OK (a sideways person)…yeah, that was my overall reaction to this book.
Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting make several good points in the book but they also incorporate into their book a lot of fallacies. It takes a similar approach as Hugh Ross does to the creation vs. evolution debate but only with regard to the Trinity. They take as conservative approach to the Bible as they can possible. It just doesn’t work in the book.
The book was overall boring. Unlike other books on the Trinity I have seen and read part of, this book doesn’t go into detail on the verses but rather is obsessed with the issue of the history and how Christianity, by adopting it, has paganized itself (forget about the fact that the virgin birth is pagan). He also tries to spend time in declaring how all of Christianity is wrong except him – this includes Jehovah’s Witnesses because they believe Jesus is an angel. They claim that they are not heretics yet have all the traits of people who are trying to sever themselves and divide themselves from the rest of Christianity in general. Any one who does not submit to their anti pre-existing Jesus teaching is following a delusion.
Buzzard and Hunting are obsessed with the fact that God is only one and they point out that believers are also only one in Galatians 3. But believers are only one in Christ while God is special in that he is only one person! They come back to statements of God’s strict oneness and that he is only one person over and over again that it gets so annoying. Every other page is practically spouting out the same damn information that “God is one and no more.” It just drones on and on like this.
It has some good points like I said though. For instance, they challenge a traditional interpretation of John 1 by arguing that such an interpretation would stray away from conservativism (not that’s actually possible any way) and that we should interpret John in light of the synoptic gospels. An interesting point since the Gospel of John came around after the Synoptics. They successfully argue that Paul did not affirm the deity of Christ. Of course, none of these points are hard to prove in light of modern textual criticism. Therefore, this was probably their strongest points they made throughout the book.
Any way, they proceed to compare the Trinity to how the Church once believed the Earth was flat and the majority used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe. Both of which were proven false (except for the latter which was again proven true by Albert Einstein). Ignoring the fact that it was actually a conservative approach to the Bible that led to these two teachings in the first place. Not only that, but they then try to construe that no one believed in the Trinity for the first part of orthodoxy and when the Trinity arrived on scene, the majority was apparently non-Trinitarian. Don’t forget to mention the fact that no one at all denied the pre-existence of Christ but they try to argue that the majority did, at one point, deny and challenge the pre-existence of Christ. Nevertheless, their argument is contradictory and self-refuting.
Moving on to the Trinity and politics. Michael Servetus they claim was burned by John Calvin. Actually, Calvin tried to petition that the guy just have his head chopped off which is still pretty sick but Calvin wasn’t out to try and torture the guy. They try to claim Isaac Newton, John Locke, and John Milton on their side. Newton was, at best, an agnostic on the subject at his death (based on his writings), Locke was actually an Arian who believed in the pre-existence of Christ, and Milton also was. So these people are actually falsely recruited by Hunting and Buzzard. There is lots of talk about how Constantine, who was baptized as an Arian on his deathbed and then proceeded to excommunicate Trinitarians after having done the same to Arians, actually was in some sort of conspiracy with the Trinitarians. There is no mention of Theodosius who imposed Trinitarian acceptance as a legality in Roman Law which would have been a better point.
They manage to attack the theory of evolution as well. Any way, Buzzard and Hunting hold to the notion that since the Trinity developed, it therefore cannot be true. Which is a logical fallacy. Want to know of another example of a developing doctrine? Lesbianism. That’s right, women who have sex with other women and are attracted to other women. There is no mention of it in the Torah. Then when we get to Ruth, lesbianism helps unite a mother-in-law with a daughter-in-law. Finally, in Romans, lesbianism is a divine punishment upon Roman women (although it’s difficult to perceive as to how something so fun to watch would actually be a punishment).