"John MacArthur abandoning the Trinitarian Faith" or "Don't trade loyalty for technicalities"?


An article on a Catholic website opens with these three sentences:

Some Evangelicals, such as John MacArthur, J. Oliver Buswell, and the late Walter Martin, have been abandoning the Trinitarian faith as defined by the First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325). Their abandonment of orthodox Trinitarianism consists in denying the eternal Sonship of Christ, the doctrine that the second person of the Trinity was the Son of God from all eternity. Instead, they claim that the second person of the Trinity only became the Son of God at his incarnation. Apart from the incarnation he was still God, but not the Son, just the second Person.

Some institutions or groups would claim authenticating authority over all Christians. At times these claims are related to a supposed ability to articulate a definition of God which goes beyond prophetic scripture. As I have studied alongside others, I have noticed that in scripture we find men held intrinsically responsible for an appropriate response to the LORD even without a bunch of information about His "nature". If some group should go beyond the explicit testimony of prophetic scripture attempting to balance and understand the nature of God, it seems like they should at those extra-biblical points, be most humble and deal most humbly with others. This however has not been the case among so many who would claim to be disciples. It is precisely in areas of extra-biblical, speculative, and deductive theology that men have been most proud and judgmental of others. Maybe they are too natural...you know...the way we men are naturally more concerned with asserting ourselves than we are with humble fidelity to God and each other.

Would those engaged in the arguments and the condemnations be better served by concentrating on a response of loyal-acknowledgment to Jesus Christ? As for the original disciples themselves, they expressed more difficulty with Jesus' Kingdom ethic (Matthew 19:10,25), and exclusivity(John 6:53,63), than they did with the high statements about Jesus' relationship to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The particulars of the relationship between the Father and the Son only caused consternation where there was a lack of loyalty to God manifest in a lack of loyalty to Jesus. The reason that we do not find a New Testament separation of the faithful from the unfaithful, down a line of ones precision in apprehending sophisticated arguments on the ontological nature of the Godhead...is because that is not where the line is drawn.

Faith, that is to say loyal-acknowledgment, is personal and God has communicated to us that personal is how He takes it. So that to look upon the Son, Jesus, in loyal-acknowledgment is considered looking upon His Father, Jehovah, with loyal-acknowledgment and God is pleased to count those who do so as legitimate in His sight. Proving loyal to Jesus will have to do with receiving Him when others despise Him. It will have more to do with receiving His teaching, and life, death, and resurrection, than it will with receiving the subsequently formulated dogma of men. The faith will prove to be in line with John's explanation: "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also (1Jn 2:23)."

Did Jesus, before he was born, always exist as the eternally begotten Son OR did Jesus eternally exist as the Word that was later begotten by the Father as the Son when He brought Him into the world? These are fine points for which we may humbly examine the scriptural statements. But to try to get people to arrive at loyalty to God by extra-biblical inference and through dogmatically speculative assertiveness will be counter-productive. We are not to de-contextualize these or any scripture passages from the whole of the prophetic scriptures. It won't do to turn various passages of prophetic scripture into strips of de-contextualized "truth" so that we, with help from the paste of pride, can get about adding bulk to a paper mache' catholicism.

These sort of arguments seem to receive a disproportionate emphasis among antagonists more concerned with having a silver bullet to use against others in a theological hierarchy war. But why would a disciple be found jockeying for position amid presumptuous, illegitimate, perhaps even mediatorial, authority claims?

The more we read the Gospels...and stand under them, the more focused we should become on the proper focal point. And maybe some of the more eccentric grappling will become less necessary for a people who would be that faithful remnant, marked by loyalty to the God of Israel in Jesus Christ.

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