August 5, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

Image result for universe
ContraModalism’s view is basically the Father eternally caused the Son to exists. The Son is a numerically different being than the Father and is inferior to him. They have an asymmetrical relationship. This forces him to conclude the Son is created by the Father. I’ve dealt with the internal difficulties that exist in this scheme but I haven’t discussed the biblical issues with the claim.

Isaiah 44:24, 45:12-18

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,

“It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host.

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the LORD, and there is none else.

These words were spoken by Yahweh in the trial of the false gods. Yahweh is the name of the God of Israel and it demarcates a being with a specific identity. Built into that identity is the fact that God alone created the world. Everything is on either two sides on an equation. Either you’re on the Creator side or you are on the creature side of the equation. The idea set forth in these passages and in later Jewish thought is that God alone is the creator of all things. In a Jews mind, to be the creator of the world meant you had the identity of the God of Genesis and Isaiah.

In early Jewish theology, eschatological monotheism was closely connected with creational monotheism. That YHWH alone created all things is the basis for his sole lordship over all things, which must finally be fulfilled in the universal acknowledgement of him as only Creator and Lord. Among the biblical sources of early Jewish monotheism, this is especially clear in Isaiah 40 – 55 and appears in the context of the two passages from these chapters that were discussed in the last section. Isaiah 40:13 is most immediately a statement of creational monotheism, declaring YHWH to be unique in that he created the world without any collaborators or assistants. This incomparability as the sole Creator of all things is closely related, in the rest of Isaiah 40 – 55, to the eschatological monotheism that expects him to make his unique deity known to all the nations. The passage of divine speech to which Isaiah 45:23 belongs (45:18-25) is probably the best example of this close relationship between creational and eschatological monotheism. While verse 23 is a strong assertion of eschatological monotheism, the passage begins with a statement of creational monotheism (‘Thus says the Lord [YHWH] who made the heaven, this God who set forth the earth and made it … I am the Lord and there is none besides’) on which all the monotheistic rhetoric of the following verses is based. Thus, it was no great step, exegetically at least, from the inclusion of Jesus in the identity of God as sole eschatological Ruler to the inclusion of Jesus in the identity of God as sole Creator. These two aspects of the unique divine identity were inseparable.

Richard Bauckham. Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Kindle Locations 3186-3197). Kindle Edition.

In response to Mormons, I have appealed to the evidence in the OT to show what kind of monotheism presided over Israel and by that, I argued that the theology in Isaiah is to present Yahweh as ontologically unique. He is unique and unlike any other beings. There is no great chain of being at which we are lower and higher on the scale God exists as the highest being. One feature of Yahweh’s uniqueness is his prerogatives and roles that he possesses. This is like his roles as Eschatological judge, Creator of the world, and governor of all things. These same roles are attributed to the Son.
We will now return to Isaiah to see whether Isaiah affirms the monotheism described above:

The first triadic movement (24d– f)stresses that only one God lies behind all creational reality. There is nothing of which he is not the maker (24d) and no other agency alongside him (24ef). Made, stretched and spread are participles (‘ maker of, ‘stretcher of’, ‘spreader of’), expressing an abiding relationship. The MT reflects divergent textual traditions and recommends mê’ittî (by myself/‘ from with me’, i.e. ‘from and of myself’), indicating that the impulse to create proceeded solely from within the heart of the Creator and adding a significant new thought to the triad. It is easy, and usual, to change the vowels of the Hebrew to read mî’ittî (‘ who was with me?’; an interrogative affirmation meaning ‘entirely by myself’).

Motyer, J. Alec. The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary (Kindle Locations 10157-10163). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

The point is that God alone is responsible for the existence of the world as we know it. … Isaiah asserts that God is the sole creator of the universe, with neither consort nor adviser. Whatever the gods may be, they are not responsible for the existence or the nature of the world as it now is. Thus they cannot alter the course of events nor themselves diverge from that course. Only a singularly free Creator could do so.

Oswalt, John N.. The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament) . Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Kindle Edition.

The Old Testament teaches that the world is created by God alone. The New Testament goes on to set forth a cosmological outlook where Jesus is also the Creator of the world.

John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John is alluding in these verses to Genesis. The reasons for thinking such are strong such as the similar phraseology, or the motifs of God being at the beginning, it being at the very beginning of the Apostle’s writing, the creation of the world via divine speech, and creating light and life in contrast to darkness. Steve Hays comments on this:

The only precedent we need for the Prologue to John is the Pentateuch. We don’t need to postulate any other source to explicate the text. In John 1, the specific literary allusions are to the creation account in Gen 1 and the Shekinah/tabernacle in Exodus.
The wording of Jn 1 echoes Gen 1 in several respects, viz.
i) The timemarker: “in the beginning”
ii) A divine Creator
iii) Creation by divine speech
iv) The opposition of light and darkness
v) Creation of life
2. However, that backdrop supplies a point of contrast as well as comparison: It goes back a step from Gen 1 by describing what lies behind creation: the preexistent Father with the preexistent Son. In Jn 1, the Genesis terminology has acquires a double entendre. In Gen 1, light and life refer to the origins of physical light and physical life. That’s included in Jn 1, but in the Prologue they acquire the additional significance of new life or eternal life. Spiritual illumination and spiritual renewal. Likewise, “darkness,” and the contrast between light and darkness, take on metaphorical connotations.

His title as “the light of the world” traces back to the creation account, where God is the maker of sunlight, moonlight, and starlight. The Son is “the light of the world” because he’s the divine source of mundane light.

iii) However, “light” in the Prologue is a double entendre. It hearkens back to the origin of physical light, but in addition, it is now a spiritual metaphor. The contrast between light and darkness evokes the creation account, but this time it carries moral and spiritual connotations. “Light” as an emblem of new life. Spiritual renewal. In contrast to spiritual rebels.

iv) The Creator who made the world is now entering the world he made, and the Baptist is a witness to that event (vv6-8).

v) The irony or paradox is that creatures fail to acknowledge their Creator even when they meet him face-to-face.

Jesus is being identified with the creator God of Genesis and shares in the identity of the God of Israel that made everything. The contrast in Genesis is to show that the creator God isn’t like the pagan gods of Mesopotamia, Egypt, or other ANE pantheons. That God created all the things people believed were the gods of the universe(greater light[sun], stars, and other cosmological items that were thought to be deities). Genesis narrative sets the God of the Bible against the gods of the ANE myths. Matter was ultimate in their worldviews and gods were made of it. Genesis 1 sets God as the creator of matter. This further guarantees that Christ is to be identified with Yahweh or Almighty God. This is strongest in verse 3 because it presents nothing came into being apart from Christ.

Positively, Through him all things were made; negatively, without him nothing was made that has been made. The change in tense from were made to has been made is then the change in reference from the act of creation to the state of creation. Even so, the latter is a strange form of expression. It may be better to render the Greek, ‘All things were made by him, and what was made (taking ho gegonen as the subject of the second clause) was in no way (taking ouden adverbially) made without him.’ Either way, the point is powerfully made. Just as in Genesis, where everything that came into being did so because of God’s spoken word, and just as in Proverbs 3:19; 8:30, where Wisdom is the (personified) means by which all exists, so here: God’s Word, understood in the Prologue to be a personal agent, created everything.

Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 118). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.

You begin to see the way “light” begins to take a metaphorical overtone from verses 4-5. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. It definitely strengths the allusion to Gen. 1. The “light shines in the darkness” refers back to the creation event. But John takes it metaphorical application to state that this light will end this darkness. The darkness originates from the fall in Genesis and here its metaphorical connotation is for the world that is alienated from God. But ” The Word” puts an end to this by his saving revelation. This is why he is hated by the “darkness” and the “world” because it is through his revelation or his “light” shining that he exposes their sin(John 3:20). The point is that the Son or the Word is both is the “Word both the light of creation and the light of the redemption the Word brings in his incarnation”. This ties in with the prior verse where the Word is the source of “light” and “life”. Both physical light and salvific light(the revelation brought by the Word) as well as the one who brought physical, spiritual, and eternal life. 

In 1:4–5, the evangelist continues to elaborate on the Word’s involvement in creation, writing as one who looks at the present in light of its origin, with the imperfect verbs in 1:1–4 providing the general backdrop (Ridderbos 1997: 38, 40).34 Both “life” and “light” are universal religious terms (D. H. Johnson, DJG 469–71; Schnackenburg 1990: 1.242–44), but John’s teaching is deeply rooted in OT teaching.35 At creation, calling forth “light” was God’s first creative act (Gen. 1:3–5) (Morris 1995: 74–75). Later, God placed lights in the sky to separate between light and darkness (Gen. 1:14–18). Light, in turn, makes it possible for life to exist. Thus, on the fifth and sixth days of creation God made animate life to populate both the waters and dry land, culminating in his creation of humankind (Gen. 1:20–31; 2:7; 3:20). Now John asserts that life was “in him,” Jesus. He is the source of life, both physical and spiritual (“eternal”). He also is the source of supernatural light, since only those who possess spiritual, eternal life have the capacity to “walk in the light,” that is, to make moral decisions that are in accordance with God’s revealed will.36 “Light of [all] people” means “light for [all] people” (Bultmann 1971: 40), an objective genitive in Greek (Ridderbos 1997: 38 n. 64), pointing to the universal effects of the Word’s appearance.

Andreas J. Köstenberger. BECNT – John (Kindle Locations 1131-1143). Kindle Edition.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

Earlier we read ” All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. ” These are polemical statements against ontological dualism. Evil isn’t coequal to goodness and it doesn’t find itself transcendent to the universe. They have a common origin in having a common creator:

The Word, then, was in the world as a result of his special coming into it. Our decision regarding the meaning of ‘world’ in v. 9 has its bearing on the interpretation of v. 10. This was the world that was made through him– not a mere repetition of vv. 3–4, since ‘world’ as we have seen, has a narrower focus than ‘everything that has been made’. The point is that John will not allow ontological dualism, the view that there exists a principle of evil entirely independent of the universe God created. Far from it: apart from the Word, ‘nothing was made that has been made’ (1:3). That includes the kosmos, the world of human beings and their affairs in rebellion against the Word. Instead of allowing dualism, John grounds the moral responsibility of the race in the doctrine of creation.

Carson, D. A.. The Gospel according to John (Pillar New Testament Commentary) (Kindle Locations 2200-2206). Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

1 Cor. 8:4-6

Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

The background of the text is set in the pagan world of Corinth and the controversy is about meats sacrificed to idols. The meats that would’ve been common and most available in Corinth were ritual meats taken and sold in markets or eaten in private homes. Paul argues on the ground of monotheism that it is fine for the Corinthians to eat these meats. Paul in these verses makes constant allusions to the Shema and common monotheistic statements from Deuteronomy(4:35-39,10:17). Such as in verse 4 “there is no God but one”. Paul in verse 6 takes the Greek rendering of the Shema from the Septuagint and rearranges the Greek words in order to include the Son:

In stating that there is one God and one Lord, Paul is unmistakably echoing the monotheistic statement of the Shema` (‘YHWH our God, YHWH, is one’),”) whose Greek version in the Septuagint reads: kurios ho theos hemon kurios heis estin. He has, in fact, taken over all of the words of this statement,71 but rearranged them in such a way as to produce an affirmation of both one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. If he were understood as adding the one Lord to the one God of whom the Shema` speaks, then, from the perspective of Jewish monotheism, he would certainly be producing, not Christological monotheism, but outright ditheism. The Jewish understanding of the Shema` in this period certainly saw it as a profession of the absolute uniqueness of YHWH, besides whom there is no other. Over against the many gods and many lords (v. 5) whom pagans worshipped, the Shema` demands exclusive allegiance to the unique God alone. Even if ‘Lord’ in verse 6 means no more than ‘lords’ in verse 5 – and it must mean at least this – there can be no doubt that the addition of a unique Lord to the unique God of the Shema` would flatly contradict the uniqueness of the latter. Paul would be, not reasserting Jewish monotheism in a Christian way nor modifying or expanding” the Shema`, but repudiating Judaism and radically subverting the Shema`. The only possible way to understand Paul as maintaining monotheism is to understand him to be including Jesus in the unique identity of the one God affirmed in the Shema`. But this is, in any case, clear from the fact that the term ‘Lord, applied here to Jesus as the ‘one Lord, is taken from the Shema` itself. Paul is not adding to the one God of the Shema` a ‘Lord’ the Shema` does not mention. He is identifying Jesus as the ‘Lord’ (YHWH) whom the Shema` affirms to be one. Thus, in Paul’s quite unprecedented reformulation of the Shema, the unique identity of the one God consists of the one God, the Father, and the one Lord, his Messiah (who is implicitly regarded as the Son of the Father).

Richard Bauckham. Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Kindle Locations 3492-3506). Kindle Edition.

Because Paul is writing in Greek, he uses Greek synonyms for Hebrew words. And we’re using English words. But if we were to retrotranslate Paul’s statement in light of the background text, this would capture the true force of the usage:

Hear, O Israel: Yahweh is our Elohim, Yahweh is one (Deut 6:4).

yet for us there is one Elohim, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Yahweh, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist (1 Cor 8:6).

iii) Elohim doesn’t necessarily denote the one true Deity. But in Deut 6:4, the one true Deity is the intended referent. To my knowledge, Yahweh is a distinctive designation for the one true Deity in OT usage. So that’s actually the stronger term.

Using the Shema as his framework, Paul assigns Elohim to the Father and Yahweh to the Son:

The Father is the one Elohim


The Son is the one Yahweh

That’s what Paul is saying. He is taking the nutshell confession of OT monotheism, but apportioning the two divine titles to the Father and the Son respectively.

And notice the symmetry. This isn’t working the Son into the Shema, as if the Father was the baseline. It isn’t making room for the Son, but making room for Father and Son alike. Including both Father and Son in the Shema.

Unitarians don’t give it up immediately. They posit one more attempt to try to demean Christ once again. They argue that Christ isn’t the Creator of all but the instrument of creation. They posit an asymmetry between the Father and the Son in that the Son take a mediator position instead of the creator of Genesis. Christ is the hammer and not the ironsmith. The purpose of Paul is to designate Christ as a lesser tool but rather show his symmetrical relationship of that of the Father by the fact that they created all things. We also know that Christ is the creator of Genesis 1 and it hardly seemed like any Jew would consider the being in Genesis 1 as being a mere tool. In Romans 11:36, Paul uses the same phrase and applies them all to the Father:

36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

This same phrase is being applied to both God and Christ in a symmetrical fashion. It isn’t to state that creation is only for God and is only through the Son.

The relationship to God expressed by the first and the last of the three prepositions (ek and eis) is attributed to the one God, the Father (‘from whom [are] all things and we for him), while the relationship expressed by the second of the three prepositions (dia) is attributed to the one Lord, Jesus Christ (‘through whom [are] all things and we through him’). The fact that, in Romans 11:36, all three prepositions apply to God whereas, in 1 Corinthians 8:6, one of them applies to Christ does not mean that they no longer all describe the Creator’s relationship to the whole of creation. On the contrary, it means precisely that Christ is included in this relationship as the instrumental cause of creation.'() The variation between ‘all things’ and ‘we’ in 1 Corinthians 8:6 results from Paul’s desire to situate himself and his readers within the ‘all things’ who are thus related to their Creator. … The fact that Paul associates ‘all things’ with one preposition (‘from whom all things’), ‘we’ with another (‘we for him’), and both ‘all things’ and ‘we’ with the last preposition (‘through whom all things and we through him’) is a rhetorical variation adapted to the needs of verbal symmetry. Paul does not mean that ‘we’ are not also ‘from God’ or that’all things’ are not also ‘for God’. The whole is a condensed form of what would otherwise have been the more cumbersome and less symmetrical formulation: one God, the Father, from whom [are] all things and we from him, for whom [are] all things and we for him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom [are] all things and we through him.

Richard Bauckham. Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Kindle Locations 3537-3552). Kindle Edition.

Col. 1:15-17

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Notice the theme of each of these text calling back to Genesis to build of their theological points. You have the mentioning of Christ being in the “image of the invisible God” and the motif of the creation of everything that has ever been created. Notice that it is Christ that is the creator in each of them and the theology we built off previously. Paul writes this early Church hymn and fills it with deep theology. Notice once again that everything was created “through” Christ and unlike the previous text it adds we were made “for him”. Thus it isn’t some asymmetrical point between him and the Father. That is just unitarian nonsense that feeds through the depraved mind. The focus of verses 16-17 is of cosmological proportion. It has in scope everything that is not the God that has made all things.

The first set of qualifiers, things in heaven and on earth, is clear enough. “Heaven and earth” is a common biblical merism, that is, a construction in which two elements function together to indicate a single whole: in this case, the created order, the universe (e.g., Gen. 1:1, passim). It is more difficult to know what in particular is intended in the pairing visible and invisible. This pair is not common, so we do not have much to go on. It is easiest to assume that they restate the first pair in chiastic arrangement (heaven = invisible; earth = visible).
The relationship between the last set of four qualifiers and the previous ones is again disputed. Some think that both earthly rulers and heavenly rulers—spiritual beings—are intended, so that the four elaborate the pair that precedes them: [things] visible and invisible. But it is more likely that all four are describing spiritual beings, and that they are elaborating the word invisible. Thrones, to be sure, occurs very often throughout Scripture in its literal sense and often also in the metaphorical sense of that which the throne represents, power. But its placement here suggests that, like the other three in the series, it refers to personal beings, a usage attested outside Scripture. The second term in the series, powers, translates a Greek word, kyriotēs, that occurs elsewhere in the New Testament and in Jewish writings as a reference to spiritual beings (Eph. 1:21; cf. 2 Pet. 2:10; Jude 8). The last two, rulers and authorities (archai and exousiai), are better known from the Pauline letters. They occur together in six verses as references to spiritual powers (1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 2:10, 15; cf. also archē in Rom. 8:38; in Titus 3:1 [and Luke 12:11], they refer to earthly authorities).
Also disputed is whether the four titles refer to all spiritual beings (e.g., angels, both good and bad) or to evil spiritual beings only.160 It is certainly the case that 1:20 and 2:15 imply hostility toward God and/or humans on the part of the powers; but the inclusive language of this verse suggests that Paul is setting up that specific point by asserting Christ’s supremacy over the entire angelic realm. …

The hymn thus far has focused on Christ’s role at the beginning (“in him,” “through him,” “before all things”) and at the end (“for him”) of creation. Now the focus turns to the present role of Christ in creation: in him all things hold together. The verb here (synestēken, from synistēmi) means, in this context, “hold together,” “cohere,” and the use of the perfect tense suggests a stative idea: the universe owes its continuing coherence to Christ. This concept has analogies in the wisdom/word tradition,172 which, in turn, is probably reflecting certain Platonic and Stoic emphases about the cohesion of the universe. Again, however, the idea that an aspect of God’s character or immaterial concept holds the universe together is a far cry from the startling claim that a man who had recently lived and been crucified by the Romans was the one in whom all things are held together. What holds the universe together is not an idea or a virtue, but a person: the resurrected Christ. Without him, electrons would not continue to circle nuclei, gravity would cease to work, the planets would not stay in their orbits. As is true of every line in this “hymn,” there is particular application to the Colossian Christians, who were perhaps being tempted to find coherence by pursuing other religious options in their context. In response, Paul wants them to understand that things make sense only when Christ is kept at the center.

Moo, D. J. (2008). The letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (pp. 121–126). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.

These verses imply, entail, and demand that Christ is no creation but is, in fact, the Creator of everything. Nothing would have come into being without him and nothing has come into being without him. He is the eternal creator or also known as Yahweh, the God of Isreal, and Almighty God. To state differently is to blaspheme against the Lord. The Bible’s cosmology is two-tiered at the end of the day. God resides in eternity and brought into being everything else. Nothing is eternal with God and he is all alone and unlike anything else. This can be divided as easily as two categories: Creator and Creature.

The last thing to note is the history that God is all alone in the eternal state and everything else is a creature of God and not classified in the category of creator:

YHWH is God; there is no other besides him … YHWH is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other (Deut. 4:35, 39).

For there is no other besides the Lord, neither in heaven, nor on the earth, nor in the deepest places, nor in the one foundation (2 En. 47:3J).

There is an ancient saying about him: ‘He is one … And there is no other’ (Ps-Orphica, lines 9-10, 17). He is one, and besides him there is no other (Mark 12:32).

there is not a plurality of uncreated beings: for if there were some difference between them, you would not discover the cause of the difference, though you searched for it; but after letting the mind ever wander to infinity, you would at length, wearied out, stop at one uncreated being, and say that this is the Cause of all things. (Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew 5)

it is impossible for two uncreated beings to exist together (Methodius, On Free Will 5)

in all things God has the pre-eminence, who alone is uncreated, the first of all things, and the primary cause of the existence of all, while all other things remain under God’s subjection (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4.38.3)

For before all things God was alone, himself his own world and location and everything—alone, however, because there was nothing external beside him (Tertullian, Against Praxeas 5.13–15).

We have never heard that there are two unbegotten beings, nor that one has been divided into two … ; but we affirm that the unbegotten is one. (Letter of Eusebius of Nicomedia to Paulinus of Tyre, in Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 1.5)

God, subsisting alone, and having nothing contemporaneous with Himself, determined to create the world. And conceiving the world in mind, and willing and uttering the Word, He made it; and straightaway it appeared formed as it had pleased Him. For us, then, it is sufficient simply to know that there was nothing contemporaneous with God. Beside Him there was nothing. (Hippolytus, Against Noetus 10.1; cf. Refutation of All Heresies 10.28)

the Father is the one uncreated being (Epiphanius, Panarion 33.7.6)

Dr. William Lane Craig in his work on abstract objects maintains eternality was viewed as a property to God alone:

The Church Fathers took this property to be unique to God: ‘the emphasis… on God being uncreated (ἀγένητος) implies that He is the sole originator of all things that are, the source and ground of existence; and the conception is taken as a positive criterion of deity’. 36 According to the patristics scholar Harry Austryn Wolfson,37 the Church Fathers all accepted the following three principles: 1. God alone is uncreated. 2. Nothing is co-eternal with God. 3. Eternality implies deity. Each of these principles implies that there are no agenēta apart from God alone.

God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism(Page 34).

Hebrews 1:1-2

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Chris Date in his debate with Dr. Dale Tuggy made several arguments for his position. He noted that the word translated “made” or “created” is ἐποίησεν. The word in the biblical and extant literature is used for God’s creation back in Gen. 1.

of divine activity, specifically of God’s creative activity create (Hes., Op. 109; Heraclitus, Fgm. 30 κόσμον οὔτε τις θεῶν οὔτε ἀνθρώπων ἐποίησεν, ἀλλʼ ἦν ἀεὶ καὶ ἔστιν καὶ ἔσται; Pla., Tim. 76c ὁ ποιῶν ‘the Creator’; Epict. 1, 6, 5; 1, 14, 10; 2, 8, 19 σε ὁ Ζεὺς πεποίηκε; 4, 1, 102; 107; 4, 7, 6 ὁ θεὸς πάντα πεποίηκεν; Ael. Aristid. 43, 7 K.=1 p. 2 D.: Ζεὺς τὰ πάντα ἐποίησεν; Herm. Wr. 4, 1. In LXX oft. for בָּרָא also Wsd 1:13; 9:9; Sir 7:30; 32:13; Tob 8:6; Jdth 8:14; Bar 3:35; 4:7; 2 Macc 7:28; Aristobulus in Eus., PE13, 12, 12 [pp. 182 and 184 Holladay]; JosAs 9:5; Philo, Sacr. Abel. 65 and oft.; SibOr 3, 28 and Fgm. 3, 3; 16; Just., A II, 5, 2 al.) w. acc. ἡ χείρ μου ἐποίησεν ταῦτα πάντα Ac 7:50 (Is 66:2). τοὺς αἰῶνας Hb 1:2 (s. αἰών 3). τὸν κόσμον (Epict. 4, 7, 6 ὁ θεὸς πάντα πεποίηκεν τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ αὐτὸν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον; Sallust. 5 p. 10, 29; Wsd 9:9; TestAbr A 10 p. 88, 21 [Stone p. 24]) Ac 17:24. τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν (cp. Ael. Aristid. above; Gen 1:1; Ex 20:11; Ps 120:2; 145:6; Is 37:16; Jer 39:17 et al.; TestJob 2:4; Jos., C. Ap. 2, 121; Aristobulus above) Ac 4:24; 14:15b; cp. Rv 14:7. τὰ πάντα PtK 2 p. 13, 26 (JosAs 12, 2; Just., D. 55, 2; also s. Ael. Aristid. above). Lk 11:40 is classed here by many. Of the relation of Jesus to God Ἰησοῦν, πιστὸν ὄντα τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτόν=appointed him Hb 3:2 (cp. Is 17:7).—W. a second acc., that of the predicate (PSI 435, 19 [258 B.C.] ὅπως ἂν ὁ Σάραπις πολλῷ σὲ μείζω ποιήσῃ) ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς (God) created them male and female Mt 19:4b; Mk 10:6 (both Gen 1:27c).—Pass. Hb 12:27.—ὁ ποιήσας the Creator Mt 19:4a v.l.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 839). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

This phrase also appears later in the same book:

Hebrews 12:26-27

26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.”27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things(πεποιημένων), so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Here the phrase is unmistakenly referring to the Gen. 1 creation narrative.  Dates second argument has to do with the term translated “world”. The phrase actually means ages. Some Unitarians argue that the term often refers to a present or future age. Chris Date points out that the author of Hebrews uses the term to also mean prior ages and therefore referring to the Gen. 1 creation event. 

Hebrews 11:3

By faith we understand that the worlds[ages] were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

His last point is that the author of Hebrews has also in mind ages that go into the past.

Hebrews 9:26

26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Further, the same chapter applies a creation Psalm to Christ:

Hebrews 1:8-12

But of the Son He says,

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”

10 And,

You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the works of Your hands;
11 They will perish, but You remain;
And they all will become old like a garment,
12 And like a mantle You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will also be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.”

This is referring back to Psalm 102:25-27

25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.

The Biblical picture is that God created, maintains, judges, and renews this world. Christ shares in this divine identity and that is the unquestionable teaching of the New Testament. Any attempt to deny this is a distortion of the truth that is contained in God’s word.

Further Suggestions:


ContraModalism’s Dilemma

Paradoxical Unitarianism

Godhood and Dominion

ContraArianism, Part 1

ContraArianism, Part 2

ContraArianism, Part 3

Trinity or Tawhid in the Old Testament?

Is Eternal Generation Biblical?

Mohammed Hijab vs David Wood