Dale Tuggy has presented a challenge to those who believe that "Jesus is God". You can listen to him present and expound on this challenge on his podcast. As I am one of those people who believe that Jesus is YHWH, it behooves me to offer a response.
For these reasons, I am not convinced that John 17:5 serves as either a proof-text or an exegetical argument for the pre-incarnate existence of Jesus as a distinct divine person from the Father.
Therefore, I conclude that we "obey the gospel" by obeying the simple instructions the Apostles gave immediately following the birth of the Church. That is, by repenting, being baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ, and by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are forgiven of our debt and brought to life in Christ.
So it is that, with respect to my previously supplied reasons for affirming the trinity, I find their blow significantly softened and I find my current reasons for affirming oneness far superior in strength.
While I don’t believe I comprehend this issue in its entirety and I am willing to be convinced otherwise, I currently believe that the trinitarian interpretation comports more with the Scriptures than the oneness interpretation. Here is why.
Therefore, getting this issue right is what I aim to do! That is, I want to study this issue into the ground. I want no questions unanswered, no issues swept under the rug, no items unstudied.
I think the crucial point of disagreement was made very clear in the point of the debate at which Andy asked Jeff (at about 43:30 in the YouTube video): "What is the foundation of your faith? Why do you believe what you believe?" Jeff, in his typical quick and confident manner, replied: "The Word of the Living God!" Andy apparently wasn't adequately prepared to reply to this answer and responded with a weak, "Ok...". (It is even worse if you are watching the YouTube video because he follows up with a shoulder shrug and a smirk...)
I wish to briefly share my thoughts on one thing I believe to be a crucial component [of debate]. What is that one thing? In a word, humility.
A natural consequence of human existence is disagreement. Each of us tend to have opinions or beliefs as to the truth on any matter in question. Our interactions with others almost inevitably reach some contention as it is often the case that individuals have different beliefs and opinions on the same matter.
...the question is: How did they know who Jesus was? A couple possibilities came to mind.