The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Trinity and why it is a big issue


#41

As nice as it is to have a metaphorical conversation (and I must say that I have enjoyed reading it), I don’t think it is actually contributing to the discussion.

Bear in mind that this is a forum where the majority of discussions are against ECT… a popular doctrine which has been within the church for centuries. That “acorn” has grown and sprouted and we’re here saying, “Maybe we’re not actually looking at an oak?” I wonder if those of us seeking clarity on the Trinity are just asking the question, “How do we know if this “tree” is actually an oak, and how do we know that it can from that acorn?” (I know I’m in that boat.)

My question is if Jesus is divine, why does that then mean that he must be God?

My two hands are a part of me. I would not be the same without them. But they are both controlled by my brain. Chop my head off and I would die (well, I don’t believe in zombies… :wink: ). Chop my hands off and I can still live… but my actions would be severely limited. My hands are not equal to my brain. Robin Parry mentions an example like this in “Worshipping Trinity” (p.19). (As he rightly states, “The weakness of this image is that it depersonalizes the Son and the Spirit (hands are not centres of consciousness and will).” However, I don’t think the analogy is as weak as he thinks.)


#42

That’s a good question. Is ECT part of the oak, or is it a parasitic growth?

Does ECT add to the tree’s beauty and vigor? Does it do the work of perfect love by casting out fear? No. It stunts and deforms the tree. The more ECT is emphasized, the worse the deformity becomes.

Does the doctrine of the Trinity add to the tree’s beauty and vigor? Does it add to our understanding of perfect love? Yes it does. Without a doubt.

God, in love, wisdom and mercy, risks all in order to save the lost. In response, people preach ECT, and everyone thinks God’s the sort who tortures babies. When that absurdity is corrected, the boat suddenly lurches towards Unitarianism, where God becomes as loving and as personal as a rock.

You could be excused for thinking there’s an Enemy on the loose. Someone seems to be planting weeds in the wheat.


#43

I used to believe in ECT. I had no reason to think otherwise. Over time, I began to question it. 6 years ago (and more) ECT was part of my “oak”… and for many people, it still is. For them it is part of the beauty of God - as they understand Him to be. (I know that can be hard to believe, especially reading some of the threads on here. I find that such people tend to focus on just how much God loves those He has saved, dismissing love of a sinilar kind to non-Christians.) As I studied that “branch” of the oak, I found it to be, as you say, a parasitic growth.

It took me 4 years to go from ECT to Annihilation. (I am not yet a convinced Universalist.)

I have questioned the Trinity for about 1 year. Although it seems to be part of the “oak,” I am starting to see the beginnings of a “parasite” (mainly because of the ways it has been described to me… which haven’t been particularly good). Maybe those small parasitic growths need to be cut off (and burned in the fire… :wink: ) and the branch will remain strong. Maybe, after much inspection, I will see that the actually the whole branch is a parasitic growth.

To be fair, though, I wouldn’t actually call the doctrine of the Trinity a “parasitic growth”… that’s a little extreme. Maybe more of a bird’s nest… it looks nice, but the tree still lives if it’s not there. Just because it looks nice, that does not define the tree as an “oak” and neither is it vital for the tree’s existence. But, as with Jesus’ parables, let’s make sure we don’t take this metaphorical conversation too far. Analogies do have limits. (Maybe it wood be better to leave this treemendous conversation before it branches off, taking root and people getting the wrong end of the stick. Is that oak-ay?)

I find God’s love incredible both with and without the doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore I ask why we need it.


#44

I do have some other things to say, but I’ll get to the rest later (getting ready to go to church to watch kids!):

Right, but I think the issue with semantics is in our modern-day interpretation of “God.” There is the lower-case “gods” as well. I’ve written an essay recently on how the ancients’ concepts of gods were relatively similar, even the Hebrews’ (there is a ton of borrowing from Ugaritic literature, for a reason) who even had a divine council (remember Job for instance?) like the other cultures. There is continual reference to the “sons of God” who were also gods, as per Psalm 82.

Given our more modern monotheism, we tend to shy away from that and think of God as merely a singular being. The Hebrews shifted toward monotheism because they believed that most of the other gods were merely attributes of YHWH. However, as Paidion has noted, even their own literature proclaimed that there was at least one more! Even if that was somewhat denied in later tradition, where they began to interpret the Son of Man in Daniel as perhaps a patriarch such as Moses or Abraham, but apparently it was still a divine-like figure. After all, they had to account for the fact that there was an invisible YHWH who had no form or substance (Deut 4:15, “for you saw no form…”) yet visited them in various ways, not only as a flame of fire or pillar of cloud, but in human form! And Moses apparently saw his back during his visit atop Mt. Sinai (Rick Joyner writes of an interesting Christological interpretation of this in The Torch and the Sword).

The only way out of this, I would think, is to take a modalist stance. But I’m not willing to do that nor do I think others are in this thread. Perhaps some wouldn’t be willing to equate YHWH with God, but that would merely be semantics. To the Hebrews YHWH WAS God. Elohim. And the word “Elohim” could be either singular or plural depending on the tense, like “deer,” “fish,” or “sheep.”

Basically what you get is a “God-nature” or “God-essence” like “divinity” as we’ve said. Yet in the midst of this pantheon of gods was the self-existent, inherently sovereign and supreme YHWH and His chosen divine essence, “the word of God,” which was also called “YHWH,” or “Lord” just like his Father.

Anyway, C.S. Lewis likens it to the heat from fire. It’s almost as if God the Father “projects” the Son in a sense. He has some pretty good explanations for the trinity, like how six squares can become one entity, a cube, in the 3rd dimension - so three people can become one in a higher dimension. Wouldn’t this account for how God can be love - because God is community? And aren’t we all to be one just as Jesus is one with His Father? That’s a pretty close unity! The unity of one body.

Well, it seems like most people agree so far. I guess I’m not quite sure who I’m arguing to :unamused: :laughing: and I’m gonna make myself late!

But I have one more perhaps controversial thing to say in response - and if you don’t catch anything else, ruminate on this: does the Father in fact “need” the Son? I mean, would He be a Father if He didn’t have a Son? He wouldn’t even be what He is! Or we could go back to the metaphor of projection. Being what He is, He would never “not” have a Son. In fact, it does seem as if the Son is intrinsic to God’s nature, so speaking of Him being without one is where the analogy of a body not having hands breaks down a little. In fact, it seems as if the Father gives all of Himself into the Son, lives for the Son. I maintain that because God is love, God would not be able to even exist without that tension of the trinity. We don’t serve a mere individual, we serve a multiplicity of self-sacrifice and abnegation. For just as the Son gives His all and submits to His Father, so the Father does to the Son. Or where would the Son learn it from?

For sure, by the nature of the Father’s very being, I admit that He is greater than the Son. That’s no debate. But how close is the line drawn? We have this analogy by way of Joseph and the Pharaoh that only the Father is greater than the Son - and that’s a whole heck of a lot that He’s given His Son to rule! Even time and space (though I’ve argued that the Son may be subject to time’s limitations in certain degrees and at certain times by fiat of the Father).

And the Son IS the image of the Father, not the other way around. The Father is the source. But what is the Son representing? Fatherhood. The mysteries entangled in this are worth an infinite amount of time unraveling them, eh? :wink:


#45

That happens a lot; and then, as you (quite rightly!) complain, there’s also a tendency to just wave it off by saying, in effect, ‘sure it makes no sense, but we believe it anyway because… uh… it’s in the Bible! Somewhere! A few places at least, maybe!’ Which at best is the same as saying they don’t think the Bible makes sense on this either!

I don’t blame anyone for rejecting an idea when it’s presented like that. Nor for provisionally rejecting an idea because it’s complicated and the data isn’t obviously obvious at first glance; although at that point the question is whether we have sufficient grounds to trust the specialist to be competent on the matter. When the specialist however seems to turn around and reject his own positions in order to protect something else…? That’s naturally corrosive to trust in the specialist. And matters sure don’t get any better when the specialist, being challenged on that, resorts on one hand to ad hom attacks against the challenger and on the other to the glories of inscrutable mystery (or whatever).

Eventually, a person has to apply the criteria for spotting a sham, or else they aren’t being responsible thinkers themselves. And in taking the easy way out, ortho-trin proponents have certainly tended to defend the case (and themselves!) in ways which fail the criteria for spotting a sham.

(But then, if they don’t take the easy way out, the case may be impenetrable even among specialists! It’s like arguing over super-string theory among mathematicians. :wink: )

Anyway, Robin/Gregory created the thread, not so much to talk about reasons to believe the Trinity is true (although by the nature of the topic there would be some overlap with that, and he mentioned some quick scriptural points in the case), but to talk about why he believes believing Trinity to be true is such a big issue.

Of course, whether something is true or not is a big issue in itself! But even when Robin was presenting a quick list of scriptural data, he was doing so in the context of worship: are we supposed to be worshiping God alone? Or God plus something not-God?

If we are also supposed to be worshiping something not-God, then why the strenuous scriptural prohibitions against religiously worshiping anything less or other than God?–and why would the worship expected of Christ bother to be predicated on identifying Christ with God’s identity and reality somehow (for example, why include Christ in a Shema statement with God if it’s perfectly okay to religiously worship a not-God entity, so long as it’s the right not-God entity?)

But if we are only supposed to be religiously worshiping God alone, then why is worship (and obviously religious worship, not merely Ancient Near Middle Eastern reverence for regality or honor) being expected of Christ at all?–and especially in context of divine claims for Christ?

But if the Son is God and the Father is God, and God is God alone (one God), then why do the scriptures (including, in their own way, the Jewish scriptures) go out of their way to emphasize the personal distinction, including the authoritative subordination, of the Son compared to the Father?

For monotheists who take their worship of God Most High seriously, these are practically important topics. Trying to assess and deal with these issues, leads to various Christologies, or to a rejection of Christianity per se along with rejecting the NT along with maybe the OT as being a proper set of religious scriptures (as Muslims and non-Christian Jews do, or modern nominal deists.)

Gregory had a few other things to say about why the Trinity is religiously a big issue; and I could add more things to the list he gave! But this is why I am trying to focus, for this thread, back off the mere questions of systematic exegetics or metaphysical reasoning, and more onto the practical religious issues at stake.

So for example: I wasn’t trying to argue from the paragraph you quoted (and then didn’t engage with :wink: ) that God is at least binitarian. I was trying to illustrate an important religious issue at stake in the question.

Do you religiously worship Jesus Christ as our only Savior (especially from sin) and as our only Owner and Master, when only God Most High is worthy of worship, being our only Savior (especially from sin), and being our only Owner and Master?

If so, and if ortho-trin (and modalism) is false, then you (and I) are engaging in idolatry. At best that’s a huge mistake we ought to correct if we care about our religious life at all.

(I’ll have to wait until after church to go through the rest of the thread since I last posted. :smiley: )


#46

For me, the two doctrines are identical. If God is love, he must also love himself. He is therefore the Eternal Lover, the Eternally Beloved and the Eternal Love that flows between.


#47

This is possibly the best discussion I’ve had on the Trinity, and I find it very helpful, so thanks to you all! I’m essentially trying to start afresh and work out how we get from the New Testament to the concept of the Trinity, and why nothing less seems to do. Is it really the case that the whole of Christianity unravels if it is not true?

Here’s a thought I’ve had for a while… God made us in His image. We, as perfect humans, are God’s sons (and daughters). We messed that up because of sin, but by choosing Christ we can be adopted back into God’s family, reclaiming our place as His children. As such, God became a Father when He created us. It is not solely “Jesus” which makes Him a Father.

Added to which, I understand the phrase “son of…” to describe character. For example, the phrase “He’s his father’s son” is more than merely biological. It mean the son has the character of the father. An example from Scripture: Mark 3:17 where “Sons of Thunder” are clearly character descriptions. Jesus being the “Son of God” illustrates that he had the character of God… hence the miracles, healings, wisdom, etc.

I do not think that God is the biological father of Jesus. Just as God can miraculously heal people, He miraculously allowed Mary to become pregnant. I used to think, “Ahh, but the Bible says Jesus is God’s only ‘begotten’ son” (as per the KJV, NKJV, etc). Most translations nowadays render the verse, " sononly" or, " sonone and only." The word means “unique.” Where the rest of humanity sinned (and fell short of God’s glory), Jesus did not. He was the sinless man, the true child of God, not needed to be adopted back into God’s family as he never left it in the first place. He is the true image of God, and as such he has the characteristics of God (“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…”). That, to me, is why he is the Messiah.
[This theme will be picked up later in my post.]

I see what you’re trying to get at, but can we really use Joseph and Pharaoh as an analogy of Jesus and God? I’m not sure…

I’m not that much of a mathematician! :wink:

Ok, here’s another thought (picking up the Messiah theme): Jesus is the mediator between us and God. That was the role of the Messiah: to reconcile us to God. As such, we are still commanded to worship God (Father) alone, but it is Jesus who brings our worship to the Father. When we pray to and worship God, Jesus takes our acts of worship and offers them to God on our behalf. When we pray to and worship Jesus, I believe he takes that to God as well… there is the understanding that Jesus must be the mediator, so when we direct our acts of worship to him, it is because we know that he must then take them to God.

I worship Jesus with the above understanding. I do this for two reasons:

  1. It makes it easier following along at church services.
  2. I’m still figuring it out myself: I am aware that I may be wrong and do not wish to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

However, I will still agree that:

  1. Jesus is the only way to the Father.
  2. Jesus is the image of God.
  3. Jesus is the “Son of God” (characteristically).
  4. Jesus is perfect.
    and so on.

One question I have is why there is little (if any) worship of the Holy Spirit… if God is indeed Trinity?
[But I do not wish for this question to take over the discussion… Robin talks about it in his [url=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Worshipping-Trinity-Coming-Heart-Worship/dp/1842273477/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301961116&sr=8-1]book.]


#48

Ha ha. Boy, that’s for sure. Can’t argue with this.

I have a question. At who’s right hand is Jesus sitting? You can say it’s the Father’s, but the Bible says numerous times that he is sitting on God’s right hand. Jesus is also referred to as God’s Son, not just the Father’s Son. To say that Jesus is God is to contradict these very clear statements that appear over and over again in the Bible.

Shouldn’t we be at least a little suspicious of a doctrine that emerged in an environment where people were tortured and killed for speaking out against orthodox doctrines, such as the Trinity?


#49

When it comes right down to it, that’s my biggest problem with the notion of the trinity. It flies in the face of the clearest statements of scripture. I can see how a trinity could be inferred from the other scriptural data, but when we have opposition from the clearest statements, that should throw up a huge red flag.


#50

Exactly. Another thing that is very important to remember is that the writers of the New Testament were writing to people who had never heard that God was three persons in one. So, if they were trying to convey a new concept of God as a three-in-one being, they were absolutely obligated to spell it out very clearly, and they would have always referred to Jesus as God the Son. Not only does this phrase never appear; Jesus is repeatedly referred to as the Son of God, who was raised from the dead by God, and who now sits at God’s right hand (not at his own right hand). How much plainer can this get, anyway?


#51

Good points, boxer.

Unfortunately it seems that in the Christian church, the ‘truth’ is decided by majority opinion. Most Christian organizations have a statement of faith that includes a trinity, and their rules effectively (indirectly) state that if you do not accept that position, you are not a member of the faith and disqualified from participation. :angry:


#52

In which case God must not be intrinsically Father, but only accidentally so (in the philosophical sense of ‘accident’).

That may not necessarily be a problem: God’s husbandship, even if God is trinitarian, is accidental that way, even though the husbandship is predicated on what God essentially is. But if we’re down to only talking about modal operations of God, we still have left over talking about what God essentially is. (Though there are some theologians, even inconsistently so among trinitarians :wink:, who say that we cannot possibly talk about what God essentially is in Himself. But without such a root then we have no ground for talking about God modally, either.)

The language apart from other contexts could only mean that, yes. (Or perhaps in context with other contexts!–not to salt the pizza too much on my side. :slight_smile: )

Mainly the trinitarian case (rigorously speaking) appeals to the sonship mentioned in scriptures for purposes of arguing exegetically for a distinction of the persons. Which has an obvious relation to the Virgin Birth as well: Jesus could be born of a virgin by the miracle of God and so be Son of God in that specially unique sense as well as in the sense you’re talking about without sharing a full Shema unity with the Father (thus being fully divine).

This does however lead to observing that the ESV and the NIV are not, in the places you mention, translating the Greek quite right. They’re leaving out the ‘genes’ of the ‘monogenes’: that’s an awfully strong term to be using in regard to a one and only son of God, when something like “one and only” would have sufficed. :wink: (But there are other contexts around that statement in GosJohn, too, which indicate John means something more than only one-and-only. :slight_smile: )

The only problem with this (which trinitarians certainly don’t deny) is that the characteristics of God ascribed personally to the Son (in the NT, and to the Angel of the Presence/Face/YHWH in the OT) are rather more than any merely created creature ought to have. And those characteristics are being ascribed to that person (and by that person sometimes), not merely to (and by) the person of the Father.

This has a bearing on the question of worship, too, which is ascribed personally to the Son as well as to the Father. The situation is not cut quite in the way you later suggest:

I will hazard some guesses as to why NT (and in their own way OT) authors focus more on worship of the Son than the Spirit (though not entirely neglecting the other).

1.) It wasn’t religiously problematic for a Jew to say they were worshiping the Spirit of God and to thus mean God fully God (not some mediator who wasn’t God but who somehow directed worship to God.) This would have made immediately sufficient enough sense to a Gentile, too, without much effort.

2.) On the contrary, while a religiously devout Jew might (or might not) accept that worship of a mere human king was tantamount to worshiping God, if the king was God’s Messiah (though by the 1st century this was certainly a huge problem for rabbis who typically tried to avoid it in order to avoid idolatry), worshiping a spirit who wasn’t God would have been obviously to worship an angel at best. Two spirits should not be worshiped but God alone.

3.) So what is the average Jew (or Gentile for that matter), or even the educated one, going to think if the Spirit is explicitly emphasized as being a distinct person? Two spirits!–which would lead back to polytheism for converted pagans, and would be rejected as polytheism by devout Jews.

4.) Yet it is blatantly obvious that Jesus Christ was (and still is) a distinct person. Moreover, a person who died a death traditionally (even scripturally) considered to be cursed by God.

5.) So the first (and later) preachers have a major tactical problem: the distinction of the personhood of Christ cannot be denied, yet (assuming for purposes of discussion that ortho-trin is true and that they had some sufficient knowledge of this now to even try to promote the idea religiously) they know they ought to be promoting the worship of a man who was and is also (somehow, in a way unique to him alone among all other men or angels) God Most High YHWH ADNY ELHM.

They have a tough row to hoe already (as we say in West Tennessee). So it would make sense for them to concentrate on the tougher issue that has to be directly faced and dealt with, and not so much on the issue of the Spirit which would naturally only bring in even more problems. (Though they don’t entirely ignore worship of the Spirit either.)

Something very similar certainly happened in the official theological disputes of the 4th century onward: the Christology was focused on first, and then later the Pneumatology. That hardly means trinitarians (or other Christians for that matter!) weren’t worshiping the Spirit before then; if they hadn’t been, there wouldn’t even have been a dispute.


#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.