I was directed the other day to a post by an Iglesia Ni Cristo apologist (hereafter INC) where he tackles John 1:1 and specifically denies that the “Word” in John 1:1 is a person. The author quotes a Greek lexicon to say logos means a concept or idea. Then proceeds to apply that to John 1:1.
Therefore, in view of the definition given above, what was with God in the beginning was His concept, a plan or an idea (logos) about the Christ who would be coming into the world.
Ok, that is pretty easy to follow. Let us now, for the sake of the argument, step onto the author’s position and see how this works in the context of the verse. The author continues:
The term logos does not refer to someone who was co-existing with God in the beginning.
Yes, you deny the Trinity, nothing new there. But the author continues with affirming that something existed with God in the beginning:
The Word or logos is not another God but the idea about Christ, which was “with God” or in God’s mind in the beginning.
There is much more that could be said about this but I simply want to point one thing out, and that is taking this position on verse 1 and trying to understand verse 2.
He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:2 ESV)
On the position of the INC apologist, this “He” pronoun in John 1:2 must be referring to a concept not a person. The INC apologist must address why John refers to what the INC apologist claims is an it as a he. Of course, the INC apologist might say that it is mistranslated, that it should be translated “It was in the beginning with God.” Or perhaps they are more well read and say that this could be translated “The same was in the beginning with God.” This doesn’t really help because as we move on further to John 1:3.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 ESV)
Now the INC apologist, if consistent must say that all things were made by some concept and not a person or being. The pronoun used in this verse is still referring to the Word and do not forget that the INC apologist has claimed it is simply a concept and not a person. The INC apologist may then say that perhaps all things were made through some concept by God. But that doesn’t really make sense at all as concepts do not create, persons create. The plans for a watch in the mind of the watchmaker do not make the watch. So this cannot make sense of the text at hand. In fact it makes the text into something impossible. The INC apologist has cornered himself by his own devices. In many ways it makes me think of M. C. Escher paintings and similar.
On the Christian (Trinitarian) view: There is in the one being that is God, three co-equal and co-eternal divine persons, namely The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. John 1:1-3 is much more plainly, and I dare say much more easily, understood. Jesus, a person that is fully God, existed eternally, and created all things. Even further, to show the consistent witness of Scripture, the Psalmist specifically states that God is the creator in Psalm 102:25-27, and the author of Hebrews flatly tells us that God is speaking about The Son in Hebrews 1:8 and quotes the Psalm to explain that The Son is the creator in Hebrews 1:10.