PW’s basic ignorance and lack of theological and philosophical rigor is on full display in his recent replies (see here and here), which conveniently only respond to one of the recent posts I wrote in response to his attempt to cover up the following lie about what Christians believe:
And this is only the latest instance of PW lying and trying to deceive people. As far back as April, 2012, as well as several other times in between, PW was caught in another attempted cover up when he wrote an ill-informed post on Psalm 22, which I quickly exposed. After I did so, PW quietly took down the offending post from his website, refusing all the while to let his readers know that what they read from PW was not true. Rather than confess his error and help correct those he misled by the original post, PW decided to hold on to his pride and was happy to let his readership languor in ignorance (see here and here). These are the actions of a man with a seared conscience, in which case it is quite possible that he doesn’t even know anymore when he is lying or telling the truth.
Turning to his recent reply, let’s begin with some minor points and minor errors (with the exception of misplaced commas).
Note: my name is Paul Bilal Williams, gratuitous insults are not appropriate for one who calls himself a Christian.
If our conversation has shown anything, it has shown that PW is either a brazen liar, in which case there is nothing gratuitous about associating him with his father (i.e. Belial or Beliar), or he doesn’t have a clue what a “Christian” is, in which case he has no idea what is appropriate behavior for one who bears that name, even though he falsely continues to parade his extensive knowledge of Christianity. I have it on good authority that someone who follows Christ is well within the range of appropriate, Christ-honoring behavior if he identifies implacable, impenitent, inveterate enemies of Christ who falsify the truth as liars or even as the sons of Belial or spawn of Satan, especially since such people refuse to understand or hear what they are being told and desire only to continue perpetuating their lies:
43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8)
13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; (Deuteronomy 13, KJV; see also Judges 19:22, 20:13, 1 Samuel 1:16, 2:12, 10:27, 25:17, 25, 30:22, 2 Samuel 16:7, 20:1, 23:6, 1 Kings 21:13, 2 Chronicles 13:7)
5 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6)
PW claims that there are several Christians who agree with his sensibilities (against the above testimony of Holy Scripture, mind you), and who are so offended by how he and other Muslims are treated that they told him they don’t read this blog.
First, I find it exceedingly doubtful that there are several “Christians” communicating such things to PW, especially since I only have PW’s word for it, which I don’t trust for a moment; second, my loyalty is to Christ and His word and to those who are faithful to it, so I have little concern for measuring up to the standards of professing Christians whose loyalties are so skewed that they are given to whispering flattering words in PW’s ear, even if these nameless people exist; third, PW is not simply a Muslim innocently seeking for the truth…he is a proud apostate who spends his time lying about the faith and attacking Christ and His people, which isn’t true of all Muslims; fourth, I find all of PW’s whining quite disingenuous. Just like the enemies of Christ in John 8 spoke evil words concerning Him, and thus had no legitimate grounds for complaining when Jesus traced their evil words back to their true source, so PW has no legitimate grounds for complaining when I look at what PW and his rabble say about Christ, the Bible, and other Christians, and accurately trace them back to their source in Satan, their spiritual father. Here are some gems for the nameless “many” that allegedly sympathize with PW:
When people refer to Jesus as the lamb of God, PW responds with comments like the following:
Rather than bore people with an excessive amount of additional examples, note finally PW’s reply to a Muslim who thinks it is funny to call himself “Jesus” while blaspheming the real Jesus. (This was a “welcome back” note from “Jesus” to PW after PW went on a vacation with,…well, I will let PW tell you. He tends to be very open about it.)
The above is one of the worst displays of hatred for Christ and vitriol spewed towards Him, a vitriol and hatred that perfectly mirrors that of the wicked people who wagged their heads and mocked Him at the foot of His cross.
Since PW’s attacks on David and Sam, even posting a series of pictures making them looking like homosexual lovers (*), are frequent and well known, as are his attacks against other people who disagree with him, calling them “closet queens,” “closet homosexuals,” etc., very strange comments coming from PW of all people (*), I will gloss over many other instances that further prove PW’s duplicity and disingenuousness in pretending to have some kind of moral high ground in this discussion. (Ironically, in the very post where PW put up pictures of David and Sam, PW had several Muslims chide him for his disreputable behavior.)
Since PW likes issuing challenges, I challenge him to produce the names of Christians, i.e. members in good standing of Reformed and Evangelical churches, or any other catholic (see below for clarification), who gleefully read the above comments on his blog and then congratulated him for his good behavior and truthful words over and against my call for PW to repent of being an inveterate liar and exchange his status from being a Son of Belial to a son of God through Christ. I would love to see if anyone, let alone several Christians, really fell for PW’s crocodile tears, or if this is just another one of PW’s lies. (NB: pseudonyms that PW and his Muslim readership can make up do not count.)
The next item in PW’s catalogue of errors is his basic ignorance regarding the word “catholic.” Since I quoted the Athanasian Creed as an authoritative source defining orthodox Trinitarianism, which uses the “offending” word, PW asked,
So Rogers the fundamentalist evangelical is now a Catholic?
First, I have never called myself a “fundamentalist evangelical.” While that label is not entirely inappropriate, at least as long as PW is not supplying the meaning, for he hardly knows the difference between his own front and backside, my own theological convictions are more appropriately and fully described as “Reformed” or “Presbyterian.” In the Reformed tradition the Athanasian Creed, as well as the Apostle’s Creed, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Chalcedonian Creed are all accepted as accurate statements of the faith once for all entrusted unto the saints. Furthermore, in the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is one of the principal confessions of Reformed Christians, it defines the Church as catholic:
I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and the spouse, the body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.
II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.
IV. This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them. (Ch. XXV)
Secondly, PW evidently thinks the word “catholic,” which is derived from katholikos, meaning “general” or “universal,” is the same thing as Roman Catholic, which is a later, and even contradictory (Roman = particular, local; catholic = universal), use of the term. Originally the term referred to all Christians who confessed the orthodox faith, whether they were Eastern or Western Christians. Somehow PW was a “Christian” and even studied Christianity at Birkbeck and Heythrop college at the University of London, or so we are told, and yet he doesn’t know what every freshman knows before the end of the first day of the first semester of Church History class. (It was at this same institution that PW was supposed to have become “competent in Greek,” and yet in our discussion of Mark 6:50, where Jesus identifies Himself as Yawheh, egw eimi, PW couldn’t get past English translations. Perhaps it is the schools fault, but I would rather not besmirch the name of an entire institution in order to absolve PW, a career deceiver.) Since he may have missed his Church History class that day or possibly even the entire semester, here is what it says about the word “catholic” in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church:
Catholic….It is first met with in Christian literature in St Ignatius of Antioch (Ep. Ad. Smyr. 8. 2). In Christian terminology it has come to have various uses: (1) Of the universal Church as distinct from local Christian communities. It is applied thus to the faith of the whole Church, i.e. the doctrine believed ‘everywhere, always, and by all’ (see VINCENTIAN CANON).….
So much for PW’s spectacular ignorance on something as basic as the meaning of the word “catholic.” Although not as major as the following error, where PW attempts to play philosopher and demonstrate the incoherence of the divinely revealed doctrine of the Trinity, it does illustrate the level of understanding that PW is working with, even on those occasions when he is not lying but just simply wrong.
What about the all-important issue of the Trinity? PW pretends on the one hand that the premise I supplied, and even gave four variations of, is not an additional premise, and then turns around and confuses it with the view of WLC, even referring to his “Cerberus analogy” as a “celebrated” analogy. I can only wonder whom PW thinks he is referring to when he speaks of those who “celebrate” this analogy. I personally can’t think of anyone who thinks it is a good analogy, not even those who hold to a Social Trinitarian model of the Trinity, which I do not. In any event, the very fact that PW thought my view was no different than that articulated by WLC shows how much of a sophomore he is and that he has no business pretending like he is offering anything of substance against my view. In fact, not only is WLC’s view not my view, but also it has not been the majority report in church history. The vast majority of Christian theologians, at least in the West, have held to and taught what is called the Latin Trinitarian view (q.v. J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine, p. 234).
According to the ST model, each person of the Trinity is simply an instantiation of divinity, such that when it is said that each person “shares” the divine nature and divine attributes, it is akin to the way in which separate human beings “share” human nature. In other words, each person of the Trinity on this view is thought of as sharing the same kind of nature, but not a single nature, essence, being, etc. This view has often been charged with tritheism. Adherents of this view repudiate this charge, but since I do not hold to this model, I will let those who do so defend themselves on that point, as indeed many have tried. As much as I dissent from WLC’s view, I don’t think anyone doubts that he would easily handle PW and make child’s play of his “arguments”.
In stark contrast to this, however, according to the LT model, the one I hold to, each person of the Trinity does not possess merely the same kind of being, essence, or nature; rather, each person is numerically identical to the divine nature. That is, by definition, this view holds that there is only one being, not three beings, and the Father, Son, and Spirit, though personally distinct from one another, are essentially and absolutely one. Numerical identity is sometimes charged with being a form of modalism, a charge I do not believe actually sticks, but no one who is conversant in these matters thinks the view amounts to tritheism. In fact, at this point I will issue another challenge to PW: cite for me one theologian/philosopher who charges LT with being a form of tritheism.
The bottom line is this: all Christians would agree that each person of the Trinity is completely God and that each person possesses every divine attribute. The difference enters in when it is asked what this means. At this point, two different premises emerge: 1) the generic view; and 2) the numerical identity view. The former is the view PW is attacking, and is the only view he seems to be aware of. The latter is the view I hold, and it is the historic view. So PW doesn’t even know the difference between the view he is attacking and the historic view of the church, and yet he pompously enters into the fray expecting to make sport of Christians, all the while only playing the fool and parading his folly before all.
At a number of points PW accused me of making mere assertions when defining the doctrine of the Trinity, showing that he doesn’t know the basic difference between defining something and arguing for it. When it comes to saying what the doctrine of the Trinity is, the Church asserts that it is the doctrine that there is one God; that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is each fully God, i.e. they are numerically identical in their being and essence; and that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is each a distinct person; and since we are talking definition here, it is silly for PW to respond to this as mere assertions rather than an argument. Definitions aren’t intended to be arguments. This is what the doctrine is by definition, and this is what PW needs to show by way of argument to actually entail polytheism. So far he has not done so. So far, and at best, he has only attacked a view I don’t hold, although even at that I don’t think he has done much of anything. No advocate of ST will have lost any sleep after reading PW. And if they would not lose any sleep over his “arguments” against their view, you can be sure I haven’t lost any sleep over his failure to even so much as mention my view.
At this point the reader should be reminded what this whole discussion has been about. First, PW lied about Christians and said we hold to the concept that one God is actually three gods. Second, when called out on this lie, he tried to justify it, saying, in effect, that it was justifiable to misrepresent our view because, even if that isn’t our concept, it is entailed by what we believe. Third, I have now shown that tritheism isn’t entailed by what we believe, and so his later excuse for lying isn’t even a good cover-up.
For being a habitual and unrepentant liar PW isn’t very good at it. I hope he doesn’t take that as an indication that he needs more practice, but I would hardly be surprised if he does. After all, that is what any self-respecting son of Belial would do.