Materialism, Natural immortality, and the Trinity
"Materialism." "THE following communication from Eld. Wardner, S. D. Baptist, was received a few weeks since. Not understanding fully the present state of the question between him and Bro. Cottrell, we forwarded it to Bro. C. He returns it with the subjoined response, both of which we lay before the reader, that we may not even seem to decline a full hearing to either party.—ED. REVIEW…"
[Eld. Wardner, S. D. Baptist]
“If the exposition given by Mr. Waggoner and Mr. Loughborough be correct concerning the divine incarnation, then it follows, either that Christ, the Word, was not God, as stated, or else there were more than one God, or else the only living and true God, "who only hath immortality," died, and there was no God in the universe, but a dead one for three days and nights! Then how was he raised to life again? Bro. C. says he sees no difficulty in believing "that God raised him from the dead." Will he then please explain how God could raise God from the dead, if there were no other than the one transmuted into flesh and was dead? And then tell how he "who only hath immortality," could become mortal and die, and at the same time be the fountain of immortality and the giver of it to man? If I am to embrace his views upon these points, as he seems confident that I will, I wish to act understandingly…”
RESPONSE FROM BRO. COTTRELL
“…I do not yet see any absurdity in the Bible propositions, that "Christ died," and that "God raised him from the dead." I have been accustomed to hear those accounted orthodox speak of "God the Father" and "God the Son," and I do not object to the phraseology; for the Bible sustains them in it. And I do not accuse them of having another God besides the Father, when they worship him to whom the Father has said, "Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever," and of whom he has said, "Let all the angels of God worship him." The Father has decreed that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father who hath sent him." John 5:23. It was he whom both Paul and Peter call "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," that "brought again from the dead the Lord Jesus." believe all this, and see no absurdity in it.
Come, brother, believe! It is the easiest thing imaginable, when you learn how. Believe that the divine Son of God was made for a little while lower than the deathless angels for the suffering of death; that he did not desert suffering humanity in the hour of trial but "poured out his soul unto death," and suffered in his flesh the penalty which was due to us for our transgressions; and it will remove such a cloud of human inferences, deductions, and assumptions, and let in such a flood of divine light, as will astonish you and cause you to wonder where you have been all you Life…” (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 10, 1870, pp 166, 167)