Understanding the Trinity

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Kurieuo
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Understanding the Trinity

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:45 pm

I think it is crucial for Christians to understand the doctrine of the Trinity, for there are many good and logical reasons why orthodox Christianity embraces it. Sadly, many Christian churches drop the ball here. However, I'd like to explore it. Those groups or Christians who do not accept it, or construct some modalist form (where one God is just revealing Himself in three different "modes"), such beliefs are heretical in my opinion for good reason (by "heretical" I mean at odds with what was defined and accepted within Christianity).

Now as to whether or not one is saved if they believe incorrectly here. I'm not sure, it depends on the type and degree of difference I'd suppose. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable not accepting Trinitarian doctrine. As an example of type and degree of rejection, well some would say Krishna was Christ, and they're both just different modes of God. God is simply an elephant, and different religions are touching God in different areas/seeing different modes of existence to God. So if one is in fact embracing a plurality of religions leading to the same God (like various Hindu "holy ones" seem to do ;)), then it is evident to me that such reject what Christ taught of Himself, and indeed deny the one true Way.

In some instances, a denial of the Trinity will lead to Christ's divinity being torn, even Christ's own person. For example, if Christ is merely a representative mode of God, then the question must be asked who is one looking to for salvation? If Christ is merely a "mirage" of God then why do we worship and pray to an image and not God Himself? Or perhaps Christ wasn't God, but rather a special man sent by God. Now it seems evil of God to send a servant to die for us in order to have a relationship with Himself. Further still, why worship the creature (created) rather than the Creator?

So then, there are certain degrees and extents with which one can deny Trinitarian doctrine. The way in which one does could lead to rejecting Christ as Lord and God, even if it's not apparent to the person who is rejecting the Trinity.

Now, I'm not going to do all the writing myself, rather, this is just an introduction to a series of videos I found on YouTube from the InspiringPhilosophy fellow. He currently has a dozen videos on the Trinity covering what it is, how it formed historically, where such is found in the Old and New Testaments, its origins whether rooted in Paganism (polytheism) or Jewish monotheism. I'm sure others will find them invaluable, and I encourage a discussion after each one, people to challenge, ask questions and what-not. I'll leave a space of a couple of days or so between each new one.

The first video just looked at what the Trinity is. It is quite easy to explain the Trinity in a logical manner, more difficult is conceiving of Trinitarian examples. I'd encourage Christians to more focus on why we arose at the doctrine of the Trinity and the logic behind it, rather than trying to conceive of God as this or that -- because in our world while we see many things that represent who God is (love, goodness, righteous, forgiving, merciful), there are perhaps zero things that adequately represent what God is (Cerberus the three-headed dog, ice-water-vapour, etc). So now, the first video just looks to logically define what the Trinity is.

Video #1: What is the Trinity?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gCv-FAjgps
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby crochet1949 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:26 pm

The Bible is where we Find the Trinity. There is really nothing 'logical' About the Godhead / Trinity. God's Word Assumes the Godhead because God/the Father Is part of the Godhead. Jesus Christ is the 2nd person Of and the Holy Spirit is the 3rd part of it.
It would be considered 'super-natural' because the Godhead is of the Spirit world, Not of This world. But we Do see the effects OF In this world.

The 1st mention Of the Godhead is in Genesis 1:26 "Then God said "Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
So it would be the usage of "Us, Our, and Our'. Rather than 'Me, My, My'

And salvation is made possible Through God, the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

So -- now I'll wait for responses to the videos. 'This' is Not intended to take 'Kurieuos' place. Just my two cents worth.

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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:10 pm

Crochet, I think you missed the boat with what was intended by "logical".

For example, please define what the Trinity is? Any attempt to provide a definition of the Trinity, is a logical construction. It needs to be defined logically, by that I simply mean articulated in a way that is truthful to Scripture and isn't a contradiction, or else "Trinity" is empty and carries no meaning or substance. The video articulates such a definition, of what the Trinity is. Do you disagree with it?

If your concern is Scripture, then indeed the doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in Scripture. In that video, supporting Scripture is even provided. Yet, the concept still needs to be formulated in logically coherent manner in order to embrace or accept it, right?
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby abelcainsbrother » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:18 pm

First off I like IP's videos eventhough I don't understand what caused him to accept evolution,other than that I really like his videos and teachings and I recommend people to watch his videos.He does a good job of defending Christianity.

This video about the Trinity is an example of how good his teachings and videos are.This video is a good introductory video about the trinity that I agree with.Having said this there might be a case for why the trinity may not be logical but only to those who don't have the Holy Spirit.
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby crochet1949 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:43 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Crochet, I think you missed the boat with what was intended by "logical".

For example, please define what the Trinity is? Any attempt to provide a definition of the Trinity, is a logical construction. It needs to be defined logically, by that I simply mean articulated in a way that is truthful to Scripture and isn't a contradiction, or else "Trinity" is empty and carries no meaning or substance. The video articulates such a definition, of what the Trinity is. Do you disagree with it?

If your concern is Scripture, then indeed the doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in Scripture. In that video, supporting Scripture is even provided. Yet, the concept still needs to be formulated in logically coherent manner in order to embrace or accept it, right?


I Do tend to be skeptical when the term 'logical' is used. There are those who feel that anything super-natural Can't be logical.

Okay -- and I will take time to watch the video.

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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:36 pm

I can understand your concern, many can be carried away by man's own thinking, something I don't intend to do here.

So that video was the first in the series, just a short one. There are more videos coming, some which are quite good. The essence of the video could be summed up as:

The Trinity is one God, who is three persons, and each person is fully God. It rejects Pagan concepts of there being 3 gods and yet one (like Jehovah's Witness often think it to be), and it rejects Modalism which says there is one God simply revealing Himself in 3 different modes (like Oneness Pentecostals understand).

trinity.jpg
trinity.jpg (42.67 KiB) Viewed 567 times


That was all the first video really went into, simply and clearly defining what the Trinity is, with reference to Scripture.
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby RickD » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:45 pm

Good thread. Anything that may help people understand the trinity better, is a good thing.
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:43 pm

RickD wrote:Good thread. Anything that may help people understand the trinity better, is a good thing.

That's what I think, and it is such an important doctrine. To reject it, will generally lead to rejection of some other important Christian doctrine.

The Trinity isn't just a concept plucked from nowhere. It is based upon careful consideration of Christ's words, how we are saved, the Pentateuch and other verses in the Tanakh, Gospels and Epistles and even, as we'll eventually see, lines of Jewish thought pre-Christ.

Many Christians seem to baulk at the Trinity, perhaps thinking that since no one can truly visually conceive what a Trinitarian God would look like (as though the immaterial could be understood in physical terms anyhow), that such gives them leeway to come up with their own understanding or twist. Some perhaps retreat and just prefer the question of the Trinity never came up. But, it's an important doctrine and not one Christians should be embarrassed about.

So why is it important? This second video explains why, including why those who deny it are rejecting an orthodox Christianity. Rejecting it causes several soteriological problems (i.e., problems with our being saved) and other areas:

Video #2: Why the Trinity is Necessary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRmIKU9e3FY
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:48 am

I am not sure that you can understand and accept the Trinity without the help of the HS.
I have explained it to skeptics in a way that they understand it, though not to the degree that believers can ( as a statement on the NATURE of God).
I do NOT think that fully understanding the Trinity is a necessity for salvation ( I don't think that anyone before the doctrine of the Trinity came to be, would have explained or understood it that way).

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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Kurieuo » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:16 am

Skeptics, why bother? Do you like the headaches of hitting your head against a brick wall? ;)

Certainly "faith" is something Holy Spirit works within us. Re: Trinity, I think people do understanding the Trinity, otherwise it couldn't be articulated. Though truly God's nature is mysterious, I mean who can truly comprehend an eternal being?

The Trinity doctrine is nowhere to be found in Scripture, it is not articulated as doctrine. Rather, it is born out of three identifiable persons who are each considered divine and yet are the one God. Jews pre-Christ even had similar ideas.

However, I think a good starting point, like crochet jumped into, is perhaps really the Old Testament. So, having defined what the doctrine is, I'm going to jump to a video on that -- revealing the Trinity in the OT. This one is a bit longer at 15 minutes, but worth it.

Video #3: The Trinity in the Old Testament

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNt5NKSse0Y
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Jac3510 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:32 pm

The video was good, better than I expected, with exception to two glaring problems: the more serious, the promotion of a subordinationism within the Trinity; the second, less, serious, the glossing over of the filioque controversy (the video is definitely Eastern in its interpretation). Haven't looked at the follow up video(s?) yet.
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Philip » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:34 pm

Jac: The video was good, better than I expected, with exception to two glaring problems: the more serious, the promotion of a subordinationism within the Trinity; the second, less, serious, the glossing over of the filioque controversy (the video is definitely Eastern in its interpretation). Haven't looked at the follow up video(s?) yet.


Jac, if you were to laserbeam it - per some specific Scriptures - where would you best show the absolute equality within the Trinity? The other issue is, although there is not hierarchy of PERSONS or AUTHORITY, wouldn't you agree that there is submittal per the ROLES of each Person of the Trinity? Or is that a poor term to use? Because if there are specific roles, it makes sense to me that the Persons of the Trinity somehow flex as to Whom takes lead within that Person's role/authority. And when I used the word "authority," I am not conveying it in the human usage. I think, when it comes to the Trinity, human terminology breaks down, at least to some degree.

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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Jac3510 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:54 pm

Laserbeam: John 1:1. If Jesus really is God, then by definition, there can be no subordination of God to God. When we subordinate ourselves to another, we are submitting our wills to them. But the three Persons do not have distinct wills. There is, numerically, one will in God, and that will is the same (numerically) in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

I also don't like the language about "roles." I think there is a poor mixing of metaphors based on a confusion of the Incarnation with the Divine Essence. Jesus, the man, is subordinate to the Father (and the HS, for that matter). So that's our "in virtue of" language. He submitted in virtue of His humanity, not His divinity. Moreover, I deny a common evangelical practice of distinguishing between the Persons by their activities, as if the it is the Father who declares one righteous while the Son advocates and the Spirit sanctifies. It's pretty language, and it has some devotional value. It even has some strictly theological value in precisely the same sense that distinguishing between God's omnipotence and omniscience has theological value. I could say a lot more, but the point is that I think evangelicals are wrong on this. We traditionally hold to what is called an economic subordination in the Trinity. I just reject that as ultimately untenable.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:02 pm

Jac3510 wrote:The video was good, better than I expected, with exception to two glaring problems: the more serious, the promotion of a subordinationism within the Trinity; the second, less, serious, the glossing over of the filioque controversy (the video is definitely Eastern in its interpretation). Haven't looked at the follow up video(s?) yet.

Re: the filioque, the extent with which he says they (Son and Holy Spirit) have their being in the Father is very Eastern, right? Rather than merely proceeding from the Father (and filioque which says the Holy Spirit also proceeds from the Son). Personally, I consider such less important as to essential Trinitarian doctrine per se.

Not that I have a special relationship, but I'll message the guy, hopefully a future video he'll cover the controversy. The Trinity seems to be a running series for him.

I was going to follow up with his video on Trinity founded in early Jewish thought (which I found very interesting), but this next one is perhaps more appropriate for now.

Video #4: The Truth about the Council of Nicaea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSKBGdv07nQ
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Re: Understanding the Trinity

Postby Philip » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:20 pm

Jesus, the man, is subordinate to the Father (and the HS, for that matter). So that's our "in virtue of" language. He submitted in virtue of His humanity, not His divinity.


My bolding of Jac's statement, above - yes, that's a really important point. But Jesus' humanity is often the cause of many theological misunderstandings.

Jac, it might be helpful to summarize what Jesus temporarily gave up, per His humanity.


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