An Open Letter to Nick Norelli

Dear Nick,

I’ve thought over our recent exchanges and had a chance to sleep on them.  The outcome is that I don’t anticipate commenting any more on your blog, so your threatened ban is moot.

What has brought me to this point is further reflection about our exchanges in the comments section on your post Is the Father Alone Yahweh?, and again on your post When Trinity Sunday and Father’s Day Collide.  And then, of course, there was your post Just to Be Clear, prompted by those prior exchanges but upon which I didn’t comment.

I did address some of your criticisms of me in the comments to my own blog post Why Don’t Proponents of the Trinity Put Forward a Straightforward Case for It?

Your fundamental criticism seems to be that in our exchanges on your blog I 1) changed the subject, 2) repeated myself, and 3) made you repeat yourself.  My take on those exchanges is this:  I stated that the doctrine of Trinity obscured the doctrine of Christ.  You responded to my challenge (which I appreciated).  In part, it was a general defense of the Trinity but in it you said “Without the Trinity we wouldn’t see the significance of the Son nearly as much as we do,” and “Where a denial of the Trinity or problem with the Trinity exists, a deficient Christology is sure to follow.”  These statements were a direct rebuttal to my initial challenge (again, which I appreciated) and so I chose to respond to them – a more narrowed focus than broadly repeating that the Trinity concept is wrong.

Subsequently, you wrote “I haven’t commented on what epistemological starting point I find preferable; I commented on the deficiency of any Christology that is separated from the Trinity and of the Son’s place as second Person in the Trinity.”  If this was your recanting of the two earlier italicized statements, I apologize for missing it.  In good faith, I was trying to stay on topic to the specific part of our disagreement that offered the most hope for a meeting of the minds, however limited.

As for your list of 200 Trinitarian resources, I can’t imagine that someone with your intellect doesn’t discriminate among them.  To me, it seemed a small thing to ask you which you considered the best.  When you recommended one with faint praise (if not mild contempt: “overloaded with Scriptures”), I didn’t think it impolite for me to ask again.

In retrospect, we were ships passing in the night on these issues.  But this isn’t the reason that I don’t want to comment further on your blog.  Rather, the reason is that I’ve experienced you to be easily offended.  Testy, I’ve had to say.  Therefore, not knowing what might set you off, it’s better for me to remain silent even though I would have loved engaging more with you, given your knowledge and passion for the Trinity concept as well as my general admiration of your blog and most of your positions.

If I may be so bold, a servant of Christ should be “patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.”  We should “sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, always being ready to make a defense to every one who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us], yet with gentleness and reverence.”  “To write the same things again [should be] no trouble [for us] and it is a safeguard [for those who read.]”  I say these things not that they be done for my sake, but for the profit that will increase to you and others as you practice them.

Nick, I love that you proclaim Christ.  There is a lot more that unites you and me than divides you and me.  I wish you the very best in your endeavors.  Go ahead and implement your ban, if you like; it won’t change any of these sentiments.

Mike

P.S. You will never be banned from this site.

(For readers who want to learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ)