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July 22, 2016

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Background information:

30 transcripts etc.,

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/s6

Is it more effective when talking to Jehovah's witness to talk about the person of Jesus along the lines here, or is it more important to attack the authority of the watchtower organization? It seems like Jehovah's witnesses have been completely brainwashed to believe the watchtower organization is the voice of God on earth, and therefore they will only believe what it teaches.

Speaking from many years of experience and research, I agree with Jberr above. The Governing Body must first be refuted, which is their authority structure through which they interpret all doctrine. Not having biblical answers to some Trinitarian arguments is usually not a problem for the. Why? Because the Governing Body knows better than you.

However, if you can show biblically that the Governing Body itself is not biblical, nor chosen in 1919 as the faithful slave, then the JW will have less confidence in their interpretation. You could also tackle the two class theology issue to indirectly dismantle the Governing Body. From that point, you can have a fruitful theological dialogue on important doctrines like the deity of Christ.

In conclusion, just because a doctrine is crucially important, doesn't mean it's always the wisest first-in-line approach. Sometimes, examining the presuppositions should take precedence. And that is most definitely the case with JW's.

If Mr. Barnett has good reason to show that the person of Christ should be the "best" topic to discuss, I would like to know the reasons. It seems that this position was assumed rather than demonstrated.

In a debate with a JW's elder I discovered one thing. He was not prepared for a discussion on "free will". I had recently finished Luther's Bondage of the Will and it was fresh enough in my thinking to use effectively.

It certainly created a sort of bewilderment in the elder. He left in a huff and mentioned he was going to talk to some people and would be back. He was a no show.

I know this argument will not be of use to many because they too believe in a will not bound by sin. But I saw quick and devastating results using Luther's arguments against that position.

In conclusion, just because a doctrine is crucially important, doesn't mean it's always the wisest first-in-line approach.

I agree with Mike here. The identity of Jesus may be essential theologically, but tactically it may not be the best thing to focus on, at least in the beginning, with Jehovah's Witnesses. From talking to ex-Jehovah's Witnesses who are now orthodox Christians, the Trinity was the hardest thing for them to come around on, and they recommend not focusing on it when witnessing. It's better to undermine the authority of the governing body.

In a debate with a JW's elder I discovered one thing. He was not prepared for a discussion on "free will".

I had a similar experience, Dave. I discovered they were not prepared to talk about the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation, especially when I tried to get them to talk about John 6.

Why not.... it *IS* Saturday after all....


[1] Random musing:

Sproul and other Calvinists cite Kittel and argue that the Greek verb in John 6 translated “draws” only means irresistibly compels. That is why, on Calvinism, John 12:32 proves that He will irresistibly compel all men to himself and hence Calvinism defends Universalism. They also (for some unknown reason) reject foreknowledge, prophecy, and the apostasy of Judas Iscariot.

[2] Reply to random musing:

HEY! Just wait a sec nowwww!

[3]

;-)

Darn kids these days.....


Mike and Sam make good points about "where to start".

The Trinity may be slow going.

However, Tim and Amy raise an important point, and one which weighs in even if we avoid "Trinity". Simply: we can point out that they claim to worship Christ, and, also, they claim that Christ is a creation of God, and not God.

There's all sorts of places to go with that. All the force of Romans 1 comes roaring in, and, it can be approached without having to go into the Trinity.

Rather, it can be brought up merely as an examination of their own concepts.

Of course, that all starts then with Christ as the starting point of said conversation.

Moving forward:

From there it isn't difficult to get into why they do or do not worship Christ when Christ, on more than one occasion, accepted worship.

**Obviously:

Watch for overlap of course as Mormons and JW's do diverge in their beliefs in several areas.

A raw unedited Wiki quote:

“The faithful and discreet slave is the term used by Jehovah's Witnesses to describe the religion's Governing Body in its role of directing doctrines and teachings. The group is described as a "class" of "anointed" Christians that operates under the direct control of Jesus Christ[1] to exercise teaching authority in all matters pertaining to doctrine and articles of faith.[2][3]

The concept is a central doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses' system of belief[4] and is based on their interpretation of the Parable of the Faithful Servant in Matthew 24:45–47, Mark 13:34-37 and Luke 12:35-48.

The doctrine has undergone several major changes since it was formulated in 1881 by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement. Russell initially applied it to the "church"—the "little flock" of 144,000 who would go to heaven—but five years later explained that it was an individual who would act as a sole channel or agent for Christ, dispensing "food", or new truths, for God's "household". Bible Students consequently regarded Russell as the "faithful and wise servant" of the parable.[5][6][7] In 1927 the Watch Tower Society announced that the "servant" was not in fact an individual, but was made up of the entire body of faithful spirit-anointed Christians; by 2010 that group numbered about 11,000 Witnesses from around the world.[8] In 2012 the society announced an "adjustment" of the doctrine, explaining that the slave was now understood to be synonymous with the Governing Body, a small group of anointed elders serving at the religion's world headquarters. The announcement also marked a change in belief about the timing of the slave class's appointment by Christ: it was said to have taken place in 1919 rather than in apostolic times, as previously believed.”

Several challenges against the JW’s governing body / faithful slave:

https://carm.org/jehovahs-witnesses has a section on JW’s with over 50 articles, many of which look into the faithful slave issue.


Clarification:

Taking care *not* to confuse Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Even though the official Mormon stance is that they count worship of Christ to be idolatry, it seems the incline slopes yet again towards Romans 1. Though by a slightly different, and very interesting, direction, at http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-mormon-view-of-creation

A much longer discussion of this is in “Creatio ex nihilo: A Critique of the Mormon Doctrine of Creation: A critique of the Mormon doctrine of the eternity of matter in light of philosophy and science” by W.L. Craig at http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creatio-ex-nihilo-a-critique-of-the-mormon-doctrine-of-creation

On the terms and definitions of Romans 1, one wonders if in fact the Mormons do in fact worship "God". This carries us into the following assertion: “The universe is a brute fact”. Now, *that* arena becomes very interesting, both in the physical sciences and in philosophy / metaphysics. And in Romans 1.

Can you show me one scripture that uses the term "God The Son" or "God The Holy Spirit". They don't exist and nether does The Trinity.

https://www.scribd.com/document/135603404/Jesus-is-Not-Jehovah

Daniel,

Scripture says God is love.

Well, love is irreducibly triune.

So God is triune.

That's not the same as Trinity, but it's a start.

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