The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Poll: Are you a Trinitarian?


#61

Greetings and all the best from China … :smiley:

    I am delighted to find this forum...  and the previous post above mine has written with keen acuity concerning this issue as well.

  Not only has this issue been involved in heated discussion throughout entire Church History ... during those 300+ years after the ascension ... there were also anathemas thrown everywhere ...  and many persons smeared with being a "heretic" too

 Although commonly understood and publicly known ...  it seems that anathemas and being labeled as a "heretic" is acceptable and necessary to "defend" the "Faith"   in the posts that I have read thus far I even observed there was a 

text shown to suggest this very situation.

After reading the exceptionally satisfying posts concerning Universalism Restoration ( which in my personal view would include ultimate Reconciliation which comes from my own Trinitarian perspective ; )

  I observed that Gregory of Nyssa was mentioned in support of this view ..  Along with Basil and the other Cappadocian Father I am curious as to why these Theologians were not mentioned in support of their view of the Trinity.

   As to my personal view -- it took me more than two decades of personal introspective study in order to finally

achieve my goal of being able to resolve this issue conceptually so that I could be satisfied in my quest to
comprehend how 3 can be Unity and how Unity can be expressed with diversity.

    The Cappadocian Fathers along with other Eastern Orthodox Thelogians as well as others aided me in this quest.

 While reading the very early edition of one of the best selling books "The Shack"  written by Paul (William) Young
 who is a really close personal friend ... He was criticized strongly and aggressively by utilizing his creative imagination
to present the Trinitarian members ( *members* being used since I am using English along with the same predictament as 
 the early Church Fathers tangled with in attempting to use a written language to illustrate a very dynamic profound concept while avoiding at the same time any static presentation of codified dogma or doctrine)
Paul used three "persons"  -- God the Father was presented as a hearty Oprah Winfrey (my imaginative reading was that she was rather hefty too..  ; )   Jesus was presented as a Carpenter and the Holy Spirit was presented as a Chinese female...
or 'spirit'   Due to my personally close friendship with Paul I made some suggestions along with lots of encouraging remarks with humor but continued to express my theological views as well -- the book had at that time a profound emotional experience in my life in several ways ..  thus I heartily recommend anyone to read it .. which by the way my own non religious non christian typical consumeristic parents called me up one day and told me to read it and sent me a copy .. ; )

  In another post in this forum I mentioned my personal view ( personal -- meaning it is mine and I hold it with as much passion as others do with theirs --  in fact, due to my theological view of the Trinity it has greatly shaped and formed my Egalitarian view of the Church .. the Kingdom of God ... and how I interpret Genesis 1-3 in a creative fashion -- along with deeply influencing my daily social behavior towards others )

 My view is --   the ontological essence of the Trinity belongs to, flows from, embedded within, dynamically bonding via the perichoretic koinonia between the Trinitarian fellowship ...
    the father is not the son ... nor the son the father .. nor is the Spirit either one ...
   the Spirit did not flow from the Father ... nor flow from the Father and Son ...
    the Son was not "created" or "begotten" in the way that several brilliant posters have mentioned above...
   from Eternity there has been an Egalitarian fellowship  (eternity meaning that there was never any moment..
 time .. eon... kairos or chronos ...  when there was Only ... One God.. which is always mentioned as The Father...

 There is Only One God ...  but this Unity is expressed via the perichoresis to be found in the diversity of 
     the *members* of the Trinity ...  thus one might use " A Grand Dance"  involving all 3 

 The Cappadican Fathers utilized this perspective to illustrate it ... as well

   In my opinion the unfortunate and huge dilemna facing those in Early Church History was the 
    personal autonomous behavior seeking to gain more "authoritative clout" and power... both ecceliastically 
 as well as politically throughout the known Church during those times... 

     If one wishes to reduce Einstein's theories or other theories of physics which deal with black holes 
  or white holes and their locations or their proposed essential purpose for Galaxies ...
        to simplistic logic or even mathematical formulas .. in order to assert a dominate "power" or management
 or worse a control to influence others ...   then written language becomes tangled in an endless "web"
   in its attempt to seek to have these theories codified with such static so called "clarity"   

   could anyone here in this forum seek to translate Tang Dynasty poems into well written English ?
    although there are probably English translations of such .. immediately the profound beauty of "Art"
  vanishes as the Chinese characters flutter away along with the harsh sound of resounding thunder in the distance..

     Art is exceptionally important in attempting to communicate some concepts ...  
    This is the reason I spend time along with my Passion to visit places with Natural scenery or Museums...

     May the rich bountiful blessings from the perorchetic koinonia from the Trinitarian fellowship
      envelop all of you throughout each day until we meet again at the Eschatological Grand Dance ...
    the consummation of all things known and unknown...   

       all the best

#62

Greetings again …

 One of the most controversial and essential factors dealing with this Theological query along with others...

has been ... hermeneutics ... which although obvious to most ... is still the main crux in the attempt to resolve 

many issues.

     For example, allow me use more modern Theologians to illustrate my point   :stuck_out_tongue: 

    Karl Barth -- exhibit A   :wink: 

             Due to his extensive writings ... there are those who tell me that it is rather easy to summarize his 
         Theological understanding --  really?   There is also a Barthian yahoo group ... which definitely has more 
      than enough diversity of thought and opinion.    I recall while sitting in a seminar in Adelaide Australia 
        that there was also more than enough different opinions from several Professors along with those
        who attended this seminar.  What truly amazed me more than the differences that were spoken out
       was the claim by some that Barth's personal relationship with his female assistant / secretary 
          could jeopardize any fruitful value from researching his Theology should the "gossip" be true.
         I put in my two cents concerning this query by remarking that even should the "gossip" be true
         this situation had no effect what so ever in regards to gaining fruitful value from a intensive 
        study of Barth's Theology.   

     R. F.  Capon --  exhibit B   :wink: 

         Just one sentence is enough ...  Is it really easy to comprehend or understand what Capon is 
           really getting at ?    :sunglasses:   In fact, Capon is one of my favorite writers too...

      C.S. Lewish ---  exhibit C   :smiley: 

          Lewis wrote an article entitled "Fern seed and Elephants"  concerning higher criticism ...

3.1 Textual criticism
3.2 Source criticism
3.3 Form criticism and tradition history
3.4 Redaction criticism
3.5 Canonical criticism
3.6 Rhetorical criticism
3.7 Narrative criticism
3.8 Psychological criticism
3.9 Socio-scientific criticism
3.10 Postmodernist criticism
3.11 Feminist exegesis
along with more than enough other Critical schools of thought …

        the point I wish to make concerning Lewis article is that he even mentioned that there were those
   who were active in applying various " Critical " methods to analyse his writings even while he was 
       "stay alive "   :wink: 

         If there is so much divergent opinions concerning these Modern Theologians even though "we"
       are embedded within the same "sitz im leben" as these Theolgians ...  how are "we" able to 
        have such exceptional acuity in understanding Augustine, Origen, Arius, Nestorius or 
        Chrysostom  -- all of which surely had more than enough quabbles with those around them
       or on the other side of the Middle Eastern Area  :question:  :question:  :question: 

        How many realize how deeply the politics were involved in the famous so called Eucmenical 
        Church Council of Chalcedon ?   I use so called Eucmenical due to how Rome was involved.

        It is not so commonly known that Melanchthon did some "ghost writing" for Luther 
            I use tongue in cheek here...   thus having someone else involved complicates the matter for hermenutics...
        Calvin although not directly involved surely was indirectly involved in the burning of theologian
               who by the way was non-trinitarian ...
        Calvin wanted to show himself as firm in defense of Christian orthodoxy as his usual opponents. "He was forced to push the condemnation of Servetus with all the means at his command."[19] Calvin's delicate health meant he did not personally appear against Servetus.[20] Nicholas de la Fontaine played the more active role in Servetus's prosecution and the listing of points that condemned him.     from the Wikipedia article...

         What do these exhibits provide to me ?

        the key issue is a person's hermenutical method for exegeting or for that matter eisegesis in comprehending
          the biblical text at hand   (at hand... whether it might be the Concordant.. Textus Receptus .. NIV ...
         The Message or even the Union version of the Chinese ( which really confuses most modern living Chinese 
        in spite of its huge popularity -- same fashion as KJV has for its fans... )  

       even reading the Greek text .. whether it be various Published versions along with footnotes ...

         Attempting to apply a static so called literal interpretative hermeneutic in defense of dogmatic 
         assertions .. which then improperly takes advantage of the biblical text where Paul admonishes 
         those Church members to "protect" Orthodoxy and separate themselves leads to what has 
           happened throughout centuries of past Church History ...

       I cannot find anywhere in the NT texts .... the "authoritative clout" to invoke the punishment 
       involved in tossing anathemas towards another person or group of people ... 

         I certainly cannot find this in the Gospels where Jesus is preaching and teaching ... 

        now of course this is most likely related to my Egalitarian perspective that comes from my Trinitarian 
          proposal ...  

           Thus, although I am most definitely a Trinitarian theologian I most certainly welcome and will warmly 
            give someone else who disagrees with me affectionate bear hugs ... 

           we surely must focus our active attention towards that Grand Dance at the Eschaton ...
               where only the "older son " will try to become a party pooper while we are sitting in the 
            Stadium cheering for the teams that are playing on the field... because "everyone" 
                is receiving popcorn, hotdogs and drinks ... 

              Imaginatively I will spend an inordinate amount of time chatting with the likes of Arius, Nestorious,
            Gregory of Nyssa along with Basil and the other Cappadocian Father, along with Arminius 
                 teasing Finney, and enjoying the unrestricted abundance of Grace flowing out of everyone 
               like a huge Geyser splashing on everyone else .... which comes from the perichoretic koinonia 
               between the Trinitarian members...   

               all the best ...   thanks for your patience while reading my comments ...

#63

A few days ago, I wrote this: “The mental gymnastics I’ve watched all my life, some of them worthy of a gold medal, have to do with force-fitting everything into a “Scriptural” confine - re-interpretting texts to fit foregone conclusions.”

I love this line from a more recent post: “the ontological essence of the Trinity belongs to, flows from, embedded within, dynamically bonding via the perichoretic koinonia” … huh? I love the Greek. :wink: Now there’s an exercise in intellectual gymnastics if I ever saw one. And actually, in contemplation of the tortured sentence, it’s not bad - rooted in the rumination of the church fathers as it is.

Here is hothorsegz’s complete entry:

*"My view is – the ontological essence of the Trinity belongs to, flows from, embedded within, dynamically bonding via the perichoretic koinonia between the Trinitarian fellowship …
the father is not the son … nor the son the father … nor is the Spirit either one …
the Spirit did not flow from the Father … nor flow from the Father and Son …
the Son was not “created” or “begotten” in the way that several brilliant posters have mentioned above…
from Eternity there has been an Egalitarian fellowship (eternity meaning that there was never any moment…
time … eon… kairos or chronos … when there was Only … One God… which is always mentioned as The Father…

There is Only One God … but this Unity is expressed via the perichoresis to be found in the diversity of
the members of the Trinity … thus one might use " A Grand Dance" involving all 3"*

Actually, it’s quite beautiful. It’s a poem. A dance of its own. But my challenge remains. Is this absolute truth? Not for me. It is art. It is like a painting. It’s a powerful vision of the nature of God - both one and multiple. A nice combination of mono- and polytheism - a mystery to be sure. But is this what we impose on the rest of the world as absolute truth, the acceptance or rejection of which determines one’s eternal destiny?

We need to define what it means to “believe in the Trinity.”


#64

Greetings !

Actually, it’s quite beautiful. It’s a poem. A dance of its own. But my challenge remains. Is this absolute truth? Not for me. It is art. It is like a painting. It’s a powerful vision of the nature of God - both one and multiple. A nice combination of mono- and polytheism - a mystery to be sure. But is this what we impose on the rest of the world as absolute truth, the acceptance or rejection of which determines one’s eternal destiny?

We need to define what it means to “believe in the Trinity.”

   I am really delighted with joy that You found my Theological insights to be "quite beautiful"  

     and I am not really sure what you meant by using ... tortured sentence tho...   :astonished:  :sunglasses:   :wink: 

    Should you ever have a really profound creative experience and then continue to go thru
       the process of attempting to communicate via English this profound concept ... 
       it might end up becoming another ... tortured sentence too ...   <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/> 

     However, hopefully while you are spending more than enough time to continue the process 
       to better comprehend my theological proposal ( which by the way has very little to do with 
    a combo of mono and polytheistic view ) then you might have the delightful experience 
      in the same way as those kids did when they were on the ship in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"
     or " The Last Battle"   by CS Lewis...   

      Otherwise ..  Art which reaches to the deeper aspects of our human existence might become
       just another experience of ossified words...    :wink: 

       
         *******    But is this what we impose on the rest of the world as absolute truth, the acceptance or rejection of which determines one's eternal destiny?  **********

      Of course not  :smiley:    
         I came to visit and spend time in this Forum to SHARE my Theological insights 
           with very little intention of attempting to persuade anyone that my personal Theological
         insights should be adopted by anyone ...  

         I have read Aaron's comments in the non-trinitarian section .. 
         And when I have more time I will endeavor to 
                   Share my Artistic view along with my Theological proposal 

         We all should have "Passion" confidence and patience in sharing 
              our own personal Theological proposals with others  
           because there is no "authoritative clout" to be harnessed or used to manipulate or 
       attempt to control what others believe ...   including the so called Ecumenical Church Councils ...
        If you observe closely and carefully you will noticed that even Paul never had any 
        real "authoritative clout" for the Eccelesiastical structure of the Early Church...
          real -- meaning later on there were more than enough individuals who attempted
         to declare that certain dogmas, rules, and doctrines were to be completely accepted 
        as the only Truth to believe in ...   and should anyone reject this "authoritative clout "
         there were more than enough anathemas flying about ...

       Paul expressed his Theological insights with tireless, undaunting passion and confidence
    ( undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort: undaunted by failure. 2. undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear )   
      He called the Galatians ... idiots .. He got super pissed off with the Corinthians..  
       He argued with Peter to his face in front of others .. ( I can imagine what that scene might 
        feel like within a Chinese cultural situation -- and Jews and Middle East cultures probably 
         have more than enough connection with Asian Culture more than Greek Occidental  at that time )

        He had strong words for different people in Philemon and Philippians ... 
           Paul ( in my estimation ) has been sorely misunderstood in 1 Timothy 
         especially regarding Women ... 

          Although Phoebe, Junias, Priscilla and most likely many more Women who were 
           definitely active within the Evangelization of the Gentiles ...  had Paul's deepest 
          blessings ..   

          Paul in my estimation never sought to become like a Pope... or de facto CEO in charge 
           or running the Eccelesia for " the Kingdom of God"   
            and thus for centuries upon centuries Women in the Ministry of the "Kingdom of God"
             were impoverished and beaten down by those who had too much of a Male Chauvinistic 
            Hierarchical underpinning for their Theology and Eccelesiology ...  

          
           I am not planning on citing a lot of texts to support my ideas at this time ....
             for the simple reason of ...  the conundrum of the hermeneutical method being used ...
         where another might call it eisgesis ... while the promoter considers it exegesis...
             proof texting can often become the bête noir for discussing Theological topics ...
          in days long ago ... I would pour many hours of hot passionate zeal into my 
             heated discussions of many topics ...  :laughing:   

          I hope to spend much more time sharing my passion instead of trying to browbeat 
           or influence anyone to accept my Theological model for the Trinity or my 
             Egalitarian perspective for the "Kingdom of God"  

          besides...   :laughing:    
              I live in China ... not in the States...  
            My daily living has almost zero connection with Theological discussions or 
               American Church lifestyle...  zippo.. nada.. 
             However, my Egalitarian Trinitarian model most definitely and certainly 
             has a really powerful active influence in my personal behavior and attitude 
            towards everyone I come into contact with ... whether they be CEOs...or 
              the young cook slaving away at beating flour into noodles for their customers
             in a Muslim restaurant where I eat very often ...

           I rarely visit the States... 3 or 4 times in the past -- nearly 25 years ...

           so ... me attempting to "impose" my Theology on the unsuspecting posters here ?
                     :laughing:  :laughing:    that would be really humorous to me ... 

           Theology should be expressed with passionate confidence along with patience towards others...
             Paul and the other NT writers did this with undying passion ...
            Look at this from John's hand ... 

               Λέγει ὁ μαρτυρῶν ταῦτα· Ναί· ἔρχομαι ταχύ. Ἀμήν· [q]ἔρχου, κύριε Ἰησοῦ.

21 Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου [r]Ἰησοῦ μετὰ [s]πάντων.

               20 那位证明这些事的说:“是的,我快要来了。”阿们!主耶稣啊,我愿你来!

21 愿主耶稣的恩典与众圣徒同在。阿们!

                   20 The one who testifies to these things says: “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.

                       If you cannot view the Chinese ... and it looks like squiggles...  :laughing: 
                     you can google pinyin joe's website...   <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/> 

               For a moment, instead of focusing on making a proof text out of this written 
            letter by John...   try to view, notice and observe the deep enthusiastic Passion 
              John has deep within his mind, heart and soul....

              surely Paul during his Damascus Road experience ... and John here ...
           have much more deep spiritual insight than many who followed after them ...
              ( also Peter with his rooftop experience which indirectly fits in here as well )

             what did they see?  observe?  experience regarding Jesus ....
           I plan on sharing more of my personal insights ...   

                 Tally Ho !    Watson, the Case is Afoot!

#65

Hey, I just read The Shack yesterday, of course I am a trinitarian. :laughing: (why are these theological words so hard to spell.)
I am not a theologan in any sense of the word, I can only testify as to what has happened to me. I met Jesus in a charasmatic church and even tho I have left many of their doctrines behind,(ie ECT) I cannot deny the belief that I met the Father Son and Holy Spirit there. How the Three are One is a mystery I don’t expect to understand in this lifetime. It might even involve quantam physics (groan) for all I know.


#66

Hello after a long time,
I voted NDN, because I understand that God, the Father are the only true God, in the general sense like in John 17:3.
But the word god could be used in a different - special - sense, as representing somebody with high authority like in 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Thank you for read it,
John


#67

I didn’t vote in the poll, because my view did not seem to be there. I was a conventional Trinitarian until I read in the Revelation about the Seven Spirits of God. Wow! I saw what that meant right away:

Seven Spirits + One Father + One Son = a ninefold Godhead - a Trinity of Trinities. There, I said it.

I think the 7 Spirits are referenced in the OT, but I’ll have to dig for that.

Anyway, I think God is multi-layered and multi-dimensional - far beyond the full understanding of our three-dimensional, carnal minds.


#68

Hmm, I always wondered about those seven spirits of God, but then I’ve always wondered about a lot of stuff in Revelation – well, always since I was 15 or 16 or something – it was all so long ago. I’d be interested in anything further you have from scripture. Of course I love the artistic stuff. That’s what I do. But I kinda like to have a scriptural witness before I accept it as more than an interesting proposition. (Not that you’re trying to persuade anyone of course, but you know . . .)


#69

Ernest L. Martin says real Trinity is God the Father, God the Son Jesus, and We the children of God, that he has a plan for us

:question:


#70

To piggy back on this; the late L. Ray Smith contended for a non-trinitarian view, and stated that God is not a Trinity, but rather an expanding family.


#71

For myself, I would say that I was never really able to think about the Trinity in a way that made any sense at all until I became a Universalist. This is not to say that I fully understand it, in the same way that I understand how to write a computer program (my profession). But it is to say that I think that if you believe the Holy Spirit only “belongs” to Christians, you can’t ever truly make sense of the Trinity.


#72

No, definitely not, For there is One God and One mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus
(from 1 Timothy 2:5) or John 17:3
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

No Jesus Christ was the Son of God in Flesh, why? :wink:

1 John 4:9
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten (monogenēs) Son into the world,
that we might live through Him.

Monogenēs is a compound word consisting of mono meaning only, and gennesis, meaning birth.
(pre-existed before the foundation of the world)
Monogenēs is used nine times in the original Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament.

  1. Many Christians (maybe includes Universalists) believe in this: Father, Son, Holy Spirit (which they are isolated and
    co-equal in power)

  2. Me as a Universalist (maybe some of you here are not in harmony with me):
    There is Only One True God (the Father, the one we should worship), and his Son Jesus Christ is his only begotten Son,
    we are Created Sons of God (in Adam), Jesus’ power is not equal with the Father, All things created THROUGH him,
    Power comes from the Father, we will be like his Son AND Holy Spirit is Father himself :wink:

  3. Muslims (which I’m not agree): There is Only One True God, Jesus is not the Son of God, just a servant and
    a prophet like Moses and Muhammad, but in Koran I saw Jesus called Messiah (Isa Masih), by this Koran means
    definitely Jesus was the Son of God, and of course he was a servant and a prophet which Bible says too,
    and the verses saying they didn’t crucify him doesn’t mean that, many take the Bible and Koran Literally,
    not Spiritually, of course he is Alive :slight_smile:

Bible has simplicity in interpretation (if you come to light) and it is like Puzzle,
but Koran is not like Puzzle, it needs DEEP interpretation, like Book of Revelation.


#73

Has anyone here heard of the Z-Theory? I really like it, myself:

patheos.com/blogs/nakedpastor/2013/01/the-z-theory-in-one-page/


#74

Michael, according to classic trinitarian doctrine, the answer to your question is no. Even if God had never created the universe, even if he had not become man in Jesus Christ, he would still eternally be the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


#75

Without a doubt.

The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea affirmed in 325 A.D. that God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ; the Word), and God the Holy Spirit are of the same and equal Divine nature and essence. Christ, as the Word Incarnate (John 14:28), fully God and fully man in hypostatic union (John 1:1-3, 14; Matt. 1:20-25), was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand by and of the Father (Eph.1:20).

The grievous error of Arius was to assert an ontological, or substantial, subordination within the Godhead (i.e., the Son being a lesser Divinity than the Father) rather than an economic, or functional, subordination. The Father sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (Matt. 3:17; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10). The Son submits His will to the Father (Luke 22:42). The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, but is sent from the Son. The Son never sends the Father, and the Spirit never sends the Son, but testifies of Him (John 15:26).


#76

Peace and grace,

I sent this e.mail to barnabas.net/

Peace of God Almighty,

I would like to know more information - references - about what you wrote:
“Then we come across another Bishop of Antioch viz Lucian.
As a Bishop his reputation for sanctity was not less than his
fame as a scholar. He came down strongly against the belief
of Trinity. He deleted all mention of Trinity from the Bible
as he believed it to be a later interpolation not found in the
earlier Gospels. He was martyred in 312 A.D.”
This is very important for my new bible translation.
Please give me a helping hand.
Best regards"

No answer yet. Anybody knows?


#77

What aspect could you debate other than the veracity of his policies?

In those terms. I particularly dislike his no divorce policy. There are a few other issues as well.

youtube.com/watch?v=j4QXOgVf … r_embedded

Regards
DL


#78

Space Saving


#79

Let’s keep this thread on topic, Dick and GB. If you want to discuss divorce, please start a new thread for it!

Thanks,
Sonia


#80

youtube.com/watch?v=3VsN3IG1HtQ

Regards
DL