This past Friday on April 21st, Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries and Bro. Joe Ventilacion of Iglesia ni Cristo engaged in a debate on the nature of the Trinity. The debate was moderated by Dale Bartcher of Family Heritage Alliance, and was arranged and coordinated by South Dakota Apologetics.
Dr. White defended the affirmative: “The Bible teaches that within the one Being that is God there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Bro. Joe Ventilacion as the principle apologist for Iglesia ni Cristo, argued against the trinitarian view of God, namely, that Christ is not equal with, and in fact Himself, God. They claim that it is proper to give Jesus worship because God commanded the worship of Jesus, but worshipping Jesus does not make Him God. The group had nearly 300 people in support of their unorthodox movement, and were loudly represented.
Ethan Smith (who excellently clipped the above video) notes,
In brother White’s cross examination of Mr. Ventilacion on 2 Peter chapter 1, he asked him if “our Lord and Savior” in v.11 is referring to one person. He said yes. But when asked about v.1, he said it’s two even though the IDENTICAL syntax, words and structure occur for “our God and Savior Jesus Christ” except for θεου.
Mr. Ventilacion clearly exposed to the world his theological bias and commitment to his church’s teachings over and above what the Word of God says in how he attempted to explain 2 Peter 1:1.
Here is the Greek for your benefit:
2 Peter 1:11: “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” | τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ | tou theou hēmōn kai sōtēros iēsou christou
2 Peter 1:1: “our God and Savior Jesus Christ | τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ | tou kuriou hēmōn kai sōtēros iēsou christou
It is simply sound and logical to conclude that IF both “Lord” and “Savior” apply to one person, the Son, in v.11 and “God” and “Savior” also must refer to one person, the Son. Can something in inspired Scripture like this really be a coincidence? It’s the same author in the same chapter!
The isogesis by Mr. Ventilacion was utterly breathtaking, as much as the precise and clear exposition and argumentation by Dr. White was amazing to witness.
Follow James White on Twitter @DrOakley1689.