “Son” imply a begetting, and when did this begetting happen? If not in eternity, then at some point in time, the Son was begotten, and came into being.
    No. Both God the Father and the Son of God being the one LORD, that is, Yahweh, the "self-Existent" has no beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    “… if the Son is the eternal Son of the Father, then to say he is the eternal Son is virtually the same as saying he is eternally begotten of the Father.” (Kevin Giles)
    Kevin Giles' argument is not Holy Scripture. And that argument does not establish that assertion.


    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
    And the government will rest on His shoulders;
    And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6)

    "Eternal Father" applied to Jesus implies he is an eternal Son, and thus his begetting is from all eternity.
    The Son being called the "Eternal Father" fully representing God in person and deity, I agree establishes His eternal Sonship. But what it does not establish is, being "begotten from all eternity." Having no beginning always being the Son. Not being begotten, always being the Son, even as He is called the "Eternal Father" on behalf of God His Father (John 1:18; John 5:18; John 14:9).

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    “… the idea of the eternal generation of the Son is an inevitable corollary of the eternal sonship [of the Son].” (Donald Macleod)
    Again, an argument not from nor according to Holy Scripture.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    But doesn't Psalm 2:7 imply a definite time when Jesus was begotten? This verse is quoted in Acts, in reference to the resurrection! Not the Nativity:

    “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’” (Acts 13:32-33)
    Of course it does not refer to His human birth. It refers to His bodily resurrection in His incarnation. As the Apostle Paul wrote the Roman church, ". . . And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the s\Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: . . ." Romans 1:4.


    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Begotten at the resurrection? This shows at least that even his earthly begetting is not viewed in Scripture at the time we would naturally put it, and I believe that this verse corresponds to Jesus' earthly begetting, when Jesus became the firstborn of creation.

    He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Col. 1:18)
    The term "firstborn" is used in refer to Christ's bodily resurrection being the first immortal human to be raised from the dead. Romans 8:29. Revelation 1:5. And being the "firstborn of all creation" refers to Him being "the beginning" of the new heaven and earth (Romans 8:22-23; Revelation 21:1). The "first resurrection" (Revelation 20:6) precedes the new heaven and earth (21:1).

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Also, even the title of "firstborn" seems to have applied to Jesus, before his earthly birth:

    And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
    “AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.” (Heb. 1:6)
    No, this again refers to His resurrection from the dead as the Son of God. See Hebrews 1:5 before v.6 citing Psalm 2:7 which is a prophecy of Christ being raised from the dead. (Acts 13:33.)

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Implying he was “born” before coming into the world. So then this birth, this generation, would be from all eternity, since God does not change.
    The term "firstborn" is used Biblically to refer to Christ being the first resurrected immortal human. Romans 8:29. Colossians 1:15, 18 and Revelation 1:5.

    And the now in being, the resurrected Christ, He does not change (Hebrews 13:8).
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    The concept of the Son of God "being begotten of the Father from eternity" is alien to the word of God.

    The term "begotten" prophetically in the written word of God regarding the Son is used only to refer to His bodily resurrection from the dead.
    ". . . God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. . . ." the Apostle Paul (Acts 13:33 and context. Citing Psalm 2:7).

    God has no beginning and is without end, Psalm 90:2, ". . . Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou [art] God.

    And God did all creation exclusively through His Son as God.

    ". . . God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: . . ." Ephesians 3:9.

    And this being before His incarnation (John 1:14).

    ". . . And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. . ." Colossians 1:17.

    ". . . All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. . . ." John 1:3.

    And then who is therefore the Son of God in the Hebrew old covenant text?

    "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1.

    ". . . For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else. . . ." Isaiah 45:18.

    ". . . Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created. . . ." Revelation 4:11.
    .
    John writes all appearances of God were the Son:
    ". . . No man hath seen God at any time; the only existent Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared [Him]. . . ." John 1:18. [only existent - μονογενης from μονος + γινομαι. The English "only-begotten" translation is based in the Latin translation ungenitus. The English translation of "only-begotten" having the meaning of being uniquely God's Son is not objectionable.]

    John writes, ". . . These things said Isaiah, when he saw [Jesus'] His glory, and spake of Him." John 12:41.
    Referring to the words of Isaiah 6:9. Isaiah saw the pre-incarnate Christ:
    ". . . Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD [Yahweh] of hosts. . . ." Isaiah 6:5.

    And the Son of God also appeared to Abraham: ". . . And the LORD appeared unto Abram, . . . " Genesis 12.7.

    The Trinity explanation of God, that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit being the one true God does not require that alien concept of the Son of God "being begotten of the Father from eternity."

    The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9) as well as Himself (Romans 8:16).

    The eternal Sonship of the Son of God does not require the alien concept "being begotten of the Father from eternity."
    The ore-incarnate Son being identified as the LORD God in the old convenant Holy Scriptures. Genesis 12:7. Isaiah 6:5. Etc.

    That alien concept is not a Biblical doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). It is not a matter of salvation that one must believe that unbiblical alien concept of the Son of God "being begotten of the Father from eternity."

    ". . . Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. . . ." 2 John 9.

    ". . . That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. . . ." John 5:23. They are the LORD God. The self Existent.

    ". . . I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM [He], ye shall die in your sins. . . ." John 8:24.

    ". . . believe Me, and understand that I [am] He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside Me [there is] no Saviour. . . ." Isaiah 43;10-11.

    ". . . Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. . . ." Acts 4:12. v.10, ". . . Jesus Christ of Nazareth, . . . whom God raised from the dead, . . ."
    Last edited by 37818; 10-02-2017 at 05:56 AM.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

  5. #5
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Hi 37818, here is my reply...

    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Berkhof argued, "This does not mean, however, that it is an act that was completed in the far distant past,." But goes on to argue, "but rather that it is a timeless act, the act of an eternal present, an act always continuing and yet ever completed. Its eternity follows not only from the eternity of God, but also from the divine immutability and from the true deity of the Son." Now the full deity of the Son with God the Father and the immutablity which accompanies the deity of the Son is not dependant upon that argument. But is true independantly of it.
    Certainly immutability and the deity of the Son are not being argued for. But Berkhov speaks here of the deduction from Scripture of the eternal generation of the Son.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    So then if the Son is divine, he is eternal and he does not change. Now the Son is begotten of the Father (Ps. 2:7), so then the Son is begotten of God from all eternity.
    There are a number of issues here. First, the Son in His divinity "was God" never changed (John 1:1). But the Son in His incarnation, being "made" flesh (John 1:14) was a change. A change from how He was "with" God (John 1:2).

    Secondly, Psalm 2:7 is a proof text that the concept Biblically of being "begotten" from the Father from eternity is false.

    ". . . I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou [art] My Son; . . ." First, it states that the Son is already the Son.

    ". . . this day have I begotten Thee. . . ." Secondly, states a time, "this day." And the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us what day that was, it was the day the Son of God was in His incarnation rased bodily from the dead.

    ". . . God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. . . ." Acts 13:33 and context.
    Yet we both acknowledge that Jesus' nature didn't change when he became flesh. Now if being begotten is part of the nature of a person, then Jesus' begetting at the resurrection did not change the fact that he is begotten of God before this.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    “Father” and “Son” imply a begetting, and when did this begetting happen? If not in eternity, then at some point in time, the Son was begotten, and came into being.
    No. Both God the Father and the Son of God being the one LORD, that is, Yahweh, the "self-Existent" has no beginning.
    We agree that God the Father and the Son have no beginning, do we agree that "Father" and "Son" imply a begetting? That is the nature of a Father-Son relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    "Eternal Father" applied to Jesus implies he is an eternal Son, and thus his begetting is from all eternity.
    The Son being called the "Eternal Father" fully representing God in person and deity, I agree establishes His eternal Sonship. But what it does not establish is, being "begotten from all eternity." Having no beginning always being the Son. Not being begotten, always being the Son, even as He is called the "Eternal Father" on behalf of God His Father (John 1:18; John 5:18; John 14:9).
    But we both agree that being begotten does not mean Jesus had a beginning (Ps. 2:7).

    ... this again refers to His resurrection from the dead as the Son of God. See Hebrews 1:5 before v.6 citing Psalm 2:7 which is a prophecy of Christ being raised from the dead. (Acts 13:33.)

    The term "firstborn" is used Biblically to refer to Christ being the first resurrected immortal human. Romans 8:29. Colossians 1:15, 18 and Revelation 1:5.
    Yet he brings his firstborn into the world (Heb. 1:6), which implies he was the firstborn before the incarnation. Implying he was considered "born" before the incarnation, implying he was begotten before then too. Then as we all agree, Jesus is eternal and he does not change, so then this birth, this generation, would be from all eternity.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  6. #6
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    The concept of the Son of God "being begotten of the Father from eternity" is alien to the word of God.

    The term "begotten" prophetically in the written word of God regarding the Son is used only to refer to His bodily resurrection from the dead.
    ". . . God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. . . ." the Apostle Paul (Acts 13:33 and context. Citing Psalm 2:7).
    But if the Son does not change, then this begetting would not have changed his nature. The only way for a begetting not to be a change is for it to be from all eternity. So then "today I have begotten You" will be true as an example of his begetting, at the resurrection.

    The Trinity explanation of God, that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit being the one true God does not require that alien concept of the Son of God "being begotten of the Father from eternity."
    Though a Father-Son relationship does imply a begetting.

    The eternal Sonship of the Son of God does not require the alien concept "being begotten of the Father from eternity."
    The ore-incarnate Son being identified as the LORD God in the old convenant Holy Scriptures. Genesis 12:7. Isaiah 6:5. Etc.
    But the eternal Sonship implies eternal generation, to be a son implies a begetting by a father.

    It is not a matter of salvation that one must believe that unbiblical alien concept of the Son of God "being begotten of the Father from eternity."
    I agree that this is not a matter of salvation.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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