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RE: More on "False Gods"

This was the last substantial post in this thread.


Hi, MS,

: : ROBERT: First, do you concede that the contrast in Gal 4:8 is between the True God and gods that are not gods by nature (regardless of your view of the latter), as the WT says?

MS: I re-read that article and still maintain that the word "production" shows that they were idols, not demons. In addition it says they were not "truly" gods, not that they were not the True God. The fact that this is plural both by Paul and the WT seems to mean that we are talking about mighty ones as opposed to vain idols.

ROBERT: Please re-read my question, MS. I asked you if you now believe that Paul is contrasting the True god to gods that are not gods by nature (regardless of how you interpret the latter). My point in quoting the WT was to show that the Slave teaches that this is the contrast Paul intends, not a contrast between gods who are gods by nature and those that aren't.

However you wish to interpret the WT's statement is fine with me. It's obviously more important to you to have a proper understanding of it than it is for me ;-)

MS: James White when addressing the argument that person and being are not distinguished in Scripture says that rocks have being. Trinitarians have a wide range of beliefs, don't they :)

ROBERT: Cute. I'm unfamiliar with White's comments in this regard. Perhaps he meant that a rock HAS being (as opposed to being "a being") in the sense of existing. Obviously, that is not my meaning. Now, I'd like to repeat the question. Does having a nature presuppose a being? Do you agree with me or with James White, as you've paraphrased him?

MS: I am familiar with OU MH as emphatic but MH as a negative particle as in "not". Could you provide references?

ROBERT: I think it was Vine. I'll check and get back to you (don't have my references with me at the moment). You're right, of course, that doubling ME with OU (or vice versa) adds emphasis. I was writing this 'on the fly' last night and may have mis-remembered something.

MS: According to you the contrast it between these and the one true God, right? Is is any easier to comprehend a created demon becoming "God" than for an idol of wood and stone? I don't think so. Each is equally impossible.

ROBERT: Yes, *we* know this to be true, but Paul was writing to former polytheists. In their minds, certainly an idol could never be God, but a living being, a "god"? Certainly more likely than an idol.

MS: Paul is teaching the utter futility of worshiping idols. They can't help man, even in the short run. Satan offered to give Jesus the world and he refused. There can be short term benefit of a sort given by demons, but idols are completely worthless to anyone.

ROBERT: Paul is teaching the utter futility of worshipping THEOI who are not THEOI by nature, MS. Those are his words.

MS: I understand your view on this but it does not make a good proof for your view because it is not explicit. If you had a scripture that said that angels were not God by nature it would then be explicit.

ROBERT: MS, are you saying implicit evidence is not valid? Can you prove to me that the Father of Jesus Christ is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob using explicit evidence?

You've been doing this long enough, MS, to know you can't prove anything with a negative. Scripture doesn't say that MEN don't have God's nature, either. What does that prove?

MS: In fact we do have something explicit that runs counter to your view. How can anyone be more of something than if they are called that something? Angels are called elohim and are beneh elohim. I am sure you know what it means to be calls 'sons of ...' in the Hebrew. Sons of prophets were prophets, etc.

ROBERT: This is not explicit evidence, MS. Human judges are called "elohim," too, but they are not literally "gods," are they? I see your point about "sons of...," but this need not mean more than they owe their existence to God. Just as God is the Father of all men, whether they believe in Him or not, since He is their Creator. Of course, as believers, we may become sons by adoption, that is, be brought back into a right relationship with Him through Christ.

What you need for explicit evidence is a statement to the effect that "angels have the same nature as God." Something, say, like John 1:1c ;-)

MS: So no number of implicit Scriptures can overturn the explicit ones. We should rather use the explicit references to inform our interpretation of the ambiguous ones, shouldn't we?

ROBERT: Agreed. But I don't think Gal 4:8 is at all ambiguous. I've laid out my argument, point by point. I am comfortable with it. I think it is logical and Scripturally sound. Obviously, you disagree. I just haven't seen anything by way of response to undermine my argument that Paul teaches that demons stand behind the idols that pagans worship, and these demons are not "gods" by nature. If they aren't "gods," MS, they must be demons, and therefore have an angelic/demonic nature.

Best regards,


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