Poll: Are you a Trinitarian?


#81

I personally think the trinity is something that should have been left as a concept; a sermon illustration if you will, about how God works and operates, rather than having had it turned into doctrinal status. While I do see some evidence for it, that evidence is on the whole rather weak, IMO. Or perhaps “less than convincing” is a better way to put it. Sort of like how I can see how some arrive at ECT, but in the end I don’t think it’s there.
Trinity is kind of like the smile on a dog; some people see it, some don’t. Sometimes I think I see it, but other times it just appears to me as a panting dog. :wink:


#82

I like. :smiley:


#83

Constantine force the Trinity concept into Christianity because he wanted to be the next God/Man.

Rome’s emperors liked to do that in the past. If you look at Constantine’s Victory Arch and it’s placement, this becomes obvious.

simchajtv.com/movie-secrets- … istianity/

Regards
DL


#84

Indeed.

Did his version of Jesus also condemn man and then turn about and die for him? Or was he a Universalist?

Regards
DL


#85

Oh, he was definitely a universalist. His material was the first exposure I had to universalism.


#86

Sweet.

Regards
DL


#87

Trinity is kind of like the smile on a dog; some people see it, some don’t. Sometimes I think I see it, but other times it just appears to me as a panting dog. :wink:

A panting dog! My poodle will be amused. I’m undecided on the Trinity as i think Jesus is divine and always has been since he came out of the Father in the distant past.
I simply don’t know if the Holy Spirit is a person or the influence of God.


#88

As a Gnostic Christian, I see it as both. Who is God if not a man?
What other example of a God can man ever see but a man?

Regards
DL


#89

As a Gnostic Christian, I see it as both. Who is God if not a man?
What other example of a God can man ever see but a man?

I don’t know what you think of the bible but John said “God is Spirit.”


#90

#91

Yes. Does man not have spirit?

Sure a human spirit. God has the Holy Spirit.


#92

An assumption only supported by fantasy. Nothing is Holy that has not been named so by a man.

If you believe at all then believe the right way.

youtube.com/watch?v=alRNbes … r_embedded

youtube.com/watch?v=FdSVl_HOo8Y

If apotheosis is what you see then the method shown works.

If you are a idol worshiper, and it sounds like you are, then do not bother. Literalists are not good at finding enlightenment.

Regards
DL


#93

An assumption only supported by fantasy. Nothing is Holy that has not been named so by a man.

If you believe at all then believe the right way.

youtube.com/watch?v=alRNbes … r_embedded

youtube.com/watch?v=FdSVl_HOo8Y

If apotheosis is what you see then the method shown works.

If you are a idol worshiper, and it sounds like you are, then do not bother. Literalists are not good at finding enlightenment.

I’m a bible believer so clearly we have different sources of authority, so hopefully we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable. I try to be a literalist when appropriate and a symbolist when appropriate. Have a good one friend.


#94

Literalism led to the dark ages and you are trying to hold on to such an evil practice. Why?

Regards
DL


#95

Literalism led to the dark ages and you are trying to hold on to such an evil practice. Why?

No i would say the heart of man can be quite wicked at times and that led to the dark ages, literally speaking.


#96

Yes. The hearts of Christians can be quite wicked. The inquisition was led by literalism in only accepting 4 main gospels.

Why would you want to read the bible literally?

Regards
DL


#97

GB, Steve is a gentle man, and hasn’t earned your rudeness. He said clearly that, from the bible, he takes literally what (so far as he can discern) ought to be taken literally, and symbolically what ought to be taken symbolically. As to which is which, we will all make mistakes and Father will correct us. We can certainly disagree, but we can do so with kindness and gentleness. When you disagreed, he backed off to give you your space. You responded with (I can only suppose, as his was not a long comment) purposive incomplete “understanding” of what he said, accusing him of something (wholesale literalness of interpretation) which he did not in any way espouse. We are most of us hesitant to speak too strongly as we all know we can be and often are wrong – also that we ought not disparage the genuine and sincere thoughts of our fellows – even if we feel they are in the wrong. Because of that, I hesitate, but you need to understand that here we do demand courtesy though we may give too much slack to this one or that for a time. I see this behavior as trollish and I am asking – telling – you to stop.

Now, concerning your contention that God is a man. Oddly enough, I do agree with you, though I’m not sure I’ll be agreeing with what you actually meant by saying it. You’ll have to let me know about that, if you’ll be so kind.

I hope you’ll read carefully, because I truly would love to hear your opinion of what I actually say here – not just your knee-jerk response to a phrase here or there that you find troubling. If you’d carefully read all of what I say, I’ll try to keep it reasonably short, and I’ll be delighted to learn your thoughts. The thing is, I don’t really want anyone’s thoughts on something I didn’t say, because those thoughts can’t enlighten me at all. So . . . please do try to understand what I’m trying to communicate, and feel free to ask questions to clarify anything I don’t communicate well enough. :slight_smile:

I would say that God is Man – the true man, the prototype man, the man to whom we must all spend eternity striving (in His enabling strength) to become like – not in power or anything else self-serving, but rather in love and wisdom, gentleness and kindness and goodness.

God made man in His image, according to the Garden narrative. I don’t think for a moment that God has a body as of a human except in the person of the Son, who took on a human body. The important thing about our bodies is that they are sufficiently evolved to sustain consciousness and to begin to see an inkling of what God IS. We could be starfishes for all our physical appearance matters. Maybe the next creatures to be ready to contain the image of the Highest will be octopi or dolphins or swine or elephants. They’re said to be among the more intelligent of animals, and as you rightly attest, I believe that a certain intellectual capacity is a necessary component for a person, of whatever shape, to begin to comprehend and become like God. I’m only speculating, but the idea that our co-tenants here on the planet might someday attain to the knowledge of God pleases me and is, I think, not unlikely at all. When and if they do, then they also will be “man” in the sense of being intelligent creatures imbued with the image of God and growing into His likeness as described above.

George MacDonald talked about this, and I wish I could remember where. He said that God could not have become man except He had always been man. I thought that an odd and jarring statement at first, but of course God does not change. Not that He never changes His mind based on changing situations, but that He Himself, as a person – as THE Person – does not alter, as to do so would mean to become less than He is. We change all the time, and it is for this reason that we can become more and more like Him. Alas, it is also for this reason that we are capable of and often do devolve, at least in a moral sense. Still, we have room to improve and He does not, as He is already infinitely good. Our opinions of and understanding of Him are NOT infinite, so OUR ideas of His infinite goodness will change as we know Him better. He Himself has no room to change for the better because infinity cannot, of course, increase.

So . . . to tie this into the concept of the Trinity. I believe in the Trinity for a number of reasons. For good or ill, I see this as a perfectly unified community of three who are One: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Though I realize this is an inadequate picture, as all human pictures of the Trinity must be, I think it has at least some descriptive power. Love must have an object, and the object (if it is to be genuine love) must not be merely the self. So I think God MUST be Trinity if He is to be love, and also I do think the scriptures imply this vision of God in a number of ways. I’ll leave arguing for the viability of the Trinity hypothesis to the scholars such as Jason. I believe it, and I believe I have sufficient grounds for believing it, though I certainly wouldn’t be up to arguing it with someone such as Paidion or others who have studied for many years on the topic.

To me, this is one way that man was imbued with the image of God – that we are to be one as God is One. Jesus prayed this for His followers in His great “High Priestly Prayer” toward the close of John’s gospel. He said, “Father make them one as we are One, that the world may know that You sent Me.” (I’m paraphrasing; I don’t know it perfectly by heart.) We are to grow into His image through our unity with one another and with God (among other things). That is part (perhaps the principle part) of our becoming more and more like Him – that we also should be a composite unity of loving persons, so in sympathy and unity with one another that we can truly be said to be ONE. There is ONE all-encompassing goodness, though it be manifest in myriad different fragrances, flavors, colors, textures, melodies, and unending combinations of such components. What a wonderful bouquet we will be when God has mingled us together in such a way as to showcase the glories each of us carries within our most essential being!

A never-ending, always exciting and always ascending journey into that essential goodness which is love distilled is, is I believe, the destiny of mankind in whatever shape mankind may be found. That is the mystery. Jesus is our prototype – who came to display for us the perfect image of the Father in a way that we could touch and see and begin to comprehend. In that way, God is Man – the True Man toward whom we will always be, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, reaching upward to become.

Love, Cindy


#98

GB, Steve is a gentle man, and hasn’t earned your rudeness. He said clearly that, from the bible, he takes literally what (so far as he can discern) ought to be taken literally, and symbolically what ought to be taken symbolically. As to which is which, we will all make mistakes and Father will correct us. We can certainly disagree, but we can do so with kindness and gentleness. When you disagreed, he backed off to give you your space. You responded with (I can only suppose, as his was not a long comment) purposive incomplete “understanding” of what he said, accusing him of something (wholesale literalness of interpretation) which he did not in any way espouse.

Thanks Cindy. I think our friend can not be reasoned with as he compulsively keeps coming back to his singular issue even misquoting people to try to get a rise.


#99

:slight_smile:


#100

This is an old thread, but it caught my attention, so I’m going to weigh in anyway - for what it’s worth, and for whoever might still be listening. I see there was a diverse set of opinions offered here. I’m not in any way up to the challenge of defending or disputing them, nor do I have the heart for it. So I’ll simply give you a few quick insights into why I voted “Yes, definitely,” in the hope that someone struggling with the idea might find a little further light.

1 - If God is a community (actually, I prefer the word “family” - but not in a WCG sense) of Persons in perfect, unclouded loving communion with one another, and that is the foundation of all reality - well, I feel there could be nothing more beautiful, and nothing more hope- and meaning-bestowing upon humanity. It dignifies everything about our lives, it shows us how God really can be Love itself, and it gives us a glorious future to look forward to, as we are drawn ever more fully (through our increasing awareness, and consequent transformation) into that circle of divine love. (I use the word “circle” deliberately. If you’ve not seen the illustration of the circle of Trinitarian life, and humanity’s position in relation to it, used by Bruce Wauchope, of Perichoresis AU, you might find it rewarding. On the surface it’s quite simple, but I thought the heart of its message was staggeringly beautiful the first time I saw it. I believe it’s in the video series entitled “What Is the Good News?”)

2 - There was some talk in the thread of what the early Church knew and believed, and what it didn’t. I’m not sure I really want to align myself completely with anything in the early Church, except its zeal. At least, not as anything final and fully-formed, prepackaged once and for all time. A right understanding of God was only nascent, if anything, at that time. The first generations of Christians were, to me, the womb in which Jesus would begin to give birth to the ever-unfolding revelation that he was and gave. Did he not say to his first disciples, “I have many things to tell you that you can’t handle at this point”? It would take those disciples, and their spiritual offspring, several centuries to unpack the implications of a Messiah and a Spirit that both seemed to command their worship and devotion, however poorly understood. (I have no idea what St. Paul understood or didn’t; I’m sure he didn’t explain the full reality of the Godhead in our NT, if he did understand it.) I believe we are still unpacking the revelation - and perhaps always will be. (This, by the way, is why I believe all “quests” for the so-called “historical Jesus” to be basically fruitless. The historical Jesus they seek is a figment of the seeker’s imagination: a more or less delusive, and utterly incomplete, impression made to a few human beings 2,000 years ago - humans from whom he hid most of his glory, and who couldn’t yet perceive the unhidden remainder anyway. Jesus the Christ, as he really is, is simply too much for us to handle.)

3 - I can’t help but agree with something C. Baxter Kruger has said: that if Jesus was not eternally Divine, along with his Father, then there is no perfect mutual knowledge between the Father and the Son, and we, to put it crassly, are still screwed. We don’t have a mediator who has united our nature to God’s, since he doesn’t share that higher Nature. God can’t be revealed to us, because his intimate depths are only (assumedly) slightly less opaque to Jesus’ senses than to ours. We’re still in the hopeless perennial scramble to “get back to God,” and Jesus can’t really help us with that. If he is just “a highly favored man,” to use Kruger’s phrase, the best he can offer us is a good example to follow, and maybe a new, more demanding Torah. So…good luck with that, y’all!

4 - As for the Holy Spirit, I’m aware of the various options. I think the NT record is ambiguous and obviously spare. But a real Person is so much more satisfying to my heart and mind, as I implied above. Within the continuing revelation I spoke of, I don’t think we’ve even begun to plumb the depths of who the Spirit is. Which is not surprising: Holy Spirit is “the shy member of the Trinity,” after all. There is much more that could be speculated on in this direction, but I’ve got to keep a few cards up my sleeve for possible publication someday! (In my dreams…) I at least plan to do a blog post or five about these things at some point down the road…