Jay Dyer’s Jewish Objections to Christianity Answered

Dyer’s article can be found here: http://jaysanalysis.com/2010/09/05/jewish-objections-to-christianity/

1. How is there one ontological will in God, while the Persons appear to do separate actions? For example, the Son does actions in His Incarnation the Father doesn’t do. The Spirit likewise. This seems to require separate willings, but will is not hypostatic, it’s a property of nature. This is why Damascene says there is one will and energy in God, inasmuch as there is one God acting.  Nahmanides makes this same objection, I came to find, that occurred to me.  So how is it the three act differently?  Similarly, is generation not an eternal act? If it’s an eternal action, then it must be of nature and of will. But the Nicene Fathers are adamant the Son is not a product of will in any sense. He is of the Father’s nature. But He and the Spirit share that nature, and thus he is auto-generated. But this makes no sense. Similarly, is spiration also an action? If so, it cannot be hypostatic, it must be of nature, but again, nature is common in the Godhead.  Also, if apophatic theology is true, in a hardcore sense, then there can be no Incarnation, since it is not an energy that became Incarnate, but the divine Son, with His divine nature, as Chalcedon says.

>>>Because the One God is not three persons. The One God is the Father. There are separate wills in the persons. I have clearly affirmed with the Nicene Creed 325 a generic unity among the divine persons not a cardinally numeric unity. Damascene is a product of post Constantinople 381 Monadism

You are confusing volitions that reflect nature and volitions that reflect decree. Just because the faculties of will and nature are ontologically distinct does not mean that they can be separated in divine activity.

Nature is not numerically common in the Godhead, it is generically common.

I am a Clarkian I do not believe in apophatic theology.

2. This leads to the next issue: the Neo-Platonic doctrine of trinity. A proto-trinitarian doctrine was already taught in Hellenism in Proclus, Plotinus, and others, including a kind of version in Philo. It is hard to accept that the Eastern Fathers were not Hellenistic as the Eastern apologists tell us, when they can’t even seem to figure out if God gave sex and human bodies as a *result of the fall. The threefold power clearly has antecedents in Hellenism and Platonism.  Did God really shift from Jewish monotheism to Greek Hellenism to give the true doctrine?  http://www.iep.utm.edu/neoplato/  And if so, then why is it that Hellenism is the great enemy of the Maccabean period? Remember – the Maccabean books are in our canon. It is Philo from whence the Logos idea comes.

>>>I do not believe that the One God is a Trinity. The one God is the Father and eternally WITH the One God is his Son and Spirit. The Neo-Platonism is a departure from the Nicene Creed 325 coming with and after Constantinople 381- I lost my career for the second time over this issue. I completely agree with your Neo-Platonic criticisms. I have been making the same arguments for years now.  I originally learned this view from Thomas Hopko.

The sex issue is a problem for the anchoretics not a Protestant like me.

3. Judaism always taught iconoclasm. The Law says not to make alliances with paganism and certainly God forbade paganism as part of His acceptable worship. Yet by the time we are into the second century, pagan basilicas have been converted and are now holy. In fact, Maximus the Confessor, Gregory of Nyssa and Pope Benedict recently, even go so far as to say that the Trinity reconciles Jewish monotheism and pagan polytheism (emphasis). How far is this from the declarations that God is God alone, and to destroy pagan altars?

>>>As a Puritanic Iconoclastic Protestant whose life was destroyed over  the regulative principle behind Iconoclasm I cannot but give this section a hearty amen and watch the anchoretics squirm!

4. The Law. The Law is said to be eternal. This cannot be typologized into some mystical meaning, inasmuch as God Himself even warned against such an approach (Dt. 13, 17, 18).  In fact, God even says that the Law is near you, even unto your hearts, and is not so mystical and impossible as to need to ascend heaven to grasp it. Yet somehow this is a prophecy of the ascension in St. Paul. God promised blessings and cursings based on how the Jews functioned in that covenant.  When they obeyed, they were blessed, and when they failed, they were cursed. How is it this is turned into a situation where God was for thousands of years “tricking” them, intending the Law to be an impossible task (as Peter says it was), when God said it wasn’t impossible, and it was never intended as a means to merit eternal life?

>>>This was a fundamental basis for Calvin’s rejection of Anchorism. This is nothing new with the Reformation. The Puritans were Masters of the Law and its application to life. One need only read the lectures on the Law at the Westminster Assembly by Anthony Burgess to see this.

Peter is not saying that the law is an impossible task absolutely. It is impossible without Christ.

5. The covenant with Israel is said in several places to be eternal. When this is all spiritualized to mean the Church, it becomes a hermeneutical slippery slope, since the cursing passages are not spiritualized, and are only applied to “flesh Israel.” The hermeneutic appears inconsistent and arbitrary.

>> > First, we have different definition of the word eternal. See my YOUTUBE VID on Creation Ex Nihilo. Second it is not spiritualized absolutely. God is not through with ethnic Israel (Romans 11).We are not saying the cursing passages are spiritualized. They are literally applicable to Christian peoples now. If they were only applied to flesh Israel why does God say that he is applying those curses to pagan nations in Deut 18:12?

6. The LXX has flaws and problems and isn’t the original text. Are we to just trust that Origen is right when he says the evil Jews alterred their own prophets? But Origen was a heretic, and Justin Martyr didn’t even get the Trinity right, so is he any better when he makes this same charge against Trypho?

>>>I have no dog in that fight.

7. How do we participate in divine nature and remain creatures? It’s a mystery. Yet we say it is pantheism when we deify creatures. If the divine nature is simple, then how do we participate in it and remain creatures? we participate in the energies, not the nature. Ok, do we participate in 7 energies, and not 4? 8 and not 3? And for Catholics, what is the difference between supernatural and natural gifts? Which was it the Spirit gave to Bezaleel to design the temple? At what point does a virtue become supernatural and not natural?

>>>Univocal knowledge. It is no mystery. But we do not participate in the manner of God’s knowledge but the object of God’s knowledge. Thus no absolute deifying of creatures. The divine nature is not simple. I don’t believe in the e and e distinction.

8. Did Moses experience the divine radiance? Yes. But the Incarnation had not happened yet. But theosis is supposed to occur only when the Incarnation occurs. If the response is that Moses was deified because it was Christ there, then the Incarnation wasn’t necessary.

>>>That is inherent in Dispensationalism which I reject as a Calvinist. I believe in Covenant Theology. Same salvation in all time periods.

9. If the only way eternal life is restored is through the resurrection of Christ, then why do angels have eternal life, since Hebrews says they do not share in redemption? This means God can grant eternal life without a human sacrifice. Indeed, Anselm’s theory of the Atonement is absurd, but the same objections can be applied to a Neo-platonic or patristic idea that death could not be overcome other than by the Incarnation. Why? God has always been immanent and present in the world as all the theophanies show, and if Moses saw the divine radiance, then why does there have to be an Incarnation or a human sacrifice?

>>>I made that same argument in my Theses why I am not Eastern Orthodox, so I have no dog in that fight. Eternal life is not the same thing as immortality.

The former is spiritual, the later is ontological. His argument assumes upon Christus Victor and a denial of Penal Substitution. Turretin has answered all the fopperies against Anselm’s Satisfaction theory so it is not absurd: https://sites.google.com/a/thekingsparlor.com/the-kings-parlor/apologetics-vs-atheism/the-end-of-christianity-ed-loftus-reply-to-chapter-7.

10. God commanded the extermination of the Canaanites. This is hard for 90% of Christians to accept, but denying this leads to absurdities. Acceptance of it means that God was racial. No Christian churches really teach race. In fact, most churches actively work to oppose race. But unless humans totally changed in the first century, men are still pretty much acting like they did 3,000 years ago.  90% of Christians feel the bizarre need to “spiritualize” the Canaanite conquest and extermination, or even outright reject that “God.” That would be Marcionism, of course, but acceptance of that God entails a God who told the Jews they could practice slavery as well as enact usury on Gentiles. So all you conspiracy chaps who bitch about the Jewish bankers have to admit they got this from God.  God also condones slavery. Now, God says over and over how just His law is, and if this is so, then slavery and usury must in some sense be just. So also must death for adultery, homosexuality, etc. But the only Christians who will say this are heretics (reconstructionists) and amount to nothing.  It also doesn’t work to say this was all temporary, since mankind still operates pretty much like he did then, and we are told in Dt. 4 that the wisdom of God’s law and it’s justice are a light to all nations. Did God’s social justice vanish in the New Testament?

>>>The rejection of racialism is a product of 20th Century Jesuit Integrationism which I am trying to expel.

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/does-god-no-longer-care-about-race-and-nationality/

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/averting-the-coming-race-war

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/category/anti-white-racism/

Anti-racialism is not Historically Protestant, or human for that matter.

I have no problem with the Canaanite conquest. Rutherford dealt with this in detail in Lex Rex. The issue is, the conquest was a positive law not a natural law. His commentary is found at the end of Question XII of Lex Rexhttp://www.constitution.org/sr/lexrex.htm

As to usury that is not absolutely condemned in Calvinism. Also, the institution of slavery is not condemned either as Dabney’s Defence of Virginia amply proved. And by the way, we Puritan types believe in the capital punishments of God’s OT Law.

11. If the Messiah has come, then why has the Church been full of wars, splits, conquests, and evil men, when the Messianic era is said to be one of peace? It’s a spiritual peace, you will say. The nations are supposed to no longer learn war. Do you notice how everything is constantly getting “spiritualized” when it doesn’t appear to match up? But aren’t we in the time of the reality, and not the type? This brings me to the next big one.

>>>Well as  Protestants we know that the time right after the Messiah until the golden age of Post-Mil eschatology will be mostly dominated by the Anti-Christ- the man of Sin- the Roman Papacy. So again, I have no dog in that fight.

12. If we are experiencing the realities in the New Testament, and the Law was the shadow, then why is it we are still in a state of shadow? The Church building and elements are still considered foreshadowings of heaven. Yet, the Temple was already heaven on earth. It was already the ‘real presence’ of God. So it appears we have moved from OT type –> NT type —> heaven. How many heavenly liturgies are there? There’s one in heaven, we know. But on earth there are a thousand different – some shitty, some pretty. If we read Leviticus, it is hard to see how we get from Nadab and Abihu to the Novus Ordo.  It can be responded that this was necessary as the covenant was opened to the Gentiles, but is the situation as dire as Lev. 10? Indeed, as the fathers argue, it’s far worse, since that’s the real presence. Well, if that’s the case, then we should see far more Uzzahs.

>>>First, the Law absolutely considered is not the shadow. The ceremonial law was the shadow.

Because some of the New Covenant promises are not fulfilled until the New Heavens and New Earth. This dispensation is not the final cause of Christ’s Work.

13. Why is the book of Esther in the Christian canon? It specifically condones post-Canaanite genocide and conversion to the supposedly “corrupted Babylonian Judaism.”  From a hardliner trad Catholic or Orthodox perspective, it is hard to see why this is in the canon, as well as the Maccabees. However, once again we will see that the justification will be something along the lines of how it is “spiritualized” or “allegorized.” Again the trend – when in doubt, allegorize it.

>>>Esther 8 and 9 was not genocide it was self-defense. Pre-emptive war is even condoned in the life of David (1 Chron. xix. and in 2 Sam. x).

14. We condemn “Pharisee tradition” but we rely on that tradition in many places, just like Protestants rely on Catholic tradition.

>>>Not all tradition is bad. I am no solo scripturaist. However, if you are referring to the Neoplatonism of Rome I have fully escaped that objection. https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/drakes-triadology-stuff/

15. It is hard to see why any Jew would have been expected to convert to the Church of the first 2-3 centuries, since it was so full of bizarre and absurd teachings. For example, denying the death penalty was normative, as well as weird views of sexuality. Can you blame any Jew for not joining this group, when they had been warned in the Deuteronomy passages above to have a healthy skepticism about newly rising movements among them?

>>>It is hard to see why any Jew could convert seeing that God had divorced ethnic Israel as a nation (Isa. 50:1) and blinded them (2 Cor 3:15), culminating in the destruction of their temple, being demolished now for almost 2000 years!

16. God made man as a man, yet Catholicism and Orthodoxy want men to live like angels. But God reproved the angels who sought to change their habitation. Why should he expect man to become an angel?

>>>This is the angelic celibacy of Anchorism. I have no dog in this fight. http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/concerning-orthodoxy/against-ancient-christianity

17. David, and most of the fathers of the OT of necessity lived most of their lives in mortal sin, if the moral law is a reflection of Gods essence (as in Catholicism). This is because David had numerous wives, and such an action, if presently a mortal sin, must always have been one, since it is a reflection of God’s essence, which cannot change.

>>>This is dealt with in Fisher’s Catechism Question 72,

“Q. 8. What is POLYGAMY?

A. It is the having more wives or husbands than one at the same time, Mal. 2:14.

Q. 9. Is this a sin contrary to the law of nature?

A. Yes; for it is contrary to the first institution of marriage; God having created  but one woman, as a help meet for man; Gen. 2:22-25, compared with Matt. 19:5, 6.

Q. 10. Is it a sin prohibited in scripture?

A Yes; Lev 18:18 — “Thou shalt not take a wife to her sister, to vex her — in her lifetime.”

Q. 11. What is the meaning of taking a wife to her sister?

A. The meaning is, (according to the marginal reading,) Thou shalt not take one  wife to another; that is, thou shalt not have more wives than one at a time.

Q. 12 But may not this be a prohibition of incest, namely, of marrying the wife’s sister?.

A. No; because it is said, Thou shalt not do it in her lifetime; whereas it would be incestuous in a man to marry his sister-in-law after his wife’s death, as well as to do it in her lifetime; so that the meaning is, Thou shalt not take another wife to her whom thou hast married, by which means they would become sisters.

Q. 13. Who was the first polygamist we read of in scripture?

A. Lamech, of the posterity of Cain, who had two wives, Gen. 4:19.

Q. 14. Were not several of the godly likewise guilty in this matter, as Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others?

A. Yes; but though these and other bad actions of good men are recorded in scripture, they are not approved of, nor proposed for our imitation; but rather set up as beacons, to prevent our making shipwreck on the same rocks.

Q. 15. Has not God even testified his displeasure at the sin of polygamy, in the godly, though we do not read of his reproving them for it in express words?

A. Yes; he has testified his displeasure in the course of his providence, by the emulations, quarrels, and disturbances, that were thus occasioned in their families; as in the instances of Sarah and Hagar, in Abraham’s family, Gen. 21:10, 11; of Leah and Rachel, in Jacob’s, Gen. 30:1, 15; and of Hannah and Peninnah, in Elkanah’s family, 1 Sam. 1:6.

Q. 16. Does not God seem to approve of polygamy, when he says to David, “I gave thee thy master’s wives into thy bosom?” 2 Sam. 12:8.

A. It being the custom of those times, for succeeding kings to take possession of all that belonged to their predecessors, the meaning is, I have made thee king, in room of Saul, and have given thee the property of all that appertained to him: but we do not read of David taking any of Saul’s wives into his bed.”

Seeing how easily I answered Jay, it is no surprise then that Rabbi Duncan, a Reformed Presbyterian saw more Jewish converts, and a Jewish Scholar named Alfred Edersheim, than any Christian missionary to the Jews ever has.