Defending Divinity Over Coffee: Conversations at Arbuckle Coffee

A Lively Morning at Arbuckle Coffee Shop

Something about Arbuckle Coffee Shop makes for lively mornings. Maybe it’s the aroma of freshly ground beans, maybe it’s the pep in Kendall’s step, or the quaint little pleasantries I share with the baristas every morning. I have found if you hang out at Arbuckle long enough, you’re going to get the opportunity to meet some people you wouldn’t normally have the chance to run into otherwise.

Encounters with Diverse Beliefs

Since being in Ada, I have had the chance to chat with an Episcopalian who was playing with Tarot cards, I’ve chatted at great length with this one atheist who likes to go to Mass, and most recently I had this chat with a woman who denied that Jesus was God. This last lady, bless her heart, attended a Oneness Pentecostal church for a decade or two only to find herself getting sucked into another heretical group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Addressing Misinterpretations

This poor lady was all twisted up, distorting Colossians 1:15, saying “Jesus was the first of Jehovah’s creations” and John 14:28, “the Father is greater than I”. Here’s the thing, if you ever find yourself in a coffee shop where someone is trying to convince you that Jesus is not God, this is what you need to do, consider this how spiritually to shampoo away HAIResy. Step 1: Agree on attributes that only God possesses. Step 2: Show that Jesus has those attributes. Step 3: Rinse, wash, and repeat if necessary.

A Practical Approach to Theological Discussions

For example: “Ma’am, do you agree that only God is the creator of all things (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 45:12, John 1:3)?” Or “Isn’t God alone to be worshiped and glorified (Exodus 20:3-5; Deuteronomy 6:14-13; Matthew 4:10; Revelation 22:8-9)?” Then all you gotta do is memorize a few Bible verses that say “Jesus is worshiped” like Matthew 28:17: “And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted.” or Matthew 2:11 – “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” or better yet Hebrews 1:6 – “And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’” Even the angels worship Jesus.

Jesus as Creator and Uncreated

Now, I like pointing to worship as a marker and distinctive of Jesus’ divinity. It is a clear biblical marker that runs from Matthew to Revelation. But if you’re dealing with a crafty or shrewdly trained cult member, you might need to bust out the “big guns” of “God as Creator”. Jesus is expressly stated in John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 as the creator of all things. John 1:3 even goes out of its way to say, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” How could Jesus be a created being if “nothing came into being apart from him”? And Colossians makes it explicit as well, saying “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Look, Jesus is uncreated, the creator of all, not just of physical things, but Jesus is the creator of spiritual things, all the things in heaven and on the earth, through him and FOR HIM. Why? Because Jesus is God!

Concluding Thoughts

Now, if this person has been sufficiently programmed, you might have to “rinse, wash and repeat”. They will say, “Eahhh, but I just don’t agree.” That’s when you go back to your premise: “Didn’t we agree that only God is worshiped” and “only God is the creator of all? If Jesus is both of those things, then Jesus is God.”

Listen, go find yourself a coffee shop, a bookstore, maybe even a park bench. Hang out there once a week and meet some new folks. You too might find yourself with the opportunity to defend the divinity of Jesus. And with these three easy steps, you too can help those suffering from HAIResy.