John Loftus recently got his second youtube video debunked on the Dividing Line, on 6/12. Ironic, considering the title of his blog.

His response leaves me scratching my head. First, the fact that he responds to practically nothing that Dr. White had to say about his video. Secondly, that he still shows an obvious lack of understanding of where he errs in his understanding of orthodox Trinitarian doctrine, and doesn’t address any of it, in his response. Third, that he believes he is so important that Dr. White would remember mentioning him in passing, in a single blog post, over 2 years ago – in error, in fact, because the post he was commenting on was not even written by Mr. Loftus. Additionally, he mentions Mr. Loftus’ blog in a comment concerning one of the other posters, shortly thereafter.

He begins (after a short one sentence summary of Dr. White’s discussion of his video) with this statement.

Let me ask White if he knows his own theology.

I wonder. Is Mr. Loftus aware that Dr. White wrote a book called “The Forgotten Trinity”, as his Th.M Thesis? I have this book on my shelf, actually. Further, I truly wonder if Mr. Loftus is aware that Dr. White has formally debated on The Trinity specifically, and twice on the deity of Christ? Not to mention his lecture(s) on the subject, which can easily be obtained from his website.

Along with his obvious ignorance of basic creedal statements concerning the Trinity, his choice of “Christian” examples is also quite illuminating. Swinburne? His explanation of the Trinity is decidedly non-orthodox. Why is he trying to pass him off as mainstream in any way, shape or form? Especially considering that Swinburne is Eastern Orthodox by affiliation, and Loftus is replying to a Calvinist! Swinburne goes so far as to say: “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be thought of as numerically distinct Gods”. This is directly contrary to any orthodox creed of any sort!

But let me explain what I said. Let’s see if I’m as ignorant as he claims that I am. I think he is the one exhibiting some ignorance about Christian theology.

At this point, it may be useful to actually explore an orthodox explanation of the Trinity.

Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith.
Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.
For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another.
But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.
What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.
Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.
The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite.
Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.
Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit: And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.
Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.
As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.
Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.
And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.
Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.
It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.
For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is both God and man.
He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother — existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.
Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.
He is united because God has taken humanity into himself; he does not transform deity into humanity.
He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.
For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.
He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life, those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith.
One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.

~ Tha Athanasian Creed

Swinburne is not orthodox, of course. Loftus isn’t even in the same time zone with orthodoxy, according to his explanation of his knowledge of the Trinity. This, from a man who graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School! Did he not listen, I wonder? I really cannot imagine that he never heard an explanation of the Trinity from Dr. Craig, who he so often mentions as his mentor, of some sort. He also claims to have taught philosophy and apologetics. He did this, without even a basic understanding of what the Trinity is?

Richard Swinburne argues for the Nicene subordination doctrine of the Trinity. [Richard Swinburne, “Could There Be More Than One God? Faith and Philosophy 5, no. 3 (July 1988): 225–41. Reformed thinkers like John Calvin and Benjamin Warfield argued for Trinitarian autotheos, in that the Son and the Spirit do not derive their being from the Father but are God in and of themselves.

That’s all very nice – but Swinburne, when he says that God is 3 Gods, has, at that point, nothing to do with Nicene theology. Period. He certainly cannot profess the Athanasian creed, that we saw above. So, why is Loftus even mentioning this man? Two words. Red Herring.

Swinburne claims that a first God could eternally “create” a second and even a third God, who “proceeds” from the first God, but that there was no reason to eternally create any other Gods since love would be complete in three Gods and no more. He concludes that “if there is at least one God, then there are three and only three Gods” since “there is something profoundly imperfect and therefore inadequately divine in a solitary God.” Swinburne’s view is but one form of the “social Trinitarian model” of the Trinity.

There’s so much wrong with Swinburne at this point, that I’m really confessing – why are we even discussing Swinburne, as if he is relevant to Christianity? I’m sorry, but heresy on this basic level does not have any place in Christianity. Once again, why did he bring him up? Red Herring, perhaps? Distract, by showing us a heretical view, that obviously has nothing to do with orthodoxy, then slip in the punch line, after a bit of time.

I don’t think any account of the Trinity is plausible for the Christian, and that includes Swinburne’s understanding. I find Swinburne’s scenario wildly implausible and guided more by what he thinks the Bible says than by any philosophical reasoning.

Ah, there we go. Ok, so – he admits, finally, that Swinburne has nothing to do with a Biblical account of the Trinity. I’m still failing to see it’s relevance – and especially in the light of the fact that he has yet to shed any light on Dr. White’s supposed ignorance on the topic. His conception is, indeed, fantastical, and bears no relation to Biblical teaching on the nature and essence of God. So, notwithstanding the bolded claim above – does he, in fact, understand the single orthodox understanding of the Trinity?

The bottom line is that no matter how an orthodox triune God is conceived, this is not a simple being.

Of course not. This is GOD.

So, what is the logical next step? Perhaps, present the correct view of the Trinity? Nope.

Social trinitarianism stresses the diversity of persons within the Trinity, while anti–social trinitarianism stresses the unity of the God.

We go, once again, to a claim of universal orthodoxy by some.. wacky ideas. Barthian Neo-orthodoxy, being championed as actual orthodoxy? Why? Because we can score points that way. That’s why.

Barthian/EO ideas about Trinity are exceedingly laughable, considering that Barth was a rank heretic, and the mysticism of the EO church can hide any sort of wanton heresy, if it is explained as a “mystery”. Tell me I’m wrong. Does Mr. Loftus really think he’s fooling us? I’m quite sure he can fool people who want any reason to believe Christianity is false – but it may be helpful to listen to Christianity’s self-definitions, before he runs too far ahead of himself.

Now, his basic misunderstandings in the video Dr. White examined are rather incredible. No less incredible is his willingness to trot out obvious trinitarian heresies. Why does he do this? I’m purely baffled by his statements on this issue. I’m forced to concede that he is either incredibly ignorant of orthodoxy concerning the trinity, unwilling to consider historic orthodoxy as validly Christian, or purely dishonest. Given his continual harping on his experience under William Lane Craig, we are left with little recourse than to say that it is more likely that he is being dishonest. Let me explain why.

If he studied under Craig, he would know what an orthodox construction of the Trinity is, and not the garbled hash he presented to his video audience. Thus, as he is deliberately misrepresenting the orthodox trinitarian position, he is being grossly dishonest, purely for points. This is further demonstrated by his list of qualifications, including claims that he has taught apologetics, philosophy, and theology.

If he is ignorant, it is despite all of this theological training, personal mentorship, and personal experience as a pastor. Despite his mentorship by William Lane Craig. What this suggests is these possibilities:
1. He was deliberately hardened, and did not understand what he was taught for that reason.
2. He just didn’t pay attention in class.
3. He is suppressing the truth, in unrighteousness, and doesn’t realize what he is doing.

Perhaps all 3. Regardless, this is not what he was taught, given where he went to school, and who he was taught by. So, it has to be an endemic ignorance!

If he is unwilling to consider historic orthodoxy as valid, I’m forced to wonder why he continually refers to historic creeds and the like. We aren’t talking about something arcane, or something Christians disagree about. This is something that is definitional to Christianity, not something that is a take it or leave it. If someone does not confess the Trinity, they are not Christian. Point-blank, period. So, why then, are we even trying to state that people who deny the Trinity are even relevant to any discussion of Christianity? Orthodoxy concerning the Trinity is foundational, not optional. So, when we are speaking of Anti-social Trinitarianism, or Social Trinitarianism, why are we even pretending that this is relevant to orthodoxy? If we are ignoring orthodoxy, and only discussing modernist neo-orthodoxy – why are we even pretending to talk about Christianity? Does he understand that such neo-orthodoxy has nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity? Perhaps we’re once again intruding into ignorance – the previous explanation.

Let Christians define Christianity. Further, let the Bible define Christianity. Not John Loftus. Especially since John Loftus cannot correctly define the Trinity.

“Social trinitarianism threatens to veer into tritheism (three gods); anti–social trinitarianism is in danger of lapsing into unitarianism (one God with no distinct persons in the Godhead).”

Why do we have no mention of orthodox Trinitarianism? Does he know what it is? Not according to his video explanation!

“Each person is not to be considered God, only the whole”. Really? Let’s back up to the Athanasian creed.

“Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.”

So: Not only are each of the persons God – but, the whole is also God. Does Mr. Loftus know the orthodox explanation for this? He doesn’t seem to.

Dr. White certainly gives that explanation, to follow. Does Mr. Loftus interact with this correction? Not in the slightest. Instead, he goes into Social/Anti-Social trinitarianism. What does this have to do with orthodoxy? These two beliefs are not orthodox. In fact, Mr. Loftus’ understanding is far from orthodox. Has he ever read the Athanasian creed? The Nicene? It’s not apparent from his statement!

SOME Christians? I agree with Dr. White. This is definitional. You can’t deny the Trinity’s self-existence from eternity, and call yourself Christian.

Notwithstanding the mispronunciation of “Occam”, he behaves as if the very concept of “uncaused eternality” is an idea that has never had an argument advanced for it, throughout history. Not only that, his argument is a simple argument from incredulity. Last I checked, that was a simple fallacy. Further, he acts as if the concept of an uncreated God, let alone the two-millenia old doctrine of God, concerning the Trinity, is something new and “incredible”. However, as Dr. White points out – there is no definition of “person” made by Mr. Loftus in his discussion of God. What I find interesting is his assertion, in the comments of his blog reply, that Dr. White “(u)sing words like “person” or “hypostatic union” without a precise definition of them means nothing.” Is that so? Tell us, Mr. Loftus. Whose video was he critiquing, and how did the subject come up? Dr. White is a published author on the doctrine of the Trinity. His discussion of common misconceptions of the word “person”, when applied to God, can be found on page 25-26.

“Words often carry with them ‘baggage’ that has become attached to the meaning of a word. The way we use the word may cause us to conjure up particular mental images every time we hear it. The most glaring example of this is the word ‘person,’ a word that is often used when discussing the Trinity. When we use the word ‘person,’ we attach to it all sorts of ‘baggage’ that comes from our own personal experiences. We think of a physical body, an individual, separate from everyone else. We think of a spatial location, physical attributes like height, weight, age—all things associated with our common use of the word ‘person.’ When we use this word to describe a divine person (Father, Son, or Holy Spirit), we tend to drag along with it the ‘baggage’ that comes from our common use of the term in everyday life. Many people, upon hearing the word ‘person’ used of the Father, for example, conjure up an image of a kind of old grandfatherly figure who is the ‘person’ of the Father. He’s separate, different, limited—everything we think of when we think of the term ‘person.’ It will be our task (and it is a difficult one!) to labor to separate such ‘baggage’ from our thinking and use such terms in very specific, limited ways so as to avoid unneeded confusion.”

I really think Mr. Loftus is the one laboring under a misconception, here. It is not Dr. White who misunderstands the doctrien of the Trinity. It is Mr. Loftus. Further, he is the one who has begun to delve into a discussion on the topic without any definition of terms, or exploration of the topic in historic orthodoxy. You would imagine he had received this training in the past – I myself have studied this doctrine, to some extent, as have most orthodox Christians. Not all understand it completely, but what they do understand MUST be orthodox. To worship God in Spirit, and in TRUTH, you must have a proper conception of what you worship.

Let’s delve into Dr. White’s definition of terms, concerning the Trinity. (pg. 26ff)

Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

First, the doctrine rests completely on the truth of the first clause: there is only one God. “The one Being that is God” carries within it a tremendous amount of information. It not only asserts that there is only one God – the historic belief, shared by Christians and Jews known as monotheism– but it also insists that God’s “Being” (capitalized so as to contrast it with the term “persons” found in the next clause) is one unique, undivided, indivisible.

Second, the definition insists that there are three divine persons. Note immediately that we are not saying there are three Beings that are one Being, or three persons that are one person. Such would be self-contradictory. I emphasize this because, most often, this is the misrepresentation of the doctrine that is commonly found in the literature of various religions that deny the Trinity. The second clause speaks of three divine persons, not three divine beings. As I warned before, we must not succumb to the temptation to read the term “person” as if we are talking about finite, self-contained human beings. What “person” means when we speak of the Trinity is quite different than when we speak of creatures such as ourselves. These divine persons are identified in the last clause as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, we are told that the relationship among these divine persons is eternal. They have eternally existed in this unique relationship. Each of the persons is said to be eternal, each is said to be coequal with the others as to their divine nature. Each fully shares one Being that is God. The Father is not 1/3 of God, the Son 1/3 of God, the Spirit 1/3 of God. Each is fully God, coequal with the others, and that eternally. There was never a time when the Father was not the Father; never a tiem when the Son was not the Son; never a time when the Spirit was not the Spirit. Their relationship is eternal, not in the sense of having been for a long time, but existing, in fact, outside the realm of time itself.

The three foundations of the Trinity, then, are already clearly visible. Here they are:

Foundation One: Monotheism: There is Only One God
Foundation Two: There Are Three Divine Persons
Foundation Three: The Persons are Coequal and Eternal

That’s in Chapter 2: What Is The Trinity?

In Chapter 11, we find: Three Persons. I won’t go into a detailed quote from this chapter – but He discusses all of the individual characteristics of these three persons, in detail.

In Chapter 12: A Closer Look, Dr. White lists Louis Berkhof’s definition, from his Systematic Theology.

1. There is in the Divine Being but one indivisible essence (ousia, essentia).
2. In this one Divine Being there are three Persons or individual subsistences, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. The whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three persons.
4. The subsistence and operation of the three persons in the Divine Being is marked by a certain definite order.
5. There are certain personal attributes by which the three persons are distinguished .
6. The Church confesses the Trinity to be a mystery beyond the comprehension of man.

After stating this, he goes into further detail, on each one of these points. I would encourage Mr. Loftus to purchase this book, The Forgotten Trinity, study it, and thereby gain an understanding of which he speaks. Dr. White is not confused, as to his theology of God, or on the Doctrine of the Trinity. This is eminently orthodox, very concise, and I am purely baffled at the claim of Mr. Loftus that Dr. White has no understanding of the subject. Again, he is the author of a book explaining the subject – and he does so in an extremely concise and understandable manner, that no orthodox Christian will have any problem in endorsing. it is, in fact, endorsed by Norman Geisler (an opponent of long standing concerning other issues), Dr. J.I. Packer (a theologian who has much experience writing about the Doctrine of God), Dr. Gleason Archer, Fr. Mitchell Pacwa (a Catholic debate opponent), Kerry D. McRoberts, and Dr. John MacArthur. This is no novice, and the book is entirely sound in doctrine.

What possible grounds does Mr. Loftus have for his skepticism concerning Dr. White’s understanding of the subject?

…that’s one of the reasons I asked White if he understands what he believes. Using words like “person” or “hypostatic union” without a precise definition of them means nothing.

See, that’s the thing. Dr. White is speaking from the perspective of a published author, with a very extensive body of work outside of that, as well. Plus, it’s work in the very subject Mr. Loftus is accusing him of ignorance in. If Mr. Loftus, as is apparently the case, is ignorant of Dr. White’s extensive treatment of the subject, I’m hard-pressed to be sympathetic about his own complete misunderstanding of the subject he is addressing.

I’m with Dr. White. What does “eternally created” even mean? Just a basic overview of the Nicene or Athanasian creeds will disabuse you of that notion. Further – I’ll return once again to his claim that Dr. White “failed to define terms”. Does he not understand that Dr. White is critiquing HIS video? Is it that difficult to see that his own failure to define any sort of terms is the source of most of his confusion?

The single greatest reason people struggle with the doctrine of the Trinity is miscommunication. It is very rare that anyone actually argues or debates about the real doctrine of the Trinity. Most arguments that take place at the door, or over coffee, or at the workplace involve two or more people fighting vigorously over two or more misrepresentations of the doctrine itself. it is basic to human communication to define terms. Yet so many people have so much emotional energy invested in the Trinity that they often skip right past the “definitions” stage and charge into the “tooth and claw” stage.

When it comes to the central affirmation of the triune nature of God, most of the time we leap right past the “formalities” and directly into a tug-of-war with passages of Scripture. The result is almost always the same: both sides go away thinking the other side is utterly blind. Such frustrating experiences could be minimized if we remember that we cannot assume that the other person shares our knowledge or understanding of the specifics of the doctrine under discussion.

~ The Forgotten Trinity, pgs 23-24

I would submit that perhaps Mr. Loftus’ knowledge of the doctrine in question is not as complete as he’d like to think.

“Massive confusion”, indeed. Created?

The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.

Remember that, from above?

See, here’s where Mr. Loftus gets a bit annoyed. Dr. White corrected him over several things. I don’t think his usage of the word “logos” was in question. It was the manner of usage. Mr. Loftus says “also known as ‘logos'”. As Dr. White points out – “logos” is only a descriptor. Not a title. The second person of the Trinity is first and foremost, the Son. Perhaps He would be, in a much lesser sense, also known as “logos” – but the choice of this term was strange, in the manner he used it in.

Further, his discussion of the supposed “incoherence” of the Incarnation was… not very convincing or coherent, in it’s own right? I mean, when you post a link to your supposed discussion of the Incarnation, in the blog post that is supposedly an exhortation that your opponent is ignorant of what he HIMSELF believes, and even this is completely ignorant of the orthodox understanding of THAT doctrine, I find it hard to believe any accusations of ignorance against anyone else have any credence whatsoever. At least not from them. Mr. Loftus, despite his claims, has obviously not understood what he was taught.

Now keep in mind that the God-man Jesus was a fully human being, so any resurrected God-man must have a body in keeping with his humanity, otherwise the human part of the God-man ceased to exist, died, or his was simply discarded. But it can’t be that God would destroy a sinless man, the man Jesus. Therefore, the resurrected Jesus, being a God-man, is a new and unique being, and this dual natured being is unlike the previous 2nd person of the Trinity.

Now, such a lack of understanding is truly indicative of the level of argumentation he has to offer. Honestly, Dr. White has better things to do than refute this level of… misunderstanding. As he often says, concerning Islam – if you want to show the truthfulness of your own view, it’s helpful to at least make an effort to accurately represent the beliefs of your opponents. If you show no interest in truthfulness concerning their views, you have shown, in essence, that you have no concern with it, ultimately, concerning your own.

Advice I wish Mr. Loftus would take. Especially when his sole claim to fame is that he was taught by the famous William Lane Craig.

This clip shows, very clearly, the depth of Mr. Loftus’ confusion, concerning very fundamental Christian doctrines. When he asks whether Dr. White knows what he believes – I find that odd, considering Mr. Loftus’ demonstrated ignorance throughout this video, and on his blog. A more pertinent question would be:

Does Mr. Loftus have a correct conception of orthodox Christian doctrine? If so, why is he misrepresenting it so badly? If not – what possible justification does he have for his ignorance? There is a very obvious answer to this question, of course.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual {thoughts} with spiritual {words.} But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

~ 1 Cor 2:12-16

This is the root of the problem. Mr. Loftus, despite his academic training, simply fails to understand even the most fundamental things of theology. Why?

{So} we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

~ Hebrews 3:19

He does not know God, and thus cannot appraise the things of God. He has no recourse, either. God is the only recourse. I will pray that God does His will in this man – but, of course, God changes the man. What the man thinks of God is really irrelevant. I pray that his eyes will be opened. We shall see.

Again, these standards he gives are not related, in the slightest, to orthodox understanding of the relationship of the members of the Trinity. This is his basic problem. Why does he not have it? Once again – no one can know the things of God unless they are spiritually appraised. One again, as Dr. White says – he has had “every possible opportunity to study the doctrine of the Trinity, and understand it”. Why does he not? He can’t.

What saddens me is that he doesn’t completely misunderstand it. He knows the gospel. Unfortunately, it’s just enough of it to condemn him. It’s truly not any sort of ‘glee’ that I feel, when listening to a false believer speaking of the contents of his false profession. It’s just sad, to me.

Once again – using “being” in a way that in no way accords with a Trinitarian description in any orthodox way simply shows your unwillingness to correctly represent your subject.

I could probably finish with more clips from the Dividing Line, but I think we’ve adequately explored Mr. Loftus’ colossal ignorance of what he puzzlingly considers a doctrine that Dr. White is ignorant of. As we can demonstrably show that this is not the case; as we can further show that Mr. Loftus is blindingly confused as to the nature and implications of Trinitarian doctrine; and even further, that Mr. Loftus has absolutely no excuse for being so staggeringly ignorant of what he professes to be educated in – we are left with only sobering conclusions.

Mr. Loftus does not know what he is talking about – because his mind is incapable of it. What do I mean by this?

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

~Romans 1:21

This qualifies as “futile speculation”, does it not? When you do nto understand, there is typically a reason for this. The reason is: God hides it.

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from {the} wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal {Him.}

~ Matthew 11:25-27

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…

~ Romans 1:22

Can it really surprise us, when natural men act as they do? That they fail to understand what they fail to understand? It shouldn’t perhaps – but I’m willing to admit that it does surprise me, sometimes.

The wisdom of God is, truly, hidden from those to whom He has not revealed it. It’s hidden in plain sight. The things revealed are even impossible for them to understand as true. How much more so the doctrines approaching the secret things of God? Well, I hope that we can learn something from this. A man given every earthly advantage to learn the truths of God fails miserably, if God Himself is not in it. Folks, this is a sobering lesson for us. Education, opportunity, and even personal mentorship in doctrine are nothing, if God is not in it. Well, may God have mercy on him.

Soli Deo Gloria. Man has not a thing to do with it.