1. God and Jesus differ.
2. Things which differ are two (i.e. are not numerically identical)
3. Therefore, God and Jesus are two (not numerically identical). (1, 2)
4. For any x and y, x and y are the same god only if x and y are not two (i.e.are numerically identical).
5. Therefore, God and Jesus are not the same god. (3,4)
6. There is only one god.
7. Therefore, either God is not a god, or Jesus is not a god. (5, 6)
8. God is a god.
9. Therefore, Jesus is not a god. (7,8)
My initial "pumping the brakes", to use a Dustin Smith expression, came on premise 6. Much recent Old Testament research (see especially Michael Heiser and Nathan Macdonald) is highlighting the compliance of Israelite theology with other ancient Middle-East perspectives on the Divine Council. There is a complex and hierarchical reality within the divine realm. Yahweh, presides over a council of gods, sometimes called "sons of God", in ancient Israelite thinking. But "god", often elohim, does not necessarily refer to Yahweh. Yahweh is Israel's Elohim, and Israel is Yahweh's chosen people. So 6 seemed initially misleading to me as a premise or at least appeared seated on modern and unbiblical concepts of monotheism. Tuggy has kindly responded to me on this concern of mine:
6 can be paraphrased like this: there is only one being who is divine in the ways that Yahweh is, e.g. being the ultimate source of all else, being uniquely provident over history. If this is what we mean by "being a god" throughout the argument, do you think it is sound?
My answer remains no, until he shows me how he can re-work his argument from the start.
So let's go through it point by point:
1. God and Jesus differ.This sentence strikes me as incomplete. Imagine two hippos (hippos are going to be something of a theme in the antimodalist push of the blog in the future), Godfrey and Jessy.
They might be identical-twin hippos, but one of them is standing here and one of them is standing somewhere else. Everybody is happy that they are not the same hippo. Now what could we say of Godfrey and Jessy if during a terrible famine in their habitat and surrounding area, that Jessy died and Godfrey had no choice but to eat his dead brother hippo in order to survive. Jessy is dead but his body has been entirely consumed into the body of Godfrey. You might want to argue that at this point of time, they are no longer two but one, they have literally fused.
A much more simple reference would be you. If you are losing your hair, then the you of today and the you of 10 years ago definitely differ, because you had more hair back then. Oops, I meant me ;)
So, what this premise lacks is a time-reference. Perhaps it should have been God and Jesus have differed at a given point in time. Without the time reference, you cannot arrive successfully at 3.