This debate could not have more starkly contrasted my opponent’s position with my own, and for that I believe it was a success. Undoubtedly many will declare victor the side they had determined to be correct before the debate began. For those who were uncertain true benefit is found. What has been presented are but a few of the arguments and reasonings behind our respective positions so that such ones may more fully understand the basis for them.
The Bible clearly attests to the fact that many are properly identified as gods. My opponent has argued that these are either false gods or figuratively gods but he has offered nothing to demand such categorization. Indeed ones were gods only in that they represented the true God (Psa. 82:6), but there were also ones who were so defined because they held a nature higher than that of man (Psa. 8:5). Because of this fact there is no dilemma in identifying the preexistent Messiah as “a god” based upon, among other things, his exalted nature (John 1:1). As ‘the exact representation of God’s being’ he could be nothing less (Heb. 1:3), but he is “god” only relative to ‘his God’ (Heb. 1:8-9).
Much more could be said than has been. Numerous texts could be presented and discussed on both sides. While this would be advantageous it is not feasible. Whether you are one who believes you already understand the scriptures or you are a new student of God’s word I would encourage you to continue to pray for understanding. Ask God to direct you through his word so that you can free yourself from error and more fully understand who he is, his will and his purpose. Upon asking for this direction read from his word with an open mind and heart. Seek to understand it more perfectly and thus share it with others.
I would like to thank Mike for his time and his patience with the delay between my responses. He has handled himself professionally both in this debate and in private communication so that I would be pleased to have further discussions with him on related issues.