A challenging article re: Trinitarian thought.


#44

I’m not sure of your purpose with these quotes, though I know you were somehow trying to answer Dave’s question, “What is the Godhead?”

Does the word “Godhead” from the middle ages have a special connotation for you?
Modern translators render the word as “divinity”, “divine nature”, etc. I, myself, favour “deity”. That the deity is very unlike man-made gods is clear (Acts 17:9). That God possesses eternal power and deity as in Romans 1:20, there is no doubt. That the fullness of deity dwells within the resurrected Christ bodily as in Col.2:9, there is no doubt. So I’m puzzled what these verses mean to you, and would much appreciate your expounding them in light of what you had in mind when quoting them.


#45

Hi Paidion,

I thought I made the distinction clear so as not to confuse “reasoning about…” anything, as opposed to the adoption of “secular philosophy to accommodate their own lack of spiritual clarity.”

I was not trying to give any special interpretation, only to show why I would use the term. The term has been part of christian culture for many hundreds of years. I think the term is apt to describe a dynamic of relationship within the “Deity”; just as we would talk about the “Hypostatic Union” (speaking of secular philosophy) to describe the dynamic of Christ’s God-man relationship in Christological discussions. I do not have any problem with this term to describe relationship within the Deity… “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.”

Steve


#46

Another great post, akimel. I found it interesting that Basil was said to have died after reading the (second?) letter of Eunomius. I don’t think it was a case of “the letter kills”, but it does show how passionate the subject can be.

I agree that a re-analysis of our christian roots is imperative. So much of our beliefs, whether we are Orthodox or Protestant, are built upon the foundations of 4th century Catholicism. We need to re-align ourselves according to earlier fathers, and get away from Athanasius, Jerome, Cyril, Augustine, the Cappadocian fathers, Hilary, etc. The 4th century was the church’s darkest hour up until that time. No longer was the enemy seen to be the Devil, or Jews, Romans, Gnostics… now the enemy was within - and we fought the enemy with axe, sword and torch. Within one year of the Council of Nicaea, Constantine had his wife and son killed, and yet he was still seen as a Christian equal to bishops. Over 10,000 followers of Origen were rounded up and butchered. The great Cyril did not stop there… the famous Hypatia was ripped apart, literally, by a church gone mad. Then followed the gangsters synod, where bishops were killed by bishops. Something terrible had happened to the church, and no good fruit would come of it. We need to completely scrap the 4th century church, and return to the church prior to the darkness setting in. This was the view of Isaac Newton, which he, to me, was a true visionary and reformer. I believe we will return to our roots through the instigation of persecution and seizure of the church in the near future. These will be the beginnings of sorrow and woe! but a faithful church will recognize this as a signal for Christ’s return.

Steve


#47

I think you have assumed too much here, Paidion. Jesus does not need to have a “fallen, human nature” in order to be tempted (tested). “And the tempter [3985] came to Him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matthew 4:3) He was tempted simply because of the notion that He was “the Son of God”. He was given temptations similar to us all; but because He was “the Son of God” (i.e., perfect - as was Adam); He succeeded every test and temptation… yet allowing Him to “sympathize with our weaknesses”. Jesus knows the temptations placed before us because the devil had also tempted Him to rebel against the Father. It does not require that Jesus had a fallen sinful body. I am surprised that you have suggested that…


#48

His body did age, he did have to eat and drink…apparently it was like ours, or what was the point…I don’t know if we call that a ‘sinful’ body or not - are our bodies sinful? I think not.


#49

It depends what you mean, Dave… Using biblical terminology, it is taught that sin resides within our bodies. So yes, our bodies are sinful…

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,
and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
…”
Romans 5:12

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out
.”
Romans 7:18


#50

Don’t see any mention of the body there, Steve.


#51

Yes, I meant to give you a different translation which uses the word “flesh” to mean human body…

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. [4561 - sarx]
For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”
Romans 7:18

The word “flesh”, sarx, means “body”.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body [sarx] also will rest in hope.”
Acts 2:26

“…he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body [sarx] see decay.”
Acts 2:31

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends,
let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body [sarx] and spirit, perfecting holiness
.”
2 Corinthians 7:1

See also Ephesians 2:15, 5:29; Colossians 2:5


#52

Sarx is never simply ‘human nature’ for Paul; nor is it simply a reference to physical humanness as opposed to non-physical aspects, such as soul or spirit. It is always human nature ‘seen as’ corruptible, decaying, ding on the one hand, and/or rebelling, deceiving, and sinning, on the other. “Flesh” always carries negative overtones somewhere on this scale, whereas for Paul being human was not something negative, but good and God-given and to be reaffirmed in the resurrection.
-Wright “The Letter to the Romans”


#53

Paul’s mention of sarx in Romans 7:18 - “nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh [sarx]” would say otherwise…Also, the term is used of Christ’s body: “nor did his body [sarx] see decay.” If sarx is always “‘seen as’ corruptible, decaying, dying on the one hand, and/or rebelling, deceiving, and sinning…”, in what sense was sarx used of Christ, who’s body neither sinned nor decayed?


#54

i don’t think Paul does disagree, first.
It’s saying that a body can sin that just sound weird - does it sin without my consent? If it takes my consent, then of course it can be used for sinful acts. But I think the body itself is just fine.


#55

I don’t see any “free will” either


#56

The body “sins” because all creation has been subjected to futility and death (Romans 8:20). Sin and death are two sides of the same coin.

As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. [sarx]
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out
.”
Romans 7:17, 18


#57

You need to read all of chapters 7 & 8 of Romans…

This free-will choice, to walk according to the Spirit, is granted to us through the act of faith and repentance; “if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.” I think you need to get a broader knowledge of the scriptures. You appear to be trying to understand through other people’s books and experiences. There is no substitute for the word of God.


#58

As we can see Paul was in bondage. According to verses 24-25 It was Christ who delivered him from the captivity of sin. Paul couldn’t do it. It’s by the Spirit that we choose. Only by God’s grace.


#59

Possibly I have assumed too much, if we simply mean that He was tempted. But what about the results of temptation? What would be achieved in trying to tempt a God/man who didn’t have a total human nature? I’ve heard some say that because of His divine nature it was impossible for Jesus to have sinned. That makes sense to me, for how could such a God/man be persuaded to sin? Wouldn’t it, in fact, be impossible? And if it were impossible, such “temptations” would not have been genuine temptations.


#60

Paul wasn’t in bondage. In Romans 7, Paul wasn’t talking about himself. He was talking the man without Christ who is trying to do things pleasing to God. He uses the first person singular (“I”) hypothetically of such a man. Such a man can serve God only with his mind, but with his flesh he serves the law of sin. Then in chapter 8, he praises God that such a man can be set free from sin through Christ.

Here is a little analogy I made concerning my handwriting, which may give us an insight as to what Paul was getting at.


#61

What an interesting approach.


#62

Yes, I understand the complication. I personally think Christ (God) tasted humanity to sympathize with our weaknesses. He does not need to fall in order to understand the gravity of falling. Every human knows the adrenaline spike or the jitters. Christ would have had hormones and chemicals in His body as we all have. He was just not overwhelmed by them (to the point of sin). Christ certainly felt saddened to the point of tears, and angry to the point of whipping. These are human encounters, and Christ fully experienced them for our benefit. This is partly what is meant by “God so loved the world”. This is fairly impressive that our maker would humble Himself to such an act of exposure. Christ ate food, went to the toilet, coughed, shivered, smelt corpses and rotten food… He did all of this so that we would have greater confidence in Him as our leader. He went through the same battle. He did not just sit back and watch - he immersed Himself to the point of being flogged, spat on, beaten and ridiculed. Who would do that for someone else? God!

As Satan said… “throw yourself down from this mountain…” Now, if Jesus would not have died from “throwing Himself down”, this would have given evidence of the divine in Jesus that Satan was asking Him to confirm; but that does not mean that Jesus would not know that it is a struggle for humans to experience a fall from a horse, or falling off a chair, or breaking a bone, or being hungry, tired or thirsty. Jesus became man!


#63

I think that, following the dogma of God’s simplicity, that the Father had no lack in himself that he needed to fill by becoming human and feeling the effects of biological life. He had no lack at all and did not need to ‘become’.