In this debate over whether Jesus is God, I have found that much of my opponents’ rebuttals have been predicated upon debate tactics and attempting to avoid the arguments so that his conclusion can be protected. That is one reason that I am not really fond of the term debate because it indicates that both sides will just be defending their conclusion, but not really working toward the truth of the Scripture, which is what we should be doing. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the approach that we have taken in this dialogue.
For example, when Joshua replied to my initial post, he flat-out ignored my argument from the deeds of Christ, namely that since God alone is good, and Jesus is good, from this it follows also that Jesus is God. Now it might be said that he ignored it for the sake of space, but when we look at his later rebuttal, where he does attempt to address the argument, Joshua ignores the key premise. He ignores my defense of the premise that Jesus is good. The following scripture do indicate that Jesus is, in fact, good: Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:23, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 2:22/Isaiah 53:9, 1 John 3:5 5, 2 Corinthians 5:21, John 8:46. This is a point which Joshua blatantly ignored, perhaps understandably so, because these Scriptures fully affirm the truth of my argument, and are detrimental to his conclusion that Jesus is not good or God.
Speaking of ignored arguments, I brought up the argument that Paul uses Old Testament Scriptures that refer to Yahweh, to refer to Jesus. Joshua attempted to say that these were not Old Testament Scriptures, but just happened to sound similar. I refuted this point by showing that Paul usually said, “as the Scriptures say…” and in each instance are clearly referring to Christ. In light of these, it seems to me to be irrational to maintain the view that Jesus is not God.
Further, a good amount of time was spent talking about the usage of the word God or theos in John 1. Joshua seems to think that I do not accept that theos is sometimes also applied to false gods. But I do acknowledge that, in fact even Satan is called a theos (2 Corinthians 4:4). The difference, though, is that these are false gods. God does not call us to take them as gods. But that is precisely what Thomas did, and Jesus did not rebuke him! All of the prophets and in fact even angels, when worshipped and called God, rebuked the person who did it (Acts 10, Revelations 22:8). It strikes me as bizarre that Jesus neglected to rebuke Thomas, if he was not God. Instead, Jesus receives his worship.
Everything in the New Testament, and in fact even in the Old, calls out for the deity of Christ. From Christophanies, to the taught theology by the prophets and the apostles, to the words and deeds of Jesus himself. It seems to me that there is no escape, we cannot avoid the conclusion that Jesus is God. God was able to properly and clearly communicate this truth, and the only way that anybody would ever reach another conclusion while reading the Bible is if they had a Watchtower as a companion and a guide for their biblical reading.