In The Trinity Delusion’s video, “Trinity: James White Caught with his own Contradiction” (https://youtu.be/2gjH7dclIzo?si=E30FA59F3kG7VIyQ), the accusation is made that Dr. James White contradicted statements in his book, “The Forgotten Trinity” in a video on his old YouTube channel @DrOakley1689 titled “A Reply to Anthony Buzzard” (https://youtu.be/b0MDoaza3IE?si=GkPUjjud5DFGIkOb).

A clip from their debate was played by The Trinity Delusion containing this excerpt:

BUZZARD: “That singular personal pronouns, you have not been brave enough to say, mean a single person.”

WHITE: “I’ve been brave enough to say, I deny it. I’m not going to say it when I deny it.”

The alleged contradiction is in reference to the following quote in Dr. White’s book on the Trinity:

“One of the clearest indications of the personhood of the Spirit is His use of the personal pronoun in reference to Himself.” – The Forgotten Trinity, p. 140

The error in supposing that personal singular pronouns in reference to God prove Unitarianism and debunks Trinitarian theology is only possible when one assumes Unitarianism and will not consider the category difference between person and essence or being.

Let us consider the Athanasian Creed. For the sake of brevity, we shall only consider a few segments:

“That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence. For the person of the Father is a distinct person, the person of the Son is another, and that of the Holy Spirit still another. But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.”

“The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal. And yet there are not three eternal beings; there is but one eternal being. So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings; there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.”

“Similarly, the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, the Holy Spirit is almighty. Yet there are not three almighty beings; there is but one almighty being.”

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

“Thus the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord. Yet there are not three lords; there is but one Lord.”

“Just as Christian truth compels us to confess each person individually as both God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.”

Dr. White is correct in his denying that the use of personal pronouns in the scripture means a single person. Consider the following verses:

Psalm 137:5 KJV
“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.”

Isaiah 10:11 KJV
“Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?”

Isaiah 40:2 KJV
“Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

There are many other examples, but in these three, we see a city being spoken of using personal singular pronouns. We would never interpret these texts as Jerusalem being a singular person.

Now, let us see if Dr. White has contradicted himself in his book and in his videos. The following quote is used by his opponents to make their accusation:

“One of the clearest indications of the personhood of the Spirit is His use of the personal pronoun in reference to Himself.” – The Forgotten Trinity, p. 140

Dr. White has, in no way, contradicted himself in denying that personal singular pronouns means a single person while saying that the Spirit affirms His personhood in His use of the personal pronoun.
In the scriptural examples I referenced above, it is a person speaking about a thing; or more accurately, it is a person speaking about a group of people living in and around a particular city.
The Spirit affirms His own personhood in referring to Himself using a singular personal pronoun. This is an act that only a single person can do without changing the meaning of “human language” as has been suggested. Since there is no example of a mere thing referring to itself as a personal singular person, Dr. White’s statement is correct. Please note my use of “mere thing” instead of “person” in the statement above. Understanding that any response I offer will be heavily parsed and scrutinized, I recognize that Balaam’s animal spake and used the personal singular pronoun, “I” to refer to herself (Numbers 22:28-30). Even in this unique and miraculous case, the personal singular pronoun is referring to one “person”. I will also cede that this animal is only one “essence” or “being”.

French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes coined the phrase, “cogito, ergo sum” (Latin: “I think, therefore I am”). Descartes declares his existence because he thinks; using the rationale that only existing things, or persons, think. Using this same logic, the Spirit’s referring to Himself using personal singular pronouns denotes personhood because it is an act that only a person does.

This brings us to the crux of the matter. Ultimately, this argument is not over the personhood of the Spirit or the Son. It is whether three persons can be one essence. That Biblical truth is revealed to us progressively in the scriptures through the revelation of His Son and the sending of the Spirit.

In “human language”, we do refer to ourselves as both persons and human beings. This is why I made use of the Athanasian Creed earlier in this retort. As our friends at Lutheran Satire have so eloquently taught us, there is no analogy in Creation to explain the Triunity of God whereby three persons exist being one essence while “neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence”. Dr. White has proven himself consistent in his argumentation and has well defended the Trinity in his book as well as in debate.

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