The Trinity and why it is a big issue


#53

Unless it isn’t contradictory for one Person of God to (metaphorically speaking) sit in/on the hand of another Person of God.

That’s a metaphysical complaint, not a scriptural one, since to say that Jesus is not God is also to contradict clear Biblical statements–even though the tendency for convenience sake is to refer to the Father as God and to Jesus as Lord. Which itself is a telling point in Jewish theology, especially when both persons are involved in a Shema religious proclamation. Simply referring to some non-YHWH non-ADNY entity as Lord in religious devotional language properly (or at least normally) reserved for YHWH ADNY, and especially in reference to scripture definitely talking about YHWH ADNY, would be idolatry at best. Yet Paul (for example) gives us just that Shema inclusion in a statement strongly rejecting religious worship of lesser-lords-or-gods, even though he’s willing to acknowledge such entities exist. (As well as making reference to OT scripture regarding YHWH ADNY ELHM when talking about Jesus as “the Lord”; which other scriptural authors and preachers also do.)

I sympathize with metaphysical (as well as scriptural) complaints, but that doesn’t change the fact that the scriptural testimony is far more detailed than the proponents of clear, simple statements are acknowledging. Trinitarians aren’t doing this out of some perverse desire to be clever; and there is less than nothing in ortho-trin theology that helps persecutors as such (even though trinitarians have been persecutors). We’re trying to resolve problems (arising both in the scriptural data and in metaphysics) in a way that does the best justice to the scriptural data and to theological coherency and to the practicality of religious worship.

Certainly!–though good luck finding a doctrinal set that wasn’t held at one time or another by persecutors. (It certainly won’t be high or neo-Arianism. And I don’t know that modalists ever had enough followers to be in power at all.)


#54

Hey AllanS… you are welcome to believe anything you like, but this post hardly provides PROOF that the “trinity” exists.

Sorry, but all this amounts to, is a crock! :laughing:

This allusion to yourself does not in any way prove you are “trinitarian” in essence… for the teaching of the “trinity” professes GOD to be in 3 persons… NOT as your example suggests… three things which ONE PERSON is… :confused:

Portraying yourself as the Speaker, listener, and conversation, does NOT portray 3 persons as being YOU. :laughing: What it DOES note, is that you as ONE PERSON, …can be these three suggested things, …simultaneously.

My car is (1) a motor vehicle (2) a mode of transportation (3) an item owned by me … but such does not prove my car to be of “trinitarian” composition, …simply because it is all 3 of these things simultaneiously! :laughing:

Please… this is nothing but an illogical “conclusion” without ANY “conclusive” proof.

Resorting to comparing yourself to a ROCK? Come on… :laughing: On what basis do you determine a “rock” – to be “UNITARIAN”, as opposed to “TRINITARIAN”?

My Bible says, if GOD should so desire… that ROCKS (which you claim as “unitarian”), can “CRY OUT”! – Luke 19:40 – Does that make them therefore potentially (depending upon God’s decision), “DUAL-TARIAN”? Or maybe even “TRINITARIAN”, if GOD decides they shall also HEAR their own “cry”? Come on, bro! :laughing:

More emptiness. That the “trinity” is UNMENTIONED in Scripture… means within that ABSENCE, …that it is NOT a TOPIC of it.

Standing outside of a house (who’s interior you cannot view), does not mean that another completely SEPARATE “house” is inside of the outside! :laughing:

Peace… :wink:

…willieH :smiley:


#55

I find this conversation very interesting… and immensely frustrating. I just wish trinitarians would provide a simple definition that actually makes sense and is consistent! I’m currently reading Boyd’s trinitarian critique of Oneness Pentacostalism and it just sounds like he is critiquing unitarianism with modalism! I don’t really consider myself a hopeless idiot, but I don’t think anyone should have to spend hours trying to decipher this stuff just to worship their creator/saviour. And this is from someone who would sweep all the scriptural contortions under the rug, just so he could be “orthodox” on this point. (Is this dishonest? Maybe. I’m just trying to serve and survive, you know? – via 1 Corinthians 9:20). It’s pretty tempting to go High-Arian because it actually complies with some semblance of Divine Simplicity.

It’s frustrating that, for all I know, I could be committing gross polytheistic-idolatry or any other blasphemy (by denying too much) in even my nuances of prayer and worship. I can generally keep up intellectually with the majority (when I have the time), but I am sorry for those who can’t even attempt to work out any of this at all. It would be pretty depressing. (Actually, they’re probably blissfully ignorant!)

I appreciate this. C.S Lewis said something similar too. But eternal love flowing between two persons, an act of observation, an act of love, or a conversation is not a person. I’m not necessarily opposed to denying the personhood of the Holy Spirit (he’s/it’s always the first to go for obvious reason), but I don’t think this is accurate to the position of ortho-trinitarianism. That said, I’m having difficulty trying to work out what that actually is! :laughing:

I read that Tertullian and Ephiphanius said that the sabellianists/modalists were the majority of believers. (This was according to Wikipedia:laughing: )


#56

Speaking as one of the ortho-trin apologists here: me, too! :wink: But realistically a consistent account that makes sense of the most scriptural data and of all the metaphysical principles involved cannot be a simple definition.

We aren’t being obtuse and complex because we want to be (or anyway we shouldn’t be for that reason). We’re trying to do justice to a complex series of topics.


#57

If you truly desire peace, a few less :laughing: would be a good way to start.

I cannot prove you exist. Even less can I prove God exists, let alone God as Trinity. I don’t know what I myself truly am, let alone what Mankind is, and even less what God is. Being finite, I must extrapolate from the little I do know to the much I don’t know. So I say God is like a Father who lives somewhere beyond the Sky. He’s a King, a Shepherd, a Rock, a Door, a Person. Since I know something of fathers, kings, rocks, doors and persons, these metaphors help.

Now I find within myself a very curious thing: an inner conversation, a self-awareness, a self-love. I (a person) love, talk to and look at myself (a person). Extrapolating this gives me, perhaps, a fleeting glimpse of the nature of God. Perhaps God also is aware of himself, loves himself and talks to himself.

When I speak a word, that word is part of me, meaningless apart from me, yet quite distinct from me. Perhaps this can help me understand the Word which God speaks in Christ. Again, my reflection in a mirror is inseparable from me, it is true to me, meaningless without me, but distinct from me also. Perhaps this can help me understand Christ, the perfect image of God. When I marry, my wife and child become one family, unified yet distinct. Perhaps this gives me some idea of the unity yet diversity of God the Son with God the Father.

Rocks are unitarian because (unlike trinitarians) they do not relate to themselves.

It’s after midnight in my part of the world. I think I’ll leave it there.


#58

What do emoticons have to do with “peace”? If truly they were vehicles of turmoil, then the staff here should remove them, no? I think many complain of the use of emoticons, simply because they are not creative of mind, when it comes to their use.

To label use of emoticons by me indicates that I indeed am “unpeaceful” is unfounded.

Use the WORD and PROVE the existence of the “trinity” - GOD in 3 persons… and get off the strawman. I have already PROVEN my existence by challenging you, …and if you were at all observant, that would’ve likely occured to you.

More avoidance of the subject. I didn’t ask you to PROVE that God exists… If indeed you believe in the “trinity” it should be a matter of committment to know where it lies in the WORD

You begin with PHYSICAL parameters (“somewhere beyond the Sky”) when seeking to define a SPIRITUAL entity… so any conclusions you come to will be strangled by that false foundation.

Well, the “trinity” is much more than these… It is the claim that there are 3 separate and distinct PERSONS which consitute ONE GOD, which I see as a contradictory platform.

The Human being (which is made in the likeness and image of GOD) does NOT display the inclusion of 3 separate and distinctive PERSONS which =EQUATE= to ONE HUMAN. :confused:

Grabbing at straws, bro. The YOU which loves YOU is the SAME PERSON, not another separate and DISTINCT person. (that is unless you are a victim of mental disease)…

Trying to erect THREE separate persons, and then calling this collective ONE is double talk. In your Metaphors" you did not use US or WE, or OURSELVES… Let me take the quote and show the shortcomings…

I absolutely DISAGREE… your WORD spoken is an EXPRESSION of the YOU inside… not SEPARTE or DIFFERENT than that which is INSIDE (that is unless your word is DECEPTION, and inconsistent)

When YOU speak… YOU communicate OUTWARDLY to others, your views, opinions, which reside EXACTLY as they are WITHIN… The WORD of GOD comes from HIS MOUTH, and is reflective of that which is WITHIN Him… not a separate “person”, rather a communication (SPEECH) which is an AUDIBLE reflectin, from a source (HEART) which is INAUDIBLE or SILENT.

I disagree… your reflection is an INFORMATIVE visual duplicate of that which is REAL. CHRIST did and said NOTHING of Himself – John 5:19,30 – John 12:49 – WHY? Didn’t He have anything to say?

NO… it is because HE was the AUDIBLE and VISUAL expression of the ONE PERSON which is YHVH GOD… that is SILENT and INVISIBLE… The Scriptures are more than plain about this.

A football team is made of SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS, like your family… but MORE than ONE person is found within these, in SEPARATE bodies, and SEPARATE minds… To say that GOD is THREE distinct persons (all with minds) but ONE… is still contrary and illogical.

Why did YHVH say this…

Isaiah 44: 8Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not …[size=150]I[/size]… told thee from that time and have declared it? Ye are even …[size=150]MY[/size]… witnesses. Is there …[size=150]A[/size]… …[size=150]GOD[/size]… BESIDE …[size=150]ME[/size]…? Yea, there …IS …NO …GOD, …[size=150]I[/size]… know not …[size=150]ANY[/size]!

There are several other verses (not to mention the continual almost INNUMERABLE usages of “I, me, mine, myself, Him, Himself, He,” etc, when reference is made by YHVH to Himself) which state the SINGULARITY of YHVH

But if His WORD is TRUTH… then it must be explained why “the Son” and “Holy Spirit”, were dismissed as existent in this verse, …as well as the other verses in the WORD which state the very same thing: Isaiah 43:10-11 – Isaiah 45:18, 21, 22 – Deut 4:35 – Hosea 13:4 – Deut 32:39

How do you know this, for a fact, Allan? :confused: How is it that INSECTS know exactly what to do, down to the individual, yet do not communicate in a way recognizeable or understandable to HUMANS… Just because we use words to communicate, does not mean that other things which do not use words as do we, …therefore do not communicate. :open_mouth:

It is silly and foundationless for any of us to conclude that which we cannot KNOW… You nor anyone else cannot say for SURE that one rock, does not communicate to another.

How can you say, being without ABSOLUTE PROOF that no “rock” relates to another. I think you shall be surprised one day, when you find that NOTHING which exists in the Creation of YHVH God (the LIVING GOD) is other than ALIVE. For ALL THINGS are** IN **HIM – **Acts 17:28 **-- and NO PART of HIM is “not alive”, for He IS the LIVING GOD.

Peace… (irregardless of emoticons, which are just irrelevant to peace) :wink:

Loveya in JESUS, bro… :wink:

…willieH :mrgreen:


#59

Since you laugh at every second thing I say, and SHOUT quite a lot, why would I engage you in conversation? Clearly, your thinking is so far ahead of mine that my ramblings both amuse and irritate you. Eschewing the role of jester, I politely take my bow, and exit.


#60

I think his point is that using them at the end of every paragraph doesn’t necessarily soften the tone of an discussion. Personally I rarely use the laughing emoticon with my own comments (only as a response to others), otherwise it can come across as either mocking or self indulgent. I assume neither are your intention.

Please watch your tone. i.e. “AllanS” is at least partially observant.

Please also try to avoid using CAPS as it generally comes across as shouting which is rude. I suggest simply using bold, italic or underlining for emphasise.


#61

No complex exegesis here. This is more of a story. I was driving to work one morning (I have a long drive through beautiful rural hill/mountain country) and the sun was in my eyes. I was asking God about the Trinity. I’d heard many explanations which did not satisfy me: the egg (no, please don’t groan) comes to mind. The following is the picture I believe He gave me, and perhaps some of you will at least find it interesting.

The sun represents the Father. If you think about the nature of light and the nature of seeing with human eyes, you will realize that the sun (and all things, really) is invisible. We cannot see it. This seems to me particularly obvious regarding the sun, as it is the source of the light. We can only see the light that comes to us from the sun. We can feel its warmth, and it allows us to walk about without stumbling. Its light is the source of all our food, all our energy – our physical life, really. But we can’t see it. We can only see the light of the sun as it comes to us.

The light of the sun represents Jesus, who is eternally begotten of the Father. He is always coming forth from the Father. He gives us life because the Father has granted that He should have life within Himself. He is the light of every man, and He comes into the world. He particularly came in the Incarnation. He is not the sun, but in a sense, He is the sun. He is the Son.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to me quite as clear, but He is the Spirit, after all. Light comes to us in such mysterious ways; as a particle; as a wave. It brings warmth and illumination, allows us to perceive colors, performs certain actions which are still cloaked in darkness (so to speak) such as becoming food to plants and destroying certain microorganisms and causing our skin to form vitamin D. The light, even as it comes, is still one with the sun. There is a dance between them, and that dance of love is the Holy Spirit.

Not dogma, not stunning exegesis, but as you are talking about the Trinity, I venture to share it. This picture speaks clearly to me. I love when God talks to me in pictures. :wink: Makes it so much easier for me to follow Him.

Blessings, Cindy


#62

Thanks Cindy, I found your post helpful :sunglasses:


#63

willieH: Hi AllanS… :wink:

Please read this… it is primarily an apology to you… :blush:

FIRST — If you will Allan, please allow me to apologize to you, and explain…

wherever red is used by me, it is a reference and respect to the Scriptures, God, and His Son…(CHRIST)
wherever blue is used by me, it is either in reference to Scripture, a quote, or other than the Divine… (Adam)
wherever CAPS, italics, boldings or underline is used by me, these are utilized strictly for EMPHASIS…

I mean no harm or shouting by the usage of any of these, and do offer my apology to you that you have recieved them in this way. :cry:

SECOND — Another apology… It appears to you that I intend to “belittle you”, or “exalt” myself above you concerning knowledge. I am no more or less than are you… just a guy seeking to learn… and to share. somtimes ineffectively… :blush:

I, in sincere humility toward you, :blush: …ask that you accept my apologies for not forewarning you somewhat of my method of posting… My bad. :cry: (in a first encounter, I try to notify those I am conversing with that I use these things as I have explained, but as a 66 year old man battling Cancer, and admittedly, sometimes forget to do so)…

THIRD — Another apology… I use emoticons, only for fun… and do not intend them to be flaming or provoking… If we ever converse again, please know these things… I mean you no harm… you are my brother in CHRIST… and that you are a son of the MOST HIGH, that in itself, …deserves my utmost respect, certainly not ridicule. :cry:

I have spent the lions share of my life in daily study of the WORD, as well as deeply in study of the LIFE (which is also CHRISTJohn 14:6)

Sometimes in the zeal to share… I can appear abrasive… and please know that it is not intended.

I do not accept or tolerate “opinion” of men, unless it has foundation in both REASON and the WORD. If anyone is projecting “possibilities”… especially when the WORD makes no mention of them, I firmly REJECT them.

All in All… My sincere apologies to you brother Allan… and if you should choose to abstain from any further conversation with me (which is your right) I understand… and please know that I wish you no ill whatsoever, and that I wish you “good seeking” of your Heavenly Father to you… :smiley:

Your embattled friend… willieH :wink:


#64

Thanks willieH, I really appreciate your post. It’s always a good to explain your formatting/style, as written text is often ambiguos (e.g. no body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. to add clarity) & therefore much more at risk of causing unintended offence.

I also highly respect the fact that you apologised for unintentionally offending, that’s a great example of love.


#65

Ahhh this is awesome! I was just telling someone this exact analogy of the Trinity! I have recently been studying the merits of the Trinity and I think it is a very reasonable if purely Spiritual revelation of who God is. I mean who would truly think of God as a Trinity? For me it has to be supernatural.

You explanation of the Trinity is completely biblical (so biblical its shocking). Hebrews 1:3a says,

He(Jesus) is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature…(Amplified Bible)

Jesus is the off-beam of God’s glory! Meaning he is the visible light of the invisible God. The Holy Spirit is connected with fire in the New Testament (he comes as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost). I see him as the warmth and heat that comes from the Light (or as you said Sun), by him we are purified as silver in a furnace,

[We are]…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying(purifying) work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood…(1 Peter 1:2)

It is the Holy Spirit who heats things up and cleans us up. I’m so glad God is speaking to you in the same way he has been to me, that’s exciting :slight_smile:


#66

This “awesome” insight or revelation has its origin in the teaching of Tertullian, going back to about 200 A.D. Tertullian was probably the first Trinitarian, who taught the concept long before it became popularized in the church of the fourth century.

[The Word] is always with God, according to what is written, “And the Word was with God;” John 1:1 and never separate from the Father, or other than the Father, since “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 This will be the prolation, taught by the truth, the guardian of the Unity, wherein we declare that the Son is a prolation from the Father, without being separated from Him. For God sent forth the Word, as the Paraclete also declares, just as the root puts forth the tree, and the fountain the river, and the sun the ray. For these are προβολαί, or emanations, of the substances from which they proceed. I should not hesitate, indeed, to call the tree the son or offspring of the root, and the river of the fountain, and the ray of the sun; because every original source is a parent, and everything which issues from the origin is an offspring. Much more is (this true of) the Word of God, who has actually received as His own peculiar designation the name of Son. But still the tree is not severed from the root, nor the river from the fountain, nor the ray from the sun; nor, indeed, is the Word separated from God. Following, therefore, the form of these analogies, I confess that I call God and His Word— the Father and His Son— two. For the root and the tree are distinctly two things, but correlatively joined; the fountain and the river are also two forms, but indivisible; so likewise the sun and the ray are two forms, but coherent ones. Everything which proceeds from something else must needs be second to that from which it proceeds, without being on that account separated. Where, however, there is a second, there must be two; and where there is a third, there must be three. Now the Spirit indeed is third from God and the Son; just as the fruit of the tree is third from the root, or as the stream out of the river is third from the fountain, or as the apex of the ray is third from the sun. Nothing, however, is alien from that original source whence it derives its own properties. In like manner the Trinity, flowing down from the Father through intertwined and connected steps, does not at all disturb the Monarchy, while it at the same time guards the state of the Economy.


#67

Hi WillieH,

Thanks for those clarifications. It’s helpful to me (and other readers) to understand your writing style and approach. It’s very easy to inadvertently send the wrong message in this medium, and clearly I have misjudged your personality and intent. I guess it’s my turn to apologise to you for jumping to conclusions. :blush:

That said, I’d rather not continue the discussion around the Trinity. My understanding of the topic is very superficial and unlikely to shed much light. Jason has studied these things in far greater detail. You might want to address some questions to him.

A blessing on you and yours.

AllanS


#68

That’s so exciting, to learn that I’m not the first to have this revelation from God. Thanks for sharing this with me, Awakening, and Paidon. I appreciate it. :slight_smile:


#69

Before you thank me too much, I must disclose that I am not a Trinitarian, Cindy, in spite of Tertullian. I learned from an even earlier Christian writer, Justin Martyr, that Jesus was begotten “before all ages” (as a single act) as was stated over and over again in early literature. Even the original Nicene Creed, as formulated in 325 A.D. stated this:

THE NICENE CREED
325 A.D.
As set forth at Nicea, A.D. 325

*We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages,
only begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father;
God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made,
being of one essence with the Father,
Through whom all things were made; both things in heaven and things on earth;
Who for us people, and for our salvation, came down, and was incarnate,
and was made man;
He suffered, and was raised again the third day,
And ascended into heaven.
*

The Nicene Creed was altered by later Church Councils. One major change was from “begotten of the Father before all ages” to “eternally begotten of the Father”. The latter is Trinitarian thinking, that God is a compound Being consisting of 3 prolations, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Son “proceeding” from the Father, and the Holy Spirit either “proceeding from the Father” or “proceeding from the Father and the Son.” This “proceeding” is going on continuously, and therefore being “eternally begotten”.

Justin Martyr, in explaining the begetting of the Son (as a single act) to a group of Jewish men, compared it to a little fire being started from a bigger one. He said the big fire loses nothing in starting the little one, and the little one, although separate, is of the same essence as the larger one. This is the sense in which Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God. God has no other sons begotten out of His very essence. As the writer to the Hebrews expresses it: “He is the exact imprint of [the Father’s] essence” (Hebrews 1:3)

Dog begets dog, and its offspring is canine. Man begets man, and his offspring is human. God begets God, and His offspring is divine. Jesus is “God” in the sense of His being deity in essence. He is not “God” in the sense of being the same divine Individual as the Father. Nor is He “God” in the sense of being a part of a compound Being called “The Trinity”.


#70

Isn’t Tertullian one of the big eternal hell guys? Him and Augustine were kind of the major players.


#71

Tertullian did say he would rejoice to see certain individuals suffering in hell. But I am unaware of any place where he declared this suffering to be everlasting. Some of the early writers used the word “aionios” and translators have rendered it as “everlasting”, and so some mistakenly thing those early writers believed in everlasting suffering. But “aionios” doesn’t mean “everlasting”; it means “lasting”. One writer declared a stone wall to be “aionios”. It was a lasting wall, I’m sure. But I don’t think it exists at the present time, though if it does, I am certain it won’t last forever.


#72

I know, Paidion. I saw your earlier posts. But I don’t know that our disagreement is as profound as you might think. And besides you are a brother and we will all know better later on. I am always finding things I’ve been wrong about, but it happens as God leads me. Which is why I’m here without having been invited by any but the Holy Spirit. If I’m wrong about other aspects of God, He will show me in His own time.

Meanwhile, I appreciate your input and the things you have to say. We all learn from one another.

Blessings, Cindy