The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Miracle Of The Trinity

Interesting that this is the precise verse that Justin Martyr used in his “Dialogue With Trypho.” Only, he didn’t use it to try to show that Yahweh (or the LORD) consisted of two or more persons, but rather that the Father and the Son shared the name “Yahweh.”

Both Justin and Trypho throughout their dialogue had been referring to the Holy Spirit. Clearly Trypho didn’t mean another divine Person, since as a Jew, he believed that God was ONE divine Individual. The question is, "Did Justin mean another divine Individual? The following exchange suggests that he didn’t.

Justin asked Trypho this question:
“Do you think that any other one is said to be worthy of worship and called Lord and God in the Scriptures, except the Maker of all, and Messiah, who by so many Scriptures was proved to you to have become man?”

Trypho replied, “How can we admit this, when we have instituted so great an inquiry as to whether there is any other than the Father alone?”

If Justin had been a Trinitarian, this would have been a perfect opportunity to present the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity. But he didn’t. Instead, he said:
“I must ask you this also, that I may know whether or not you are of a different opinion from that which you admitted some time ago.”
(Dialogue With Trypho, ch. LXVIII)


The other verses I gave correspond to that one and are referring to the same event. They show that my interpretation is the correct one,

Isaiah 44:24 says this: “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb:” I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself."
Again there are hundreds upon hundreds of verses in the Bible that speak of God as singular. If one uses the text of the Bible to say whether God is singular or plural, I would have to say He is singular.
St. Michael, you say that God has to have a lover in order for love to exist. Again, this is logic from a human perspective. God says Himself, “I AM”.

No. To love there must be a lover and a beloved. This is what we see in the circle of love that makes God one self-sufficient God. One God - three persons. The three persons are self giving in the circle making God self-sufficient. I never said God needed anything. It’s because of the complete circle that God is self-sufficient and doesn’t need anything. That’s the paradox. Jesus also said of Himself “I AM”. In John 8:58 Jesus declares, "Before Abraham was, I AM. This statement not only claims existence before Abraham but also equality with the “I AM” in the Old Testament. The Jews understood this when Jesus made the statement because they wanted to stone Him to death for blasphemy after He said it. The New Testament also ascribes titles to Jesus that can only be attributed to God. Rev. 1:17 calls Him the first and the last:

Thomas declared to Jesus:

Moreover, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “him” with personal pronouns showing His personhood:

The Bible also calls the Holy Spirit God:

Yes, I believe that Jesus was God, the one and only who appeared in the form of a man. I don’t see what is so difficult about that. To say that He is God, but He is not God sounds to me like someone who cannot make up his mind. To me, God does have a love. He loves Himself, and He loves all of His creation, which includes man. This is what we are also instructed to do.

I never said Jesus wasn’t God. Again, One God - three persons

Jesus = God

Father = God

Spirit = God

You say God loves Himself. This is the difference between your God and mine. Within the Trinity there is perfect self-giving love. This makes love complete and God self-sufficient overflowing with self-giving love. We see this in how Christ laid His life down for His friends and enemies.

I believe in Universal Reconciliation (I don’t like the term ‘Universalist’) . I also believe in the Triune nature of God (the Trinity) as far as it is revealed to us in the Bible. I know there’s a lot about this we cannot comprehend or explain at the moment. When we get to heaven we will understand far more no doubt.I am sure there’s far more to God’s nature than revealed to us in the Bible as truths about God transcend human language.It’s a bit like trying to explain this world to a baby…a baby simply does not have the capacity to understand this world.That’s not to say we cannot get some idea of it.

St. Michael, I think that we do believe in the same God for we both believe that Jesus is God. The difference is in how we view Him. You say that there three Gods in one. I say that there is only one. If there are no two things exactly the same as is evidenced in the world around us, it leads me to conclude that there can only be one God. I don’t really see the Trinity that people speak of. Yes, we are diverse, but we come together as one in the Spirit of one God because we have the spirit to do so. We can agree that the Father(God) is not the son. But, that is as far as I go. To me, the son is man, and man is not God. However, for a brief moment in time the Father(God) was the Son (man)-Jesus. In Jesus we see the man/woman that God has created us to be. As I believe in simply one God, and man as the son, I interpret the passages in the New Testament much differently. The son is not referring to some other divine being, but to man. As you explain, there are three separate spiritual beings operating as one in a circle of love, each self-giving to each other. You’ve also pointed out that Jesus (the Son) is self-giving in that He gave His life for His friends. Then in what way is the Father or the Holy Spirit self-giving in this relationship? Where does man fit in? Are we just outsiders looking in? You also say that in order to have a love relationship, one must have a lover. However, I come from a different viewpoint. Yes, I believe that God does love Himself. To me, one cannot have a loving relationship if one does not love Himself. This may sound selfish, but I believe it to be true. If you do not value your own life or have no love for who or what you are, then what would you have to give? If we have no pride or honor in ourselves, then how are we to stand? I suppose we would be satisfied in being kicked around. Some say that it is possible to love someone without loving yourself, but I don’t really see how.

Actually a very good point LLC. God the Father would still be Love, were there nothing else and noone else. I know all the counter-arguments to this, but I’ll just kinda stick with what I’ve said.

How do you interpret this? It seems to contradict what you just said:

When I’m standing in front of a great splendor like the Grand Canyon I don’t say “What a wonderful person I am” I say “Look how wonderful the grand canyon is” The same with God. Christ is the rock on which I stand. I love God above all else. That is, I worship God and love my neighbor as myself. To love one’s self is to seek one’s own good. Take all your longing for joy and hope and focus it on God. When you find your fulfillment in God love and God seeking let it overflow into your neighbor. The Father gives Himself to the Son and the Son gives Himself to the Father. This Spirit of self-giving love overflows to others in self-giving love. The circle is complete and God is self-sufficient in love. I guess you could say in this sense God loves Himself. But He gives Himself to His creatures as He seeks His glory because He knows in doing so He will satisfy the hearts of those who give Him glory.

We don’t need to be instructed to love ourselves. Everyone does. It is human nature. Even the woman who says, “I’m so ugly I hate myself!” doesn’t actually hate herself. If she hated herself, she would be glad that she’s ugly.

Our Lord assumed that everyone loves himself. But in order to live righteously, we need to love others just as much. As Jesus instructed:

“And the second [commandment], like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:31)

Agreed Paidion!! :smiley:

Thanks for your comment, Dave.

Paidion, No. I don’t think everyone loves themselves. It is said that we are our own worst enemy, and I see truth in this. When I look at the world around me, I see many who are out to destroy their own selves simply because they do not love themselves. People do drugs, get lost in alcohol, over eat, starve themselves, commit suicide, change genders, cut themselves, stay in abusive relationships, end up in financial ruin trying to buy love and happiness, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Some even look to their lover to make them happy. However, you can love someone all you want to, but if they do not love themselves even this will not work.

St. Michael, the passage you quoted does not contradict what I said. The Lord says to love your neighbor as YOURSELF. No. we are not to be egotistical and self-righteous. There is a difference. I just don’t see where another person is required to have this overflowing self- sufficient love you are talking about. Try going out as a single person with a married couple. Three’s a crowd begins to make sense. On the other hand, a doctor who has a passion and a love for medicine is able to use his talent to help many people. Again, the teacher who loves to teach draws many students into the classroom. People who have a love for who they are and what they do can give to others.
Yes, the Father also loves the son(man). This is why He gave us life in ourselves as John 5:26 says “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.” God created us as individuals and has given each of us gifts of His Spirit. I believe He wants us to have a sense of accomplishment in ourselves as well.

I definitely agree with you here. Though, that said, “lovers of self” in my opinion, means that people only care about themselves and their immediate needs. It has a very negative connotation and it should have one. That isn’t self-love, that is just selfishness. Love by the worlds definition = Instant gratification. For example, imagine a kid saying ‘Dad, if you loved me, you would provide me with drugs’ - No, that would not be love. Likewise, if you are taking drugs for yourself that isn’t loving yourself. That is abusing yourself.

I remember reading recently that people who neglect their health are viewed poorly by others. They should be, because why should I love someone who doesn’t even love themselves? People see value in others when they take care of themselves. People who are slothful and let themselves fall apart, well… Everyone can see it out in the open. If you want someone to care for you, you also have to care for yourself. That is just how it is. Right or wrong, it is ‘reality’.

It is the same reason that giving people thinks who don’t take care of things is a bad idea. For example, if you watch Mr Jones never take care of his house, lawn mower… Lets say you buy him a brand new lawnmower. He won’t take care of that one either. Why? If he doesn’t take care of the the things he has acquired, he isn’t going to value or take care of the things given to him. People tend to only appreciate things that they work for. Sometimes giving items away to people like that is the worst thing you can do, because it is ‘all for nothing’ they don’t appreciate it, and the gift is neglected.

I think the best quote I have found to be truthful on the matter is something like this: “People can see whether you value yourself and if they find you don’t, they why should they? If you don’t even value yourself, it doesn’t make sense that another would. For you have basically told them you are not worth valueing.” I know this is a touchy one, because we are called to love others even when they don’t love you back… But it isn’t that you don’t love others, it is that loving others cannot impact others alone. The person that is loved must come to love themselves. MacDonald even touched on this when he said that the love of God was lost upon Judas. Clearly, Judas did not love himself. He was certainly selfish, but that is different than love - having your own best interests at heart. Drugs, Partying, Overeating, Sexual Addictions - These are not examples of self love. They are self abuse.

Self-love is the bane of our self-seeking society.


Only God is self-sufficient. There are ways we are like God and ways we are not. Because of the self-giving circle of love within the Trinity God is self-sufficient. It’s in this sense that God loves Himself. Jesus worshipped God therefore I worship God. God’s love is a holy love. He is infinitely greater than we are. When we love ourselves and others with a holy love, in God and mainly for His sake, we overcome the inordinate love of self that is egoism. For we have been created to give glory to God eternally. The more we give glory to God the greater our glory becomes.

God loves Himself and He loves us. Therefore, God gives Himself to us in seeking His glory because it destroys the selfishness in us when we give God the glory as it satisfies our hearts. We glorify God by trusting Him for all we need, thanking Him for what we have, and obeying His revealed will.

Gabe, Paidion, I agree.There are many in society that overly abundant in self- love. We can neither have too much nor too little self-love. I find that the answer seems to always be in the middle. I think loving someone is helping them to see the beauty that they have inside themselves, that they are not worthless but have something of value to give to the world; as Jesus said, helping them find that hidden treasure more valuable than gold.

St. Michael, I don’t think that God created us to give all the glory to Him. On the contrary, I believe that He wants us to shine in our own glory as well. John 17:1 says this: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify you.” When my children accomplish something, I praise them. I don’t say that it is all because of me or expect them to give me all the glory. They also worked for it. It makes me happy just to see the joy they have in realizing they could actually do it. God created us as individuals, and I think that He wants us to be able to stand on our own two feet, just as we would or own children.


I’ve already answered you in my last post about God’s glory. I think you missed it. Our glory shines like the sun the more we glorify God. When we are focusing on Christ and not ourselves we are glorified. Seeing Him face to face we are transformed from glory to glory. God alone is intrinsically glorious. Yet extrinsically He shares His glory. We are dependent creatures who need God. The more we depend on God the more independent we become and able to stand on our own two feet. It’s joy and stability found IN God. It’s a union as we enter into the charmed circle. Submitting and abandoning oneself to the Divine Providence. He’s not a human parent. There are ways He’s like one and ways He’s not. He’s self-sufficient, all-knowing, infinite in wisdom and in control. In control in the sense of guiding. He’s flying the airplane.

Love seeks not it’s own. This means seeking your own private pleasures at the expense of others. But the Bible tells us to seek God and we will find Him. It’s seeking our fulfillment in Christ not ourselves. Moreover God seeks His glory but this is a self-giving act on the part of the unique self-sufficient being. For in doing so He’s satisfying the heart of His creatures as they do all to the glory of God. God is the pursuer. He seeks after His lost sheep.

God raised Pharaoh up to show his power and glorify his name:

“Jesus tells us we must leave the self altogether-yield it, deny it, refuse it, lose it. Thus only shall we save it… The self is given us that we may sacrifice it. It is ours in order that we, like Christ, may have something to offer- not that we should torment it, but that we should deny it; not that we should cross it, but that we should abandon it utterly.”

― George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons