(Note: The following video was streamed live on 21 April 2017 between Dr. James White, affirming the doctrine of the Trinity, and Bro. Joe Ventilacion, attempting to defend Unitarianism. This is a brief logical response to the video attached. I will leave the biblical expertise and exegesis to Dr. White.)
To provide some context, Dr. White affirms the centuries-old and biblically-established doctrine of the Trinity, which encompasses the divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Bro. Ventilacion believes Christ is a created being, exalted on high to appease the wrath of God.
If a mere creature can accomplish what God has wrought—namely the aspect of holiness and divine perfection—then it would suffice to say that God’s standard is not that much higher than ours. And if God would so choose to ordain a mere creature as sufficient to bear the sins of the world, then God would be showing partiality and would not be all-powerful. And if he is not all-powerful (i.e. omnipotent), then he is not God. He would be a sheer pulsing energy floating about the cosmos. If Christ is created, then the Old Testament is a lie and we are still dead in our sins.
Concerning the Gospel, if God is not all-powerful and Christ is a created being, needing external help, he is indebted to us. The following is from a previous post:
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Tim Keller explains the concept of grace as a more powerful alternative to works-salvation. If we work up to God, he is, in some shape form, indebted to us, for he is not sufficient to fully reach the heart of man. We must have, in some way, reached him first. However, through grace, one is fully and joyfully obliged to obedience—not for the sake of attaining salvation, but because “he first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19).
There is a vast chasm separating heaven and earth. We build futile bridges, never to reach the other side, only falling into the abyss as we attempt to reach God by our own merit. The divinity of Christ is imperative, it is central, to the redemption of mankind.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).
Without the full divinity and full humanity of Christ indwelling the Son, there is no redemption of mankind. (For more on this issue, refer to “What about Eve?“)
All are three beings in communion with one another creating the plural singularity that is God. This is complex and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Therefore, we shouldn’t assume to wholly understand this mystery since our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isa. 55:8). This is not a hierarchical system. Jesus did not count it equality with God a thing to be grasped (Phil. 2:6). As I understand it, the Father is the actor, Christ is the action, and the Spirit is by and how these actions come to fruition. All three were present at the creation of the universe, which came from nothing (Jn. 17:24; Jn. 1:1-3, 14-18). The Spirit of God hovered over the waters and spoke the word of God, which is Christ, saying “let us make man in our own image” (Gen. 1:1-2, 26-27). I believe the Father ordered the commencement of creation, Christ is the bodily incarnation of Him, and the Spirit is the raw power—ruwach—of God (Acts 5:3-5).
Sin is a rebellious act against our Creator—intentional or unintentional. It includes the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It is what God is not. God is holy and unblemished. Not only is he merely perfect, he is set apart. He is unlike humanity. He is pure love (1 Jn. 4:8, 16). And his love is not an intensified version of humanity’s empathy, passion, or compassion. His love is entirely and wholly unselfish. This love is present within the communion of the Trinity. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, the Father loves the Spirit, the Spirit loves the Father and the Son, and so on for eternity. Our love is tainted, leaving our good deeds as filthy rags before God (Isa. 64:6). Therefore, since love is selfless (i.e. an action), a Unitarian God cannot love another being or object (1 Jn. 3:18). Unitarianism inherently rejects the community (i.e. the church) since God is a holy communion between the three divine persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Since we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), and God is tri-personal, it is indicative that we are meant for fellowship (Heb. 10:25; Prov. 18:1). Moreover, his creation of humankind would fulfill his loneliness, meaning we were necessary for God’s satisfaction. However, that is not so (Rom. 9; 2 Cor. 12:9).
If Unitarianism accepts the notion of an impersonal God who doesn’t understand the concept of love, then he is mutable (i.e. he changes). And if he changes, then he is not only schizophrenic but also a liar (Num. 23:19; Mal. 3:6). If he is schizophrenic, he is susceptible to something higher than he is. And since we, as mere creatures, are capable of accomplishing that which is supposedly divine (I’m speaking facetiously as a Unitarian), we can usurp the throne of God (Isa. 14:12-15) and reign forever in his stead, thus negating all justice, peace, harmony, and truth that has ever, currently does, or ever will exist. This would be chaos (1 Cor. 14:33). Moreover, this wouldn’t be just chaos, it would be hell.
(For further reference and in-depth discussion, see “Heaven: A World of Love” by Jonathan Edwards and “Communion with the Triune God” by John Owen.)