Clarifications and Errata for My Master’s Thesis

Suffice it to say that, during the time I wrote my thesis, it was perhaps one of the most personally challenging times in my life. Due to certain circumstances, I had to move my family twice in three weeks, in the middle of writing (!), and overall I had less time to write and review because I did this during a summer semester. So, there were times I offered very condensed reasoning, could have been clearer, and just made some mistakes. Here are some instances I have found or have had pointed out to me.

Clarifications

Note: These are in chapter order.


p. 55n64: It was misleading for me to say that, unless we take “the Father” and “Jesus” as temporally non-rigid terms in the inconsistent tetrad, it isn’t inconsistent. The tetrad is inconsistent as to its logical structure no matter what, meaning that at one and the same time only three of the four claims can be true.

What I think I lack here is a distinction between logical inconsistency and rational inconsistency. That’s because, when the terms are temporally non-rigid on a modified Oneness view, those on the public timeline may hold to all four terms rationally (i.e., they aren’t rationally inconsistent) even though they may not see how all four claims might be the case. As it turns out, on the metaphysical scenario I give (following Leftow) on the modified Oneness view, either (P2) or (P3) is false on God’s personal timeline. So, what I think that footnote should say is that, on a particular Oneness view, one is not rationally inconsistent to hold to all four claims even though, logically, they can’t all be true at once. On a modified Oneness view, they aren’t all true at once to God.


When I discuss how well “standard” Oneness views meet the explanatory criteria, I say that any of them face this problem: If Jesus is the Father Incarnate it is still surprising that Jesus and the Father are at least depicted as numerically distinct subjects. It could still be true that they are one and the same subject; but depicting them as such, even when knows this isn’t the case, requires explanation.

I then consider an objection: But God appears in the Old Testament in “theophanies.” Here’s my response:

One might address this worry by pointing out God’s “theophanies” in the OT. In response, I would say that none of these theophanies was considered to be “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9) or the one who reveals the Father (John 1:18). If Jesus Christ fully reveals God, the way John depicts him next to the Father in Revelation seems to disconfirm any standard Oneness view. (p. 60)

At face value, one could easily press the plain language here as me also implying that, on even a Trinitarian view, none of the OT theophanies could be a divine Person. But this is beyond my intention.

Here’s what I mean: Even on the Oneness view, those theophanies in the OT aren’t the Son, the one in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells (Col 2:9), and the one who reveals the Father (John 1:18). So there are three problems here: (1) There is a disanalogy between the Son and OT theophanies; (2) I don’t know of any case where the theophany is depicted alongside God, so I don’t see that helps here; and (3) even if there were such a case, Christ is supposed to reveal the Father fully precisely because he’s the Father Incarnate, which makes superfluous to picture him next to the Father. If that slain Lamb fully reveals the Father, which is precisely what the Gospel of John claims, why is the Father being depicted in the same scene?

Errata

 

Page Error
5 “…. a grammatical-historical approach to exegesis his immense value” should read “has.”
40n9 I mistakenly call a modus tollens type of argumentation a modus ponens. It should be clear from the footnote that I know the difference despite that!