Joel 2:32 / Acts 2:21 / Romans 10:13
Here I am going to respond to selections of Kel’s article. The selections I have chosen are the ones I regard as embodying Kel’s main arguments; I have left out what I regard as repetitious or off the point. If I have missed or misunderstood Kel’s arguments, anyone who reads this – including Kel – is welcome to bring that to my attention.
. . .
Kel sets up his argument this way:
“’Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Joel 2:32 is quoted at Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13. Since this is a quotation of Joel 2:32 where the reference is to Yahweh, and the Lord in question at Romans 10:13 is Jesus, Trinitarians claim that Jesus is Yahweh.
The Claim vs. The Facts
The Scriptural facts show that Yahweh at Joel 2:32 is the Father. The Scriptural facts further show that the Father Himself declares that only He is God and no one else.
The Problems with the Claim
- Joel 2:28
Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21 are quotations from Joel 2:32.
It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.
When the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, Peter quoted this passage to show this promise of God had now been fulfilled.
This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all flesh…And it shall be that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Since Romans 10:9-10 and Acts 2:21,22-26 identify the Lord as Jesus. Trinitarians suggest that the LORD of Joel 2:28-32 is Jesus. However, Jesus explicitly informed us that this promise at Joel 2:28-32 was made by the Father.
And behold, I am sending forth the promise of my Father upon you but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on High. Luke 24:49”
Kel’s entire argument here is based on the ridiculous assumption that if the Father is the speaker who said “whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved” then only the Father can be the LORD whose name is called upon.
The issue here is not whether or not the Father is the LORD (of course he is). The issue is whether the Father who is the LORD could speak about another person who is also the LORD (he can). Kel’s entire argument on the passages of Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, and Romans 10:13 is based upon his belief that only one person is Yahweh the LORD. But there is nothing in any of these passages that say that.
“Joel 2:27 & Contradicting their own Doctrine
at Joel 2:27, the speaker says “I am Yahweh your God and there is no other.” By identifying the speaker at Joel 2:28-32 is Jesus, Trinitarians have excluded the Triune God and the Father . . .”
He repeats the error of thinking that because Trinitarians believe the LORD whose name is called upon to be saved is Jesus, they must also believe that the speaker who made the promise is Jesus. He also adds another error by assuming one of two things (I am not sure which); either 1) that only one Person can say “I am Yahweh your God and there is no other,” or 2) that if the Father says “I am Yahweh your God and there is no other” then that means that no other Person than the Father is God. If, however, three Persons are the one God, then any of them could make that statement without excluding the others. The passage says there is no other God, not that there is no other Person who is God.
There is therefore no contradiction between anything in these passages and the Trinity doctrine.
Kel says that in God’s authority structure a person can call upon God by calling on the one(s) God has sent. This is true in a sense, but it seems to me that if Jesus is not God Almighty, saying you can call upon the name of the LORD by calling upon Jesus would be much like saying you call upon the name of the LORD by calling upon Peter or Paul or any angel or saint of God. To me the identification of Jesus as God himself is more consistent with the passages we are discussing than Kel’s interpretation of Jesus as merely God’s chosen representative.
However, even if we were to grant the assumption that you can call on God by calling on one of God’s representatives, there is much more powerful evidence in other passages that Jesus is God and not just God’s representative in places like John 1, Hebrews 1 and others discussed on this website.
The only other argument in that I could identify that Kel uses concerning Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, and Romans 10:13 is one I have dealt with elsewhere, and he states it here in these words:
“Observe what Acts 2 actually says:
This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all flesh…And it shall be that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved….”
…Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God… For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: “The Lord said to my Lord ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified. Acts 2:16-33.
The Trinitarian claim is based on the premise that “Lord” = “Yahweh” at Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21. However, this would result in God making Jesus “Yahweh.” It’s absurd. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that God made someone into the God our Creator.”
My answer remains the same: God the Son was already LORD Yahweh, but by becoming a man he assumed an additional nature (human) in which he was made Lord and Christ. Kel’s argument only works if one confuses the Lordship the Son already had as God with the Lordship he obtained as a man. There is no reason why these two kinds of Lordship cannot coexist in one person. Since this is so, this final argument of Kel’s fails.